Fall Iris Planting

By: Lucinda Miller – Grounds Crew – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

Autumn is an ideal planting time for Wisconsin gardens and landscapes. It is the perfect time to divide perennials, remove any diseased specimens, augment soil, and rearrange our outdoor spaces. The ground is warm, rain is more frequent, and many horticultural specimens are on sale.

Irises are among the many perennials that are ideal to plant in autumn. Iris is a perennial plant with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. The Royal symbol fleur-de-lis is thought to be taken from the shape of the iris flower. 

Here at Bloch’s Farm, we have a wide variety of irises. We have German Bearded iris, German reblooming iris, native Blue Flag wetland iris, and an abundance of Siberian iris stock in various colors. The pots are well cared for with regular feeding and ready to be planted. Some could be divided when setting them into your garden. If you need help with iris division, we would be happy to show you how.

Horticulturally, irises are one of the plants that require division every 3-5 years or so to maintain an abundance of blooms. If your irises seem to be blooming less, they probably need division. Overcrowded irises die out in the center, often causing unnecessary loss of garden specimens.

Iris will thrive in most well-drained garden soils. Planting on a slope or in raised beds helps ensure good drainage. If your soil is heavy, coarse sand or peat humus may be added to improve drainage. Gypsum is an excellent soil conditioner that can improve most clay soils. The ideal pH is 6.8 (slightly acidic), but Iris are tolerant in this regard. To adjust the pH of your soil, lime may be added to acidic soils or sulfur to alkaline soils. It is always best to have your soil analyzed before taking corrective measures. Bloch’s Farm has soil test kits and the products needed to change your soil pH.

Bloch’s Farm is open 8 am to 5 pm Monday – Saturday, and 10 am to 4 pm Sunday. We have fall bulbs and annuals available. Also, check out our huge selection of perennials (including our large selection of irises), trees, and shrubs. Stop in today and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you. Feel free to call 920-294-6000 or e-mail jlamontagne@blochsfarm.com with any questions. Visit our website online at www.blochsfarm.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Join us for this weekend’s sale: October 8th – October 10th: End Of Season Mystery Sale!

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