Growing Water Iris

The iris family includes some of the most decorative of flowering plants. If you are looking for plants that grow and stay leafy and green in your pond over winter then louisiana and virginica iris are for you. Other water iris are winter deciduous but all grow rapidly and produce spectacular flowers displays from spring to  summer.

Louisiana iris will grow and flower over a wide climate range, making them very suitable for Australian ponds. They are moderately frost tolerant . They have the widest range of colours of the water iris  whites, pinks, reds, blues, purples , yellows. They grow in full sun to dappled shade. They also vary in height from dwarf (about 30cm tall) to medium and tall (over a metre tall).

Water iris as pond plants –
We recommend that iris in ponds be planted in pots for ease of care, feeding and division.

To plant the iris rhizome line a plastic pot (minimum 200mm) with a double sheet of newspaper then fill the bottom two thirds with a fed natural soil.

Each piece planted should have good roots, a length of rhizome and a growing tip.

Place the rhizome so it is near the top of the pot and the growing tip is pointed to the middle of the pot. Then top up with unfed soil to the top.

Keep the pot out of the pond for a week or so watering regularly till you see new growth. Now place your pot into the pond. The depth can be up to 10 cm above the pots rim.

If growing iris in a bog, dam edge or wet garden bed feed well with pelletized poultry manure and blood and bone. Or broadcast the pellets around the plant roots after flowering to build up strength for the following year.

We recommend repotting water iris in pots every year or two for best results. All water iris are best planted in autumn. This is the ideal time to divide and pot iris in pots or divide and feed iris in  bogs, dams or wet garden beds.

Types of water iris –

Winter Foliage (Spring flowering) –

Louisiana iris hybrids
Iris virginica

Winter Deciduous (Summer Flowering) –

Pseudacorus or yellow flag
Iris laevigata
Siberian iris
Japanese iris (Iris ensata syn. Iris kampferi)

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