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Japanese Iris

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

 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 

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.

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

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!

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