by Jesse Khong,
Although I have never considered flowers as the focal points of my garden as they just simply do not thrive due to the lack of sun in my backyard, I somehow managed to have blooms this past spring. This article is a part of a series of weekly posts about some of the flowers that have made their short appearances in my tropical garden.
Iris is a perennial plant growing from rhizome with very showy flowers. Its name means Rainbow in Greek referring to the wide variety blooming colors among the many species.
Grow in well-drained soil. Loosen up soil in garden & add compost if soil is sandy or clay (use potting soil for containers).
Bury rhizomes just below the surface; make sure the top face up. For very hot regions, bury 1” below surface. For best result, plant in July, August or September (September and October for region with hot summer and mild winter).
Drought tolerant for established plants, but will not look good if neglected. Young plants need more moisture to establish their root systems. Deep watering is better than frequent watering (overwatering is a fatal mistake).
Required at least half day of sun. In extremely hot climate, some shade might be needed. For most regions, full sun is ideal. I obtained my bulbs from Costco and gave half of them to my mom. She planted them in a small container in full sun while I planted my bulbs in the ground in a location with 3 hours of sun per day (this is the most sun I have in my yard at ground level). Her Irises have grown to double the size and yielded much larger blooms compared to my skinny and tall plants with small flowers.