by High Country Gardens
The big news about Bearded Iris has been the development of reblooming Bearded Iris varieties. Now gardeners can enjoy a late spring splash of color and look forward to a second flush of flowers in early to mid-fall.
Just be sure to 'deadhead' the faded flower spikes promptly so the plants will have time to form new flowers later. Reblooming Iris are heavy feeders and benefit from a light topdressing of compost and Yum Yum Mix applied just after "deadheading" the plants. Scratch in the compost/Yum Yum Mix lightly and water thoroughly to melt the nutrients into the soil.
Reblooming Bearded Iris Varieties
'Pure as Gold' - the stunning color of this award winning golden yellow Iris comes two times per season. Reported to be one of the most reliably reblooming varieties, 'Pure as Gold' is a medium-tall plant (30 - 33 in.) with large, ruffled flowers.
'Immortality' - big, pure white flowers with yellow whiskers on the falls make this reblooming Iris a garden standout. Fragrant flowers are held on medium tall (26 - 28 in.) flower spikes.
'Final Episode' - a reblooming bi-colored variety, the flowers have light yellow standard petals sitting on top of violet-shading-to-blue falls. A robust grower, 'Final Episode' is tall, blooming at a height of 34 -35 in.
'Ziggy' - this reblooming variety has yellow (with a touch of tan) standard petals held over streaked white and purple falls. Lightly fragrant, 'Ziggy' blooms at a height of 28-29 in.
'Ragtop' - a beautiful bi-color variety with white standard petals on top of deep blue falls, the orange-red "beard" stands out like a beacon. A tall rebloomer, 'Ragtop' has 36 in. tall flower spikes.
'Stellar Lights' - the flowers of this stunning blue-purple reblooming variety are marked with eye-catching white whiskers as the center of the fall petals. 'Stellar Lights' is a tall Iris blooming at a height of 35 - 36" inches.
Other Iris Varieties To Include In Your Garden
Iris reticulata (Miniature Specie Iris).
These are bulb-type Iris planted in the fall of the year. They are miniatures, blooming at a height of 4 to 6 inches in early to mid-spring. When happy in their garden beds (areas with well drained, sandy to clay-loam soils), they are good naturalizing bulbs, gently increasing their numbers with each passing year.
I always recommend them as Crocus companions as both of these cold hardy bulbs bloom at the same time and provide gorgeous complementary colors. For folks with buffalo grass and blue grama grass lawns, Iris reticulata and Crocus are outstanding when planted into the native grass to give your yard an early blast of color in the dormant lawn.
Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris)
Native to Europe and central Asia, these vigorous, moisture-loving Iris have long been a favorite of North American gardeners. Blooming in late spring, the plants form dense clumps of thin leaves and grow best in moist (but not flooded) soil conditions and are often used around ponds, alongside ditches and other low, moist areas of the landscape.
Planted as rhizomes during the non-winter months, position them in full to partial sun. These are long-lived, very cold hardy plants that best used in cooler, moister climates and are not recommended for the Southwestern US.
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