Louisiana Iris Growing Water Irises
Planting Louisiana Iris in a Pond or Garden Soil
Louisiana Iris need to be soaked in water prior to planting, this can be done overnight and planted the following day, while this is happening you can dig a plot up to a foot deep and line it with plastic in the form of Australian supermarket plastic shopping bags do a great job primarily this is to help the water to stay around and not leach out quickly. You need to choose a spot where Louisiana’s will receive half day sun, not close to tree roots where they have to compete with other plants, you can then put some of the soil back in the hole this can be clay soil as clay soils retain moister and Louisiana irises love it especially when they are grown in dams or you can simply use your own soil mixed with lots of organic matter in the form of rotted manure. My Louisiana’s are very well established growing on the edge of dams, a foot under water and loving it, my koi carp feed and fertilise Louisiana Iris.
Do not add lime as Louisiana iris will not tolerate lime, you can plant your Louisiana rhizomes but it is important that the tops of the rhizome are kept one inch below the soil level. Adequate water and the proper protection of the rhizomes from the hot sun in the form of mulch are needed for the Louisiana Iris plant to bloom well and have an excellent growth rate.
Louisiana Iris will grow from Tasmania to the tropical areas of Queensland Australia.
Louisiana pond plants flower about the same time as daylilies and tall bearded Iris. They bloom in the spring and early summer and make great companion plants with daylilies. They can be bought from nurseries like daylilies most times of the year. Water Irises should be planted at least 3 feet apart originally when first planted, this will give them 6 feet to spread as they are fast growing each variety will need this space. However, they will need thinning out every 3 or 4 years and amending the new soil adding in old rotted organic matter as the original old soil will be stale and worn out. Aside from this, they multiply fast and you have to keep tabs on them so they do not run in with other cultivars and become mixed up. You can plant your Louisiana’s in pots and put them in shallow water or submerge them into a foot of water or so that the water is over the top of the pot but you have to make sure that the pot is weighed down by adding heavy stones in the bottom of the pot otherwise the pot will float away. Water Iris tends not to bloom well if less than an inch of water per week is given when they are planted in the ground they need a good amount of water and kept damp when possible especially in the growing season.
Fertilisation of Louisiana Iris
Louisiana’s water Iris are heavy feeders and acid loving plants, they are best fed a light dressing of a complete Acid Fertiliser best known as Azalea and Camellia fertilisers and not alkaline fertiliser such as Rose Fertilisers so the soil does not get too alkaline. This can be done in April and August prior to flowering and in November as well. In the event of the presence of higher nitrogen concentration fertilisers, the plant Louisiana Iris tends to produce leafy growth and prevent flowering while being susceptible to diseases. In such situations, complete fertilisers low in nitrogen are preferred. Never spread wood ash around these acid loving plants either it will turn the leaves yellow.
Dividing and Transplanting of Louisiana Iris
The execution of transplanting process of Louisiana Iris immediately after blooming November to March is recommended by the experts in Australia, however, if the idea is to divide and replant the existing beds, the best solution is to dig out all the plants and reworking the existing beds by adding organic materials. The replanting has to be executed immediately after the previous step and you should make sure the fact that the plants do not dry out by providing an adequate amount of water to the plants until the Louisiana Iris plants are well established. Due to the fact that each rhizome blooms only once and dies and then the offsets bloom in the next year, a good growth, as well as offset formation, are necessary for each and every season to experience the blooming process at a consistent rate. Water Iris differ from other plants as their foliage dies back and the new growth cycle begins in autumn leading up to Louisiana iris bloom time in the early summer October and November in Australia.
Louisiana Iris care
Watering – Although Louisiana Iris has the ability to tolerate dry conditions for short periods, the cultivator should not forget the fact that the rhizomes need to be kept moist especially if they are grown in garden soil. The Louisiana Iris are water Irises and need lots of water for excellent results for growing and flowering, so they should be given a good soaking once a week during dry periods, with out this the plant can go into dormancy, so keep the water up. For these plants a soil test 6.5 or less for the Louisiana’s to do well, sulphur may be added to reduce the pH.
Mulching – Louisiana Iris does respond really well to the process of being mulched. Mulching does the task of protecting rhizomes from the dreaded sunscald and also from extreme temperatures. In addition to that, it gives you the advantage of restricting weeds and at the same time rotting down to increase the organic matter in the soil 3 or 4 inches of mulch is sufficient. Do not mulch with mushroom compost as it is alkaline in nature.
Pests and Diseases
Iris Rust – Louisiana Irises can get rust it is described as red to dark brown spots, usually surrounded by a yellow margin this can be also on the stems and or on the leaves, sometimes the leaves are severely discoloured that bad that the leaves die back, and go brown but never go black. To limit the spread of rust spot on Louisiana Iris avoid high nitrogen fertilisers which is said to be the culprit, it is best to cut the affected leaves and dispose of them then the rust life cycle will be disrupted, if you leave the bad rust leaves around you are likely to have rust the following year so if this happens it is best to get rid of the rust leaves to stop the next years outbreak and always watch out for snails and slugs. The frogs love Louisiana Iris and Cannas grown in water, its a great breeding ground and habitat for them.