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General Information

Plant Care Instructions By Julie Bawden-Davis

The most widely grown group of irises. The plants get their name from the fact that they feature thick, bushy beards on the lower petals of the blossoms. The often fragrant flowers themselves come in white, purple, yellow or blue, with many bi-color selections. The plant blooms March through June.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones : 10a, 10b
Web Link - For more information

Plant Care Instruction

  • Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • October
    • November
    • December
    January
    1. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    2. Water

    In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.
    3. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for aphids when weather is mild.
    4. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.
    February
    1. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    2. Water

    In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.
    3. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for aphids when weather is mild.
    4. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.
    March
    1. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    2. Water

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.
    3. Prune

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.
    4. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for aphids and whiteflies.
    5. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.
    April
    1. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    2. Water

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.
    3. Prune

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.
    4. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for aphids and whiteflies.
    5. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.
    May
    1. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    2. Water

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.
    3. Prune

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.
    4. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for aphids and whiteflies.
    5. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.
    June
    1. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    2. Water

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.
    3. Prune

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.
    4. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for aphids and whiteflies.
    5. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.
    July
    1. Buy

    Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.
    2. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    3. Water

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.
    4. Prune

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.
    5. Transplant

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    August
    1. Buy

    Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.
    2. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    3. Water

    Cut back on watering six weeks after plants finishing blooming. Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.
    4. Transplant

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    September
    1. Buy

    Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.
    2. Plant

    Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    3. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    4. Water

    Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.
    5. Transplant

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    October
    1. Buy

    Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.
    2. Plant

    Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    3. Fertilize

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.
    4. Water

    Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.
    5. Transplant

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    November
    1. Plant

    Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    2. Water

    In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.
    3. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for aphids when weather is mild.
    4. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.
    5. Transplant

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    December
    1. Plant

    Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
    2. Water

    In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.
    3. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for aphids when weather is mild.
    4. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.
    5. Transplant

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.
  • Buy

    When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

    July

    Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

    August

    Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

    September

    Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

    October

    Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

    Plant

    When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

    July

    Plant iris in a sunny spot with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in raised beds or opt for containers.

    August

    Plant iris in a sunny spot with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in raised beds or opt for containers.

    September

    Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    October

    Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    November

    Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    December

    Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    Fertilize

    When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

    January

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    February

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    March

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    April

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    May

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    June

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    July

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    August

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    September

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    October

    Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    Water

    Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

    January

    In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

    February

    In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

    March

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    April

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    May

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    June

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    July

    Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    August

    Cut back on watering six weeks after plants finishing blooming. Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

    September

    Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

    October

    Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

    November

    In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

    December

    In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

    Prune

    When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

    March

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    April

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    May

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    June

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    July

    Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    Pest/Disease Inspection

    What are the common problems this plant will face and when should you look for them to appear?

    January

    Check for aphids when weather is mild.

    February

    Check for aphids when weather is mild.

    March

    Check for aphids and whiteflies.

    April

    Check for aphids and whiteflies.

    May

    Check for aphids and whiteflies.

    June

    Check for aphids and whiteflies.

    November

    Check for aphids when weather is mild.

    December

    Check for aphids when weather is mild.

    Treat for Pest/Disease

    How do you treat the common problems for this plant? What products or concoctions or natural means do you use? Any special requirements?

    January

    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

    February

    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

    March

    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

    April

    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

    May

    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

    June

    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

    November

    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

    December

    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

    Transplant

    When's the best time to dig up and transplant this from one spot to another? (This is different than planting). Any special requirements?

    July

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    August

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    September

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    October

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    November

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    December

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    Propagate

    When's a good time to divide, take cuttings, layer or propagate this plant. Any special requirements?

    September

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and allow the cut sections heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting.

    October

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and allow the cut sections heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting.

    November

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and allow the cut sections heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting.

    December

    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and allow the cut sections heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting.

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