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Louisiana Iris

italian-affair-resizedLouisiana iris are water loving plants which originally came from the swamps of Louisiana in the US. They can be grown successfully in standing water, in damp or boggy areas such as along the edges of dams or as ordinary garden perennials as long as they are given plenty of water.

They are spectacular in warm, humid coastal areas such as along the NSW, Queensland, NT and WA coastlines. They also do well in all but the extremely cold parts of the southern states. The Taylor irises from Rainbow Ridge are known world-wide and John enjoys the reputation of being one of the world’s leading hybridisers.

Louisiana iris should be planted in a well-prepared and heavily composted soil. The soil should be moist but not sodden to quickly establish roots. It may be best to establish plants in pots before planting around dams or emersing in ponds. Once established, they will grow and increase very quickly. They can be grown in full sun or partial shade and need an acid soil. Alkaline soils can be improved by the addition of sulphur. Once Louisiana Iris are established they should be heavily mulched. Any well rotted animal manure or compost is excellent.

Rhizomes should be planted about 5cm below the soil surface and about 1m apart as they are vigorous growers and the rhizomes will spread among neighboring plants. Depending on vigour they can be replanted every 3-4 years but, if left undisturbed in the ground, they need to be fed heavily with animal manure and chemical fertilizers. They normally flower towards the middle and end of the tall bearded season.