An iris is a flower that is usually blue, purple, white and/or yellow in colour. The ornamental bloom is native to Eurasia and North America. The name ‘Iris’ originated from Ancient Greek Mythology. The goddess who personified the rainbow was named Iris. The legend says that irises were planted over the graves of women. By doing this, Iris was summoned to help guide said women on their journey to heaven. The Egyptians adopted this legend in their own way; Irises have commonly been depicted in Egyptian palaces. With a history like that, it’s easy to see why the iris is still a bloom of stature in the 21st century!
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Among other things, the Iris is the birth flower of February, the national flower of France and is the 25th wedding anniversary flower. Some of the most common meanings of the flower include royalty, faith, wisdom, hope, and valour. So, the iris is beyond a doubt a popular flower choice for nearly every occasion.
Now that you know more about the history and symbolism of the iris, let’s get down to the core of the blog post – iris care. Despite its fairly ‘divine’ origins, the flower is fairly hardy, reliable and easy to grow. There are over 300 variations of the species iris although the most common iris is the bearded iris. An iris is made up of 3 large, outside petals and 3 smaller, inside petals. The outside petals are known as ‘falls’ and the inside petals are known as ‘standards’. A bearded iris is so named because they have soft hairs along the centre of the falls. Below are our top 6 tips for iris care:
- Plant them in a sunny spot, in late summer. The plant needs to be planted in well-drained soil and so, it must get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.
- Prepare their beds. Low-nitrogen fertilizer is recommended. The soil also needs to register at a pH level slightly less than 7 (neutral). A granular fertilizer should be used twice a year – in early spring.
- Air to breath. A beared-iris needs good air circulation. Plant them about 40-45 cm apart from one another.
- No mulch! Mulching retains soil moisture. This is the last thing you want for your iris plant. The good news is that the iris is therefore also drought-resistant!
- Don’t trim iris leaves. Don’t trim iris leaves after they have finished blooming. Leaves carry on photosynthesis for next year’s growth. You can, however, cut off the brown edges of the leaves.
- Transplant. After 2-5 years clumps might become congested and stop blooming. Divide and transplant the rhizomes in fresh soil. The best time to replant irises is straight after bloom.
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NetFlorist boasts a variety of cut and planted iris flower gifts. The irises have been arranged in vases, ceramic pots, baskets, moss baskets or more. Stunning combination bouquets and flower arrangements can also be found on the site. The blue and yellow iris has been paired with tulips of different colours, yellow roses, lilies, latifolia and more! Visit netflorist.co.za and place your order today. NetFlorist will also complete your Mother’s Day flower delivery. You know, just in case the special occasion has managed to slip your mind…
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