Japanese Iris

| 2/1/2012 10:52:57 PM

Tags: Japanese Iris, flower photography, hooligans, whooping cranes, Mary Carton,

 Crystal Halo Japanese iris 

  If you have a soggy area around your place that you don’t know what to do with, have I got a plant for you?  Japanese iris (Iris ensata) has the largest flowers of all iris, anywhere from four to eight inches across.  They have lovely large flat either single, double and peony-type forms, in various colors and patterns. Singles have three falls (the lower flower petals of iris), doubles have six and peony-type has nine or more.  Bloom time is from late June to July about a month after the tall bearded and Siberian iris 

   Edens Charm Japanese Iris 

Japanese iris leaves are taller and thinner than bearded iris leaves and similar to Siberian iris.  A good way to distinguish Japanese iris is by the rib that runs lengthwise down the leaves.  

  Fortune Jap iris 

They require full sun, a rich, acidic soil and ample water.  They prefer a rich soil containing organic matter, which helps in water retention as well as adding nutrients. Japanese iris are heavy feeders.  Use an azalea-type fertilizer in the spring, just after bloom. I like to use cotton seed meal.  You can get a 50 pound bag at the Co-op and use left over’s on your blueberries and azaleas. Keep the pH between 5.0 and 6.5. Do not use lime as it raises the pH and will kill the plants eventually. Use a with a biweekly application of a water soluble acid fertilizer such as Miracid on the leaves and around weak plants. Japanese are generally vigorous growers and a spacing of three or four feet between plants is needed.  Two to three inches of mulch will help hold in water and reduce weeds.  Two to three year old clumps usually have the best blooms.  They grow in zones 4 through 9.

     Gracieuse Japanese iris 

mary carton
2/7/2012 12:27:46 AM

PS. One of my gardening blog posts was about my dogs first experience with a large snow storm. There must have been something the the wording of big snow and hooligans that attracted some folks looking for a dirty site. They were disappointed.

mary carton
2/7/2012 12:24:17 AM

Thanks Cindy, the blooms don't last long, but are a sight to see. Taking all of them is low down. That's why I won't let anyone help themselves, besides the hooligans won't let anyone in the yard if I'm not there and that includes friends. Thanks for commenting. Mary

cindy murphy
2/6/2012 1:13:35 PM

Hey, Mary. I did it again - posted a comment that ended up awaiting moderation, then never showed up (this one I think because it contained mention of a willow with fuzzy catkins in spring that has a kitty-cat sounding name). Anyway...I had one of those willows in a small garden by our creek along with Japanese iris. The willow eventually took over, the garden needed revamping, and a friend took me up on my offer to take as many iris as he wanted as long as he did the digging to divide them. I came home from work one day to find his partner just didn't divide them - he'd taken them all! No matter - the garden was really too small for both the willow and the Japanese iris, but it did make a pretty springtime display. I kind of miss it, and may have to plant some Japanese iris somewhere else....which would involve digging a whole new garden. Sigh. Your flower photos are gorgeous as usual, and hope you have a grand time at your art showing!

mary carton
2/4/2012 2:50:34 AM

Thanks Dave, that area just below the hill would be a good place with the water running down on them. They don't need to stand in water, but you don't want them in a drought. It’s been wet, warm here. The daffodils, star magnolias are blooming. The fruit trees are budding out. We are due for colder weather later and will probably loose our fruit again this year. There is a refuge up in Tennessee which has a large # of the sandhills. At Wheeler, there were 2 or 300 at least. I thought it neat that the two whooping cranes were in the middle of them. When something startled the sandhills, they went right & the two whoopers went left. Operation Migration was trying to take a new group to learn the migration route down to FL and got stuck in FAA red tape and then bad weather. Now the cranes have lost the imprint of the guy dressed in a crane outfit on and refuse to follow the ultralight. Since they are closer to Wheeler than FL, they will be taken and released there. If you are that close, you need to take time & go see the Sandhills. Yeah the hooligans are having a great time. Levi is shedding big time and keeps insisting on rubbing all his hair off on my good clothes when I come home.

mary carton
2/4/2012 2:38:23 AM

Thanks Lori. Thanks for stopping in for a chat. they should do well there.

lori dunn
2/3/2012 5:33:35 PM

Mary, I just LOVE the beautiful colors of those irises! I have mostly dry areas around the house, but we do have a crick that runs along the bottom edge of our property. I've always thought I'd like to make a nice strolling path by it "someday"! If I ever do, I will have to keep these irises in mind!

nebraska dave
2/3/2012 1:17:38 AM

Mary, those are some gorgeous iris. I'm not sure I would have a place that's wet enough for them to grow. I do wish I did though. We are supposed to get rain and snow here but it's been really dry with no snow this winter. The weather cycle continues to be unseasonably warm. Sounds like the hooligans are still having a good time as always. We have the Sandhill cranes that migrate through Nebraska which is a must see attraction for Nebraskans. They rest a few days in the marshes of a state park about 30 miles away from my house. I have to wonder why I've never gone there to see the magnificent view and hear the thunderous sound of thousands of honking cranes. I guess it's really quite spectacular to see them take to flight when they leave. Have a great Iris/Hooligan day.

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