A much under rated group of bulbs are the reticulata iris group. They are a true bulb, low growing and ideal for planting in containers or rock gardens. The flowers appear on bare stems very early in spring, they do have a fragrance and are a colourful and attractive addition to the garden.
Grow in groups of 8 - 10 in the garden or fill a container, flowers are held high on green stems around 12 cm tall and colors, a very mixed group that range dramatically from the soft blues of Iris reticulata histriodes 'Katherine Hodgkin' to the deep blues of 'Harmony'.
Planting Iris Reticulata
Bulbs are best planted fairly deep 2 - 3 times their own height, and grow well in full sun to part shade, in warmer climates protection from the hot afternoon sun is recommended. Good drainage and a humus rich soil is essential for best results.
Fertilize with a liquid seaweed fertiliser as soon as they show signs of life late in winter. An all purpose bulb fertiliser after the flowers are spent and top dress with well rotted compost or mulch in summer when foliage has died down
Propagation is best by division and this can be done in summer when bulbs are dormant. MostIris reticulata 'enthusiasts' tend to grow these in containers and cover the surface with a grit both for appearances and to stop the snails and slugs. This practice also prevents the petals being marked by mud.
Best time to buy and plant Summer to spring.
Iris Reticulata Care
Maintaining Iris reticulatea is fairly easy, for simple care we suggest dividing every second year, simply tip out the container, clean the bulbs and replant in a new potting mix.
Clumps in the garden can be treated in a similar way, lift, divide and replant in a new position. The lazy gardener may find that if they leave these wonderful bulbs in the same position for a number of years them the vigour will soon disappear, but laziness is not what gardening is all about.
Botanical Name : Iris reticulata
Includes histriodes and danfordiae
- Care : Easy
- Position : Full sun to part shade
- Soil : Well drained, humus rich
- Height : 12 - 15 cm
- Propagation - Division in late summer
- Cultivars - "Harmony", "Lady Beatrix Stanley", "Katharine Hodgkin", "Sheila Ann Germaney", "Alida", "Clairette", "Cantab", "Natasha" , "JS Dijt", "Purple Gem" and others
Iris Plants and Bulbs for the garden include:
- Bearded rhizomatous iris (germanica irises)
li>Siberian Iris iris sibirica
- Dutch Iris
- Iris chrysographes
- Beardless rhizomatous irises
- Bulbous irises
- "Junos" Bulbous irises
- Iris Reticulata
- Japanese Iris (ensata iris)
Iris are a diverse genus or plants and with well over 300 different Iris species requirements for growing different iris species vary. Consult your local nursery or mail order supplier for specific instructions.