Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love Irises? Try Rebloomers

Reblooming irises aren't new. In fact, they've been around for nearly 50 years, but these beauties were largely ignored by gardeners until they were featured in a glossy lifestyle magazine.

These irises bloom in spring and then again in late summer or early fall. Some re-bloom in both summer and fall. They are available in a wide variety of colors -- pink, blue, deep purple/blue, deep yellow. There are bicolors, ruffled falls, standard sizes, and dwarfs. Something for just about every gardener.

To grow reblooming irises in our climate zone, it's important to purchase them from a local grower. Rebloomers grown for warm growing conditions may not perform satisfactorily in cooler growing conditions.

Regular care and maintenance are also important. Plant them in a sunny location in well-drained soil that has a pH of about 6.5. These irises should be divided regularly, every three years is ideal. Watering once a week during hot, dry summers helps ensure lush blooms later in the season. Unlike irises that only bloom in spring, these beauties continue growing until they finish blooming.

Which ones to choose for your home garden? There're lots of choices.Rosalie Figge is a very reliable, tall, deep purple rebloomer. Clarence has large ruffled flowers with white standards and light blue falls. It's also fragrant.

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