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Iris help

loliloli Posts: 61
I can’t seem to get irises to bloom
in my garden. I have both Dutch and Siberian. They once bloomed and since then every year they grow the leaves and stems but don’t bloom. I’ve been told they need sun on their crown to bloom. The area they are planted in gets full sun for most of the day. It’s never too dry. So I’ve bought some more bulbs (Dutch) some have sprouted in the packet. Should I leave these sprouts poking out of the soil or cover them over and not bury the bulb too deep? It’s so frustrating as I’ve been able to rectify any garden errors since buying my house bar this. I have about 50 bulbs so if it’s a success it’ll look lovely but I’m afraid I’ll be left with lots of straggly Iris leaves and no blooms instead. I’ve been googling planting tips and am more confused than ever 😂


  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,690
    The bulb/corm needs to be above ground, not just the leaves. You need to plant them as if they are just laying on the soil, hardly in it. All planting around them must not cover them or block the light getting to the bulb. All leaves should be left on the plants until spring then cut back, unless they droop over the bulb, then they are best cut off. All dead leaves or anything else needs to be removed so the bulbs are clearly seen, this is how they get baked in summer and produce flowers the next year. Hopefully this will give you the promised flowers.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,737
    edited March 2019
    I think there’s a confusion here between Dutch and Siberian Irises which grow from bulbs and are what the OP is asking about, and Bearded Irises which grow from rhizomes which like to be horizontal at the surface of the soil and to be baked in the summer sun, and which arevwhat I think @purplerallim is referring to. 

    I grow Siberian irises in a bed which gets sun for about half the day in the summer.  

    They’ve been established in the bed for about seven years , have been split and replanted a fed years ago .., they still flower well each year ... I feed the bed with Fish, Blood & Bone each spring, and they probably get the benefit of the generous dollops of clematis feed I give to the climbers behind them. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • loliloli Posts: 61
    Thank you so much. You’ve explained it so clearly. Off I go planting in the hope that the sun does eventually shine here in Ireland! 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,690
    Thanks for clearing that up @Dovefromabove🙂
  • loliloli Posts: 61
    So @Dovefromabove when planting my bulbs I don’t plant them with the tip of the bulb over the soil. At this stage with the amount I’ve tried to grow, I’m tempted to buy some cut flowers and stick them in vases in the garden. It frustrates me more when google tips say they’re ‘easy to grow’!!😂 
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,982
    Easy to grow always depends on soil and climate

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,203
    Dutch irises are different from Siberian ones too.They're the ones the florists use,and they don't tend to keep flowering each year- a bit like the little reticula types. The diminish over time. They need a sunny well drained site.
    Siberian ones need moisture,and they dont need lots of sun either. Good for pondsides.

    Bearded irises are as Dove describes. They need sun on the rhizomes to encourage flowering each year.

    Most bulbs should have around twice the amount of soil over them as the depth of the bulb, so if the bulb is 1 inch in depth, it should be buried at about 3 inches deep - ie, 2 inches of soil over the top of it.  If they have some growth showing, just cover that.  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • loliloli Posts: 61
    Thank you everyone. I’ve been able to grow everything else I wanted so I guess I’ll just decide to admire irises in other people’s gardens if this lot fail
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