Bearded Iris; Common Flag; German Iris; Rhizomatous Iris
The best time to plant bearded iris is July – September. Container-grown iris may be planted in the spring. Bearded Iris should be planted at soil level or covered by 1/2 inch in the full sun. The bulb should be near the surface. The top of the bulb should be just below the surface. The soil should be loam with a high degree of organic matter. The plants should be spaced 12″-24″ apart “facing” in the same direction. Good drainage is essential to prevent rot. The plants are suitable for containers, naturalized areas, patio, and woodlands. Propagation occurs by dividing the rhizomes in the mid to late summer after the plants have bloomed.
Bearded iris do best in dyer soil conditions. Root rot may occur if the rhizomes are mulched or overwatered. The established rhizomes are drought tolerant. The roots, sap, and seeds of the iris are poisonous to a low degree. Skin irritation may occur on contact. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea have been reported. The overall risk or poison severity has been reported as low. All parts of the plant should be considered a risk for dogs, cats and other animals. The plants should be watered when first planted and when the soil is dry.
Fertilization should be performed in the early spring and late summer using organic fertilizer or low nitrogen fertilizer.
The plants do not require routine pruning. Broken leaves may be removed as necessary. Declining or dead flowers may be removed as needed. Blooms should be removed after they fade.
The primary disease is the Iris borer which can be a major pest. Affected plants should be removed immediately. The bed should be cleared of foliage at the end of each season. The plants should be divided as they become crowded. Fungal diseases, crown rot, and mosaic virus are diseases reported to affect Bearded Iris.