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The Louisiana iris comes from the wetlands near the Gulf of Mexico in the USA. The growth cycle of the Louisiana iris begins in autumn, continues through winter and culminates in a rapid burst of blooms in the spring.
Louisiana irises are evergreen perennials with sword like leaves which make them excellent landscaping accent plants. They can be grown in typical garden beds, bog gardens or in a water feature. Other than their diversity in terms of the flower shape and height there is a vast range of colours to choose from. White, yellow, blue, purple, red, pink with differing blend and star patterns makes each exquisite flower a gem in the garden.
Louisiana irises are easy to grow. They thrive on ample water and an acidic (pH 6.5 or lower), fertile growing medium. The plants may tolerate neutral or slightly alkaline conditions with sufficient water. I use garden soil mixed with acid compost when planting in containers, and when planting in open ground, add acid compost or sulphur to the soil to lower the pH.
The best time to plant and divide Louisiana irises is from February to April. Irises should be planted with at least 5 cm of soil covering the rhizome and, ideally, at least 10cm of mulch over the soil. Planted about 75cm apart, these irises can be left in place for 3-4 years and will form large clumps. It is helpful to thin the bed every few years. Transplanting immediately during or after flowering is not recommended. The hot weather following the blooming season will stress the plants and little growth or even an early dormancy may result.
Prepare Louisiana iris beds a few weeks before planting, ideally at the end of February. I use an balanced organic fertilizer when planting my rhizomes and to feed monthly until June and then change to high potassium fee like Multifeed from mid July to stimulate the flower production.
Louisiana irises will grow anywhere but seem to prefer a part shade position. In a very hot climate the blooms need some protection from the sun. The mandatory mulch (we use pine needles) helps to retain moisture in the soil, keeps weeds under control, increases organic matter in the soil and protects against sun scald. They also grow well in very cold areas.
It is important to give iris beds a thorough soaking at least once a week, particularly in the growing season from late autumn to spring. Too little water will cause stunted growth and leaves to turn yellow, or even stop growth and cause a plant to go dormant. When planting or replanting new rhizomes, the plant must be given time to establish new roots before giving it too much water. Keep the roots damp for three to four weeks before placing newly potted irises in water beds.
Louisiana irises are priced and sold as single rhizomes. Prices are adjusted in the nursery for larger clumps. We prefer to despatch orders between February and April, but will extend the time to end of July as plants are still in their growing season. If clients insist, orders can be despatched in spring.
BULK SALES FROM SUMMER 2017 - WHILE STOCKS LAST!
Buy bulk quantities of Louisiana irises at R20 each for 50 or more RANDOMLY ASSORTED plants. Orders will be made up in clumps of three to eight of a kind. No specific orders accepted for bulk sales.
Louisiana iris: All agaze
Description: Light pink sepals with salmon styles and bitone falls.
Flowering time: Early - Mid seasonAverage height: 70cm[View all characteristics]
Description: Round bright yellow with frilly edges and a good bud count.
Flowering time: Mid - late season
Good bud count
Flowering time: Mid - Late seasonAverage height: 100cm[View all characteristics]
Description: A bright lemon-yellow bitone with fine violet veining when first open. This changes to ivory as bloom ages. Floriferous.
Flowering time: Early seasonAverage height: 100cm[View all characteristics]