How To Grow And Care For Reblooming Bearded Irises

Bearded Irises were one of my father’s favorite flowers. He marveled at their beauty and my brothers have benefitted from his yearly shopping as he shared his rhizomes with them. Bearded irises are a stunning addition to any garden. They come in a variety of colors and heights, and they have a unique beauty that captivates gardeners everywhere.

The bearded iris is especially prized for its elegant form and majestic appearance. With their distinctive beard-like "hairs" on the lower petals, they add a unique touch of texture that cannot be found in any other flower. They come in a variety of colors including white, yellow, purple, blue, and pink. Not only do these blooms bring beauty to any landscape or garden but they have strong symbolism as well. The bearded iris symbolizes faithfulness and hope which makes them even more endearing!

Reblooming bearded iris, also known as I. germanica, is a species of iris that produces two or more flowering cycles in one season. This reblooming variety typically blooms in early spring and again in mid-summer or fall. This type of iris is often planted in public gardens across the United States and Europe. Reblooming bearded irises are a great choice for gardeners who want to enjoy multiple blooms in the same season without needing to replant every year.

Planting Reblooming Bearded Irises

Planting these irises are easy and here are some simple tips, you can use to ensure that your plants will thrive and bloom year after year.  Bearded iris rhizomes are best planted in late summer to early fall when the temperatures do not drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the evening.  This allows the roots to get established before they bloom in the spring.

The most important tip is to pick the right spot for planting the reblooming iris. They need a location with well-drained soil and plenty of sun exposure. In addition, it is important to add organic matter to the soil prior to planting as this will help aerate the soil and improve its nutrient content. When planting, make sure to cover the roots of the rhizome and leave the rhizome on the soil surface. If you bury the rhizome too deeply, they will not bloom. Lastly, water your plants regularly in order for them to thrive and enjoy beautiful blooms for years to come.

Care Of Reblooming Bearded Irises

Depending on the climate where you live, this may mean watering weekly or more often during periods of hot and dry weather. The key is to make sure that the soil stays consistently moist without becoming waterlogged. For reblooming bearded irises, supplemental irrigation may be needed during extended periods of drought. Additionally, mulching can help conserve moisture and reduce weeds. Be sure not to cover the rhizomes with too much mulch or the necessary sunlight and warmth will not get to the plant and its blooms will be stunted or non-existent. Additionally, depending on the soil type, some plants may need more frequent or less frequent watering than others.

The best way to fertilize reblooming bearded irises is to use an organic fertilizer that is a low-nitrogen fertilizer and follow the package directions. This fertilizer can be applied lightly in the spring when growth starts and again in September. Make sure you do not allow the fertilizer to remain on exposed rhizomes, this can burn the plant.  In warmer climates, you can feed your plants four times yearly.

Pruning reblooming bearded irises helps to promote more flowers and keep disease at bay. In addition, it helps keep the plant from becoming overgrown and unruly. It also encourages the plant to produce larger blooms with better color. Pruning reblooming bearded irises involves removing old foliage and spent flower stalks as well as dividing the plants every few years.

You know it is time to split the rhizomes when blooming begins to decrease. Simply dig up the rhizome and get a sharp knife.  Cut the rhizome with a plant shoot and replant. You will likely have more than you need, so consider sharing with your friends and neighbors.

Let us know if you have any additional tips to care for your reblooming bearded irises.

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