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Bearded Iris planting instructions

📅  When to plant your Bearded Iris bulbs:

The best time to plant Bearded Iris bulbs is in July or August. Planting during this period allows the bulbs to establish a strong root system before the winter dormancy sets in. This timing also ensures that the bulbs are well-prepared for the upcoming growing season, maximizing their chances of producing stunning blooms in the spring. 

📦 Storing your Bearded Iris bulbs until planting:

What to do with your Bearded Iris bulbs in the meantime when it is not time to plant them yet?

  • Start them off in a one-gallon pot, and cover them with dry compost. Or you can wrap them in a newspaper. 
  • Keep the bulbs in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a garage or basement. 
  • Make sure the temperature is between 35-45°F (2-7°C) to prevent premature sprouting or rot.
  • Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, or moisture, as this can cause premature sprouting or rotting

🌿 Preparing your garden for planting:

  • Choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil. 
  • Bearded Irises prefer at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve drainage and fertility.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of 10-12 inches (25-30 cm), removing any weeds or debris.

🌱 How to plant your Bearded Iris bulbs:

  • Dig a shallow hole about 4 inches (10 cm) deep and 6 inches (15 cm) wide.
  • Create a small mound in the center of the hole and place the bulb on top, spreading its roots over the mound.
  • Cover the bulb with soil, leaving the top third of the bulb exposed.
  • Space the bulbs 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart to allow for ample growth.

💧 Watering & care:

Water your Bearded Iris bulbs thoroughly after planting and during their initial growth period.

Once established, Bearded Irises are drought-tolerant and require only occasional watering, especially during dry spells. A good thumb rule is to water the plant deeply when the top 2 inches of soil are dry (just feel this with your finger). 

🌸 How to keep your Bearded Irises blooming?

  • Fertilize with a balanced, low-nitrogen fertilizer in early spring and again after blooming.
  • Deadhead spent blooms and cut back foliage to about 6 inches (15 cm) above ground level in the fall.
  • Keep the area around the plants weed-free and avoid heavy mulching, as this can cause rot.

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