Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How to grow Siberian iris? - plant them near a drain

To continue on yesterday's Pittsgrove Farms - Home Edition theme as well as the theme of plants growing in tough places, I thought it appropriate to talk about a winner in my garden that grows in a typically challenging spot. With the rather cool spring we have experienced, New Jersey Siberian iris are just starting to come into full bloom. Of all the iris that are planted at our house, none has done better than the Snow Queen Siberian iris.

The flower is a vibrant pure white. White standards with wide flaring falls are highlighted at the center with bright sunflower yellow. When planting Siberian iris it is vitally important that the roots do not dry out when they are first getting established in the garden. Though they don't like to be planted in standing water, they will flourish around the edge of ponds or at the edge of a stream. Once iris establish themselves they can grow well in a dry area. Greg at The Midnight Garden shows some beautiful examples of Snow Queen Siberian iris (we think) flourishing in a dryer area.

Considering their thirst for water, it is no wonder why, the Siberian iris planted near my gutter drain have done so well. The gutter and iris have a symbiotic relationship - the white gutter drain pipe waters the iris, the iris grows beautifully and hides the unsightly drain pipe. Who said it isn't good to have your mind in the gutter?

Unlike bearded varieties where the rhizome should be exposed, the crown of the Siberian iris should be planted about an inch deep. They should be mulched especially when first planted to maintain moisture; in winter they should recieve a slightly heavier layer in an effort to protect newer plants. More tips on planting Siberian iris and other types are available here.

Happy Gardening!

1 comment:

Greg said...

Those Snow Queens (we believe) at work *are* planted on the lower part of a hillside, though, so I imagine they do get the benefit of rain run-off. And they're well mulched, too!

Sure are prolific, though--I've divided sections of them over the years and they never take look filling in a new spot!