March 27, 2017

Plant File: Iris Reticulata

It's time to shine a spotlight on one of my favorite early spring bulbs!
For a dash of blue and violet in the spring landscape, try planting some of these mini irises.

Scientific name: Iris reticulata
Common Names: Reticulated iris, Dwarf Dutch iris
Cold Hardiness: USDA zones 5-9

Size will partially depend on how far south you are in its range, and also your soil type.
Here in Eastern Washington state, in clay soil, mine stay very small--growing just 3-4 inches tall.
In warmer climates, apparently they can get to be double that: 6-8" tall.
Also, in warmer climates, you may have to treat it more like an annual and replant every year.
I guess there are some advantages to cold winters!

Full sun to partial shade.

Blooms in late winter/early spring, so mid-March around here.
These pictures are all from my front flowerbeds right now!

These little beauties are of the "plant it and forget about it" type.
You plant the bulbs in the fall--just a few inches down, as they are quite small--and then sit back and wait for the spring show.

Several sites mention that they are "deer resistant."
Also, one said that they tolerate black walnut proximity.
Good to know.

As time goes on, they will form thick clumps and keep spreading. 
Like other bulbs, they can be divided late summer or early autumn, after the foliage has all died back.

What would I do without spring bulbs? :)

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