Please see some help and advice on caring for your plants below. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me and i will be happy to help answer your query
Care of Your Irises
Bearded Irises –
All prefer a sunny, well-drained position. They prefer neutral to alkaline, humus-rich soil, with added grit to improve drainage. A general slow release fertiliser can also be added at planting time (after flowering). The rhizomes require a summer baking, and so approximately 2/3 of the rhizome should be planted above soil level. This also prevents the rhizome from rotting in wet or waterlogged soil. In established plants a low nitrogen fertiliser or sulphate of potash can be applied in spring. When planting new plants, trim leaves to prevent wind-rock. On established plants trim leaves back in early autumn and when the leaves die back remove completely. Apply a general purpose fertiliser in Autumn. When flowering finishes cut the remaining stems back to their bases. Every 2-3 years lift the rhizomes, disgard the old rhizomes, separate the new and replant.
Iris Siberica –
Thrives best in a sunny position. Give these irises a humus-rich neutral soil and water regularly for a reliably rewarding show of blooms. Established plants can withstand drought well and in fact dislike being waterlogged. In autumn mulch around the base of the plant and in spring add some slow release low nitrogen fertiliser. Divisions can be made every 2-3 years and should have 3-4 rhizomes each, planted 5cm deep, in soil as mentioned above and watered well.
Iris Ensata (Japanese/Kaempferi)–
Given a sunny position, regular watering and acid soil plants will produce beautiful blooms. Ensatas can be planted at the edge of a natural pond or in a peaty bog, but not in permanent water. Enrich soil with composted manure. Divide every 2-3 years and replant in correct conditions.
Iris Louisiana –
These irises need full sun and preferably humus-rich acid soil. The rhizomes need to be planted just below the soil surface, in well-fed soil and kept extremely well watered. Feed with a fertilizer suitable for acid soil. They can be kept in water permanently, the iris should be planted no deeper than 15cm of water, ensuring that enough foliage and rhizome will be warmed by the sun. This is a vigorous plant and will need to be divided in autumn every 2-3 years.
Pacific Coast Irises –
Neutral to acid, humus-rich, well-drained soil. (Exception–Iris Douglasiana prefers alkaline soil). Water well in summer and mulch in winter.
Iris Bulleyana and Chrysograpes –
As for Iris Siberica but grow in a neutral to acid soil and water very well in growing season.
Iris Colchesterensis (Laevigata)–
As for Iris Ensata but can be grown submerged in15cm of water.
Iris pseudacorus ‘Clotted Cream’ (Laevigata)–
Will grow in almost any soil and situation, but will do best in a boggy, wet soil
Iris Japonica (Crested) –
Neutral- acid, rich well-drained soil, in shade or semi-shade.
Iris Spuria and Ochroleuca (Spuria species) –
Almost any soil, but preferably moist and planted deeply.
Iris Unguicularis (Winter flowering)–
Neutral to alkaline well-drained soil, full sun, preferably planted with a wall at it’s back.
Dierama prefer full sun, but will grow well in semi-shade. They should be planted deep in the soil with plenty of moisture in summer and good drainage in winter, preferably in neutral to acid soil. A sheltered position from harsh wind will give best flowering results. Mulch the base in Autumn and in Spring feed with a general purpose feed such as fish, blood and bonemeal. Dieramas will grow most successfully when planted out in the ground. All dieramas will give a beautiful display of swaying stems, loaded with pendulous blooms, enough to almost hypnotise you as you sit relaxing in your garden.
OUTDOOR HARDY ORCHIDS
Bletilla and Pleione –
Plant in well-drained humus-rich soil, just covering the pseudobulb. Give the pseudobulb a shady or semi-shaded, sheltered position and wait for the most beautiful and rewarding flowers to surprise your gardening friends.
Not officially a member of the Orchidadeae family, in fact belonging to the Zingiberaceae family. However, the resemblance and the needs of the Roscoea are so close to the orchid family that I will include it in this section. Plant tubers no less than 15cm deep in humus-rich, well drained, preferably neutral to acid soil. The succession of orchid-shaped blooms over a long period is wonderful to watch.
All will require a humus-rich soil, slow release fertiliser and added grit for drainage. Water well in summer and feed with a general purpose fertilizer in spring.
Care of Other Herbaceous Perennials
Although there are many differing needs for the plants in this listing, a general guideline for their care is as follows – Humus-rich, well drained , neutral soil, full sun to part-shade and regular watering.
For more specific plant needs, please e-mail me and I will be very happy to reply to your query.