A few weeks ago my leaves on my irises were lush and green, but not a bud was to be found. Then one little bloom made it's way up in a completely different place in my garden, so I was wondering why I didn't have any blooms on the others! In a panic (OK, I’m being overdramatic–I’ll say out of curiosity), I consulted Anne Marie, who gave me some very helpful advice. Then, lo and behold, a couple of rainstorms brought forth the giant purple buds on my beloved irises and they’ve been blooming ever since.
In any case, I thought I'd share Anne Marie's tips for any readers who were not lucky enough to have blooms this year.
These are probably a type of bearded Iris. They should bloom reliably for you each year unless…
- They have been moved or were divided last year (they take about three years to get back to full bloom again).
- They are now too shaded; they need at least six hours of full sun.
- The soil is too rich or too lean; too much nitrogen fertilizer can cause them to have little or no bloom and lots of foliage.
- They are planted too deep; the rhizome should be peeking through the surface of the soil.
- They are overcrowded; this will cause fewer blooms.
- They have been attacked by an iris borer–look for shriveled or sunken rhizomes where the iris borer has done its damage.
- They are being grown in too soggy of a location; they prefer to be slightly dry.
I definitely need to thin mine this year and will be following the tips in this article to divide them.