Iris Germanica: [Planting, Care, Irrigation, Substrate and Pests]

Important points when planting Iris Germanica

  • When? Its multiplication must begin once the flowering period is over, that is, at the end of spring and the beginning of autumn.
  • Where? It is a noble and resistant plant that can grow anywhere. Gardens, streams and even slopes suit him very well. He loves natural light.
  • How do we prepare the land? Fertile and well-drained soils, with abundant organic matter. It prefers calcareous ones, more it adapts to anyone.
  • How do we sow? By rhizomes with good buds that are planted in fertile soil so that healthy stems come out. And also for bulbs.
  • How do we pay? A good compost added in the fall will be very beneficial.
  • When do they bloom? During all the spring and until the summer they give many flowers.
  • Ideal temperature? It lasts a long time in hot climates and adapts even to arid environmental conditions. Tolerates cold and frost too.
  • How do we water? Once a week, in spring and winter, it is necessary to water moderately. And twice in summer, without exaggerating, because its roots rot.
  • Diseases and pests? It can be attacked by aphids and Thrips. It succumbs to diseases caused by fungi: Fusarium, gray mold or brotitis.

What is the Germanic Iris? Characteristic

The Germanic Iris or Blue Lily is a highly resistant herbaceous plant that belongs to the Iridaceae family.

It is a typical species of central Europe. It is also known by the names of common lily, purple lily, purple lily, blue lily or Easter lily.

The most common variety is the Iris germanica, very resistant, so much so that it supports sandy soils. Other famous species are the Japanese Iris, with a spectacular bluish-purple color, and the Siberian Iris, with a smaller size and violet – blue flowers. Its flowers have different colors, such as yellow, red, white, blue or purple.

It is not very demanding in terms of care, but they are so generous that they can be grown in flower beds, although they naturally prefer rock gardens or borders, where splendid bouquets of flowers can be seen.

Most, if not all, species thrive in the temperate regions of the Earth’s northern hemisphere. They can grow at different altitudes, on cool but weedy slopes, or on riverbanks and even in deserts in Europe, the Middle East and untamed North Africa.

It does not demand a very special land. Make do with fertile, well-drained, pH – neutral soils. We can also consider it as an ornamental plant.

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It is a rhizomatous plant belonging to the Iridaceae family, with more than 300 species, hybrids and cultivars, according to the Wikipedia virtual encyclopedia.

Iris is the most common way to name it, to refer to all existing species and other genera that are related.

They are also called Lily. They are perennial herbaceous plants, because they have creeping rhizomes that are always active.

Among the most important characteristics we have that its flower stems are long and very erect, elegant.

However, they can also be simple or branched. They are also usually hollow or flattened and with cross sections. Its size can range from 10 cm to 1.20 m, in the case of the largest.

Its leaves are stacked between 3 to 10 in the shape of a sword, grouping them towards the basal zone of the plant. Bulbous species have cylindrical basal leaves. They bear inflorescences that take on the shape of a fan and reveal flowers with about six lobes, even when they grow on top of a peduncle.

They are usually adorned with veins or dots and in the center of the lamella a kind of beard or tuft of vertical hairs is formed that expands in the middle line.

Precisely its flowers are abundant, with a particularly striking color gradation. There are purple, yellow, red, white and variegated flowers. And it emits a very pleasant smell. They are sometimes confused with orchids.

When can we plant it?

It should be done in late spring and early fall.

How do we water the Germanic Iris or Blue Lily?

Without exception, the irrigation of all its varieties must be moderate, because this plant has powerful rhizomes that capture water to fix nutrients and survive negative conditions.

Characteristics of the German Iris

It is ideal to be grown outdoors, requires very little care and produces beautiful flowers in shades ranging from white, purple and cobalt, although blue is usually the most predominant.

The base of the stem is composed of floral peduncles that can house between 3 or 4 flowers made up of three sepals and three large, very showy petals. And linear lanceolate leaves arranged in a length of about 40 centimeters long and 4 wide that come out of the bulbs.

It is also a monocotyledonous plant, similar to ginger, because it grows as if it were a herb with rhizomes, which are nothing more than underground stems with a maximum erect growth of about 50 centimeters.

In other words, it has a short stature and leafy stems that develop underground bulbs that store water and many nutrients, which gives the plant such independence that it survives in arid conditions.

It is related to asparagus and its distant cousin, orchids.

It has medicinal properties. It is an excellent expectorant, cleanses the respiratory tract, fights stomach upsets, has diuretic properties and is also used in aromatherapy, as well as in formulas applicable in creams or ointments of great commercial reputation.

Where should we plant a Germanic Iris?

It really likes outdoor places, such as gardens and parks, where it grows quite quickly. In fact, it can live almost anywhere, such as urban gardens, water gardens, streams, ponds, and even slopes and flower beds.

Why? Its rhizomes help it a lot, full of nutrients and capable of capturing water very well to feed itself.

The rhizomes produce buds and these give way to stems. It does not thrive indoors, because it needs full sunlight, more than 6 hours a day.

When should it be cultivated?

Its cultivation is recommended in late spring and early fall, when the response to vegetative propagation by bulbs is quite good.

Its flowering period also begins in spring and can last until late summer, with 3 to 6 flowers per section, in colors ranging from blue to purple or bluish-violet.

How do we prepare the land?

It does not have greater demands in terms of soil. It can easily thrive with just fertile, organic-rich, well-drained soil. Maintaining constant humidity is necessary.

Gardening experts recommend the application of rooting phytohormones when propagation is carried out, where a fertile, well-oxygenated and well-drained soil is also key to healthy plant growth.

Another relevant fact is that pot plantations must be carried out every two years, on a universal substrate, in order to get the most out of bulbs and rhizomes.

How to plant a Germanic Iris step by step?

If we wish to propagate the Iris germanica, there are two simple methods to do it. Let’s see.

by rhizomes

  1. The cultivation by rhizomes is achieved, first, by cutting a portion of it in a plant that enjoys good health. It should have buds that give way to new stems.
  2. They have to be buried in fertile soil with good drainage and constant humidity.
  3. When the plant grows, new rhizomes sprout that will expand, as they also generate new stems that will share the roots.

by bulbs

Another curious fact about the way this unique herbaceous plant propagates is the production of bulbils that sprout at the base of the stems, which separate so that new sister plants are produced.

It is another effective method of propagation that requires a fertile soil of constant good hydration.

Seed cultivation is not highly recommended, because it does not usually generate satisfactory results. Unfortunately, it usually takes a long time or simply does not produce results. yes

e has therefore been restricted to the field of research, in order to learn more about the behavior of this showy and resistant species.

What care does the Germanic Iris need?

It is considered an invasive plant, because it spreads very easily and can grow without problem on rocky terrain and extreme conditions with a lot of drought.

However, it is appropriate to comply with a series of simple requirements if we want to have many Blue Lilies in the garden.

A good flowering will largely depend on the following conditions:

  1. Although it develops without problems in semi-shaded places, it is preferable to have it under the sun’s rays all the time. It is your best motivator.
  2. It adapts to any soil, but in optimal conditions those with good drainage are the best for any variety of Iris germanica. Generous organic matter will help it a lot in the flowering period, so this additive must be taken into account if we are going to grow it in a pot.
  3. Watering should be moderate because this plant has powerful rhizomes that store the vital liquid. That is why it withstands periods of drought with enough dignity and efficiency.
  4. Another advantage of great value is that it does not need to be stimulated with manures or fertilizers periodically. She stands on her own perfectly. It is enough that the land has a lot of organic matter for the plant to develop widely. Or worm castings .
  5. What is recommended is the systematic execution of pruning that eliminates stems, leaves and dead flowers to cooperate with the health of the plant.

What soil needs does the iris plant have?

As a good plant, it can be used as an ornamental, always being kept alive in houses and in botanical gardens, even though it should be noted that, as with most spring-flowering bulbs, they enter a dormant phase in the hottest season.

There are not a few varieties grown in the United States, where up to 10,000 specimens are kept in the Iris Presby Memorial Gardens in New Jersey. Or in Europe, where they are on display at the Giardino dell’Iris, in Florence, Italy.

Depending on their classification, whether they are bulb or rhizome varieties, growing conditions also vary depending on factors such as genetic diversity and geographic region. But in general, Irises normally grow in gardens with common garden soils, which are always, yes, very well drained.

It has a long life, which can last between 4 to 20 years, as long as a good special organic fertilizer for bulbous plants is lavished on it after each flowering. And, of course, special attention must be paid to humidity levels, always avoiding water saturation.

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How to make the iris plant grow strong and vigorous?

They do not support living in places with stagnant humidity. That’s fatal to garden lilies and bulbs. The rhizomes end up rotting inexorably.

However, it is also true that there is a variety that loves to reproduce in the swamps, between Japan and Siberia they are successfully distributed.

In the case of rhizomatous varieties, that is, they have bare roots, they should be planted quickly in the summer months, as soon as they are purchased.

In the case of the so-called cup lilies, they should be planted between spring and until the end of autumn.

The most important thing is to lavish it with ample space, so that it fully develops and flourishes well.

It is convenient, for example, to plant in a large garden around 7 plants per square meter, in the case of common varieties and about 15 plants in the case of dwarf varieties, in the same area of ​​one meter. The land is previously prepared with a plow about 20cm deep, to which a decomposed fertilizer will be added.

But if the soil is rather heavy, then a mountain or pile of soil must be made on which the rhizome will be very gently glued, gently placing it on top. This rhizome is more of a stem and in a short time it will grow roots.

All the rhizomes are planted in staggered rows, as long as it is a monochromatic type plantation. If it is planted in a bowl or hole then it will most likely rot. Then it must be watered generously.

The ideal date? Plant them in early fall and bulb varieties in spring.

In this case, planting should be done in well-drained soil, where there is sun and at a depth that is usually twice the bulb that will be planted, at a distance of about 10 cm if it is several specimens. This is very important for them to run smoothly.

The soil must always be clean of weeds, weeds. Both these bushes and the grass can retain excessive moisture that rots the rhizomes and even calls slugs, always ready to attack.

What humidity does the plant iris need?

Excessive irrigation causes unbearable high humidity for these species, which always require particular maintenance even when they are not so demanding.

The soil can never be waterlogged, this has very bad consequences for the health of the plants. It is convenient to water it every 5 or 7 days, always paying close attention to the prevailing humidity in the soil.

The more the plant grows, the less frequent are the irrigations in winter seasons, because the humidity increases.

Is it necessary to prune the iris plant?

It is necessary to remove all the dry leaves, to prevent the plant from losing vigor. Likewise, dried flowers should be removed very carefully. If allowed to affect seed production.

A fertilizer rich in potassium sulfate is essential for the health of Irises. Especially important to apply it in the growth period, that is, in the spring and after flowering.

But this type of fertilizer does not apply in the case of rhizome varieties. When the summer heat hits, the soil cannot be dry, it must be watered at least every three weeks.

How often should we prune the iris plant?

Only when leaves, flowers and stems dry should you prune the plant. No more no less.

What pests and diseases does it have?

On occasion, Iris germanica succumbs to diseases brought on when faced with high temperatures or extreme humidity conditions.

Among the pests that attack it are:

Thrips or Frankiniella occidentalis

Tiny insects with powerful mouthparts that like young leaves. They produce reddish spots and affect the base of the bulb, which ends up affecting the entire plant.

Aphids or Aphis gossypii

It is a very annoying plague that sucks the nectar from the buds of the Iris germanica, managing to ruin it, because it withers.

Biological control processes (such as natural fungicides) must be applied for its elimination and anti-aphid traps.

The most common diseases are: Fusarium, gray mold or Botrytis and Roya, all of which are deadly if they are not combated in time by eliminating the parts of the plant that have been attacked.

How to avoid pests and diseases of the iris plant?

In general terms, it is considered a fairly resistant plant, which is usually in good health, but it is necessary to insist on something fundamental: we must never allow the soil to become waterlogged or too wet. Your worst enemy may appear: rot.

Likewise, they are usually safe victims of a disease called Heterosporosis, especially fierce in gardens plagued by Lilies or Iris. It is a very resistant fungus that is evidenced by the appearance of rounded points that later become oval and that settle on the foliage of the plant.

The consequence is that the leaves wither, dry up and die, seriously affecting the rhizomes. The fungus can also spread through flower buds and buds. It lives during the winter among the diseased leaves and develops fully in the spring.

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It also emits a characteristic, unconcealed smell of rot. To combat it, all the dead leaves infected with the fungus must be collected and burned, never used in compost.

Preventive measures such as planting the rhizomes in well-drained soils, free of decomposed organic matter and using disinfected work instruments, especially if the rhizome of the plant is going to be handled.

Another evil they suffer from are attacks by slugs and snails. To keep them under control we can act with the help of a frame or wall of wood ash, in order to literally keep them at bay.

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