Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Caring For Bare Root Irises


As you may have read, I have been on an Iris Shopping Spree this Spring.  I dream of lovely blooms in all different colors….. sigh…… but it takes a bit of work to get there!


First step for me is the plant tags…. they can be so easy to get mixed up!


It is so much fun to get plants in the mail… but this is what they look like…..not quite garden ready…. but they will do great!


I, of course, want to get them off to a good start as soon as possible.


Not all my irises come dried, some are freshly dug.   I treat them both the same.   I soak them for a bit in a good compost fertilizer bath.



Compost tea some would call it…. I love this stuff.


This is the brand I am using, as you can see I got it marked down!  Really great stuff, I use it on my houseplants too.  Works better than any I have ever tried.


Then I add paper towel to each pot while they are soaking.


Then add a bit of soil…. a loose mix that drains well.  Mine is half from last years planters, and half a starting mix. 



Then I add my irises…. don’t they look great?  The roots are softer since I soaked them for about an hour.


Did the same thing to the dried irises.


Then I cover them with a bit of paper towel to help hold in moisture…. but not too much moisture. I will only water with a spray bottle with a very low dose of fertilizer water in it.  I don’t want them too wet.


Isn’t that a beautiful sight!  All of these are reblooming irises…. how cool is that@!


They are then placed by my patio door…. southern exposure for a few weeks.  When it warms up a bit they will go to my garage….then under the deck…. in hopes to be put out when I start my new beds this spring.  I will be doing the walk out basement/under the deck beds this year….   I cannot wait.

Feb 23

Incase you are wondering how irises do indoors….let me show you this before and after….. this photo is from Feb 23rd….. two weeks ago.


And here they are today…. more than doubled in size.

I have a page just for my irises…. check here for pictures and names.

It is still pretty cool, only barely 40 here.  I have been doing a little clean up, but not too much outdoors.  I am going to Indy for a garden show Friday…. Can’t wait!

I’ll take lots of pictures!

Before I go I thought you’d like to see an updated pic of Riley.

Picture 133

He is doing really well and settling in…. he is still going with me every time I’m out…lol.  He stays in my purse and people think he is not real till he moves!

Happy Gardening…..Brooke


  1. Amazing post....this has been so helpful and super-intersting! Excellent!Irises are one of my faves..they are the heart of the garden!

  2. Hi Brooke ~~ The iris painting...OMGosh it is stunning. Are you a painter too? I look forward to seeing your garden show photos and these irises next summer. They're looking great already.

  3. Lol... I so wish I could paint. It is from the web, not me. I keep looking at the little starts thinking... how much I will enjoy them and how I can divide them to give to friends. Irises are excellent pass along plants. :)

  4. Hi Brooke. Oh, your painting is beautiful.I loved irises but hated they only bloomed once so the re-blooming ones really caught my eye too. You are planting some beauties and the ones in your pot have really grown.

    I planted two new ones last fall and can hardly wait to see them bloom this year.
    I will have to remember that brand fertilizer. LOL!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers!