Planting Louisiana Iris

When you receive your rhizomes, soak them in water overnight before planting. Keep the tops of the rhizomes one inch below soil level. Use a general fertilizer such as 10-20-10. After planting keep them moist, not allowing the rhizomes to dry out. In warmer climes these tough Iris can be planted at just about any time, assuming you provide adequate water and protection from the hot sun. In colder regions of North America they should be planted early enough in the autumn so the roots can get established before the onset of cold weather.

Like most Iris, Louisianas need sunlight in order to prosper. They bloom best with six to eight hours of sunlight per day. In hot climates, and in the desert southwest, afternoon shade would be good. If you have a low area in your garden where water stands for long periods, you probably have a good place to grow Louisiana irises—assuming you have adequate sunlight.

Louisiana Iris tolerate a wide range of soil types and acidity levels. The old belief that these irises preferred a highly acidic soil has been disproved. The best advice is to avoid both pH extremes.

Louisiana Iris evolved in the lowlands of the southern Mississippi delta, and thus they tolerate heavy clay soils. Indeed, clay soils retain moisture over a long period, which Louisianas love. These Iris will also grow well in a soil with high organic matter content, as long as it is moist; they suffer considerably when growing in sandy soils unless copious amounts of organic matter are added.

Louisiana Iris grow quite well in beds that have been lined with plastic. Such beds should be at least six inches deep.

~Culture information adapted from The Society for Louisiana Irises