Many flowers wither by the second half of July. But it is at this time that the Japanese iris blooms. The flower, which appeared several millennia ago, is distinguished by bizarre forms that ensured widespread distribution of the plant. There are more than 1000 varieties of Japanese iris, differing in appearance, flowering time, place of growth and care requirements.
Description and appearance of Japanese irises
This type of iris grows not only in Japan, but also far beyond the borders of the Land of the Rising Sun. The plant got this name due to the fact that it has been cultivated here for over 500 years. However, wild varieties of the plant are found in the Russian Far East. Iris has Chinese roots, since it was in the Heavens that the plant began to be cultivated. Later, the Japanese adopted the culture of growing a flower from their neighbors.
Despite the wide variety of varieties, all Japanese irises have one distinguishing feature: a large, irregularly shaped flower.
Regardless of the type, each plant has the following characteristics:
- superficial root system;
- stems are short or branched;
- leaves are xiphoid and 25-60 centimeters long, grouped along the stem;
- the diameter of the flowers is 15-25 centimeters;
- flowers are single or collected in inflorescences;
- rare varieties of iris exude a smell;
- fades within 3-5 days;
- grows with sufficient watering and on the sunny side;
- tolerates diseases well and badly - frosts.
The flowers of the Japanese iris are two-tiered: the first form the perianth lobes ("waterfalls"), the second - the inner petals ("dome"). At the base is a tube that looks like an orchid. Japanese iris is distinguished by a variety of colors, ranging from light to dark (up to black) shades.
Variety of types of Japanese irises
There are more than one thousand types of Japanese iris. There are varieties that only grow in water. Others are attracted to areas with occasional rainfall. There are varieties up to one meter in length.
The Good Omen variety has the following characteristics:
- the leaves are lilac-purple;
- stem length - 80-120 centimeters;
- tolerates the effects of bacteria.
The plant has poor frost resistance, therefore, requires shelter for the winter.
Queens Tiara reaches 90 centimeters in height. The petals of this flower are lilac-white and reach 15 centimeters in diameter. Unlike other varieties of Japanese iris, Queens Tiara tolerates frost well.
Nessa no Mai
The iris of this variety grows in height by 70-80 centimeters. The flowers of the plant are distinguished by a variety of shades: the central part is white, and there are purple and yellow spots on the petals. The plant does not require abundant watering and dies in waterlogged (marshy) areas. The variety Nessa no Mai does not tolerate frost well; therefore, the iris must be covered before the onset of cold weather.
The average height of the stems of the Freckled Geisha iris is 85 centimeters. The leaves are white, which is "diluted" with lilac spots. Freckled Geisha irises grow in light, acid-free loamy soils. The plant dies in waterlogged soil and frost.
The variety belongs to the dwarf variety of the Japanese iris. Kogesho stem length reaches 60-80 centimeters. In this case, the diameter of the flower is 19 centimeters. Kogesho's petals are white with yellow spots, and the central part is pink. The variety grows in sunny and dry areas, hidden from strong winds.
Features of agricultural technology for Japanese irises
Japanese irises rarely get sick. However, this culture makes relatively high demands in terms of care and location. Before planting a plant, it is recommended to decide on a variety suitable for a particular growing region.
Most irises do not tolerate frost well, but emerge from under the soil in March-April. Therefore, when growing in Central Russia, it is worth purchasing high-quality covering material.
Irises do not tolerate contact with potassium, and therefore the plant is not recommended to be planted in limestone soils. A soil with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction is considered optimal for a flower. Also, the plant can be planted in a potting mix consisting of:
- rotted organic matter (leaves, grass);
- phosphorus fertilizer;
When planting, the leaves and root system are shortened. It is recommended to make iris holes at a distance of 30-35 centimeters. When dividing a bush, flowers should be planted deeper than they were previously sitting.
The plant loves rain soil, to keep which gardeners often form bumpers around the garden bed. It should be remembered that iris grows poorly in waterlogged soil. Therefore, when organizing the sides, a drainage for rainwater should be provided.
Irises grow in well-lit areas. When choosing a location, it is recommended to give preference to the sunny side, away from tall trees. The plant is buried no more than 3-7 centimeters. This layer of soil is sufficient for normal nutrition and protection from drying out. For mulching the soil, use pine nut shells, coniferous waste or crushed bark.
After planting, the flowers should be watered abundantly. If Japanese irises are planted on the territory of Central Russia, in the spring it is recommended to cover the plant with plastic wrap by organizing a small greenhouse.
Site requirements for planting Japanese irises
The main requirements for the site were given earlier. When grown outdoors, irises need abundant watering (especially during the flowering period). In this case, it is important not to allow waterlogging of the soil. For irrigation, rainwater should be used, for the collection of which separate containers are installed on the site.
So that moisture lingers next to the flowers for a long time, gardeners make small holes near the bushes.
Before planting, it is recommended to clear the bed of weeds and mix the soil with pre-prepared compost. Irises are allowed to be planted no more than once every 5-7 years.
Division and planting of Japanese iris bushes
Planting and dividing flowers is recommended to be carried out:
- in northern latitudes - in late August or early September;
- in the southern regions - in late September or early October;
- for the south and north - in the second half of May.
When dividing or planting, it is necessary to remove old and dead roots that do not have buds. The plant is dried for several days, and then planted in a prepared area. It is not recommended to keep the flowers in the cold for a long time after purchase. The roots that do not receive moisture dry up, and the irises die.
If necessary, the plant is first planted in a container and kept until mid-May at a temperature of 15-18 degrees.
On the site, irises are recommended to be placed at a distance of 30 centimeters. When forming beds, you can plant the plants more densely relative to each other. Rhizomes and leaves are shortened by 2/3. During the initial planting, the flower deepens by 3-5 centimeters, when dividing - by 5-7 centimeters.
When placing a plant on a site, the soil is first mulched with peat (necessary to maintain moisture) and coniferous waste, and then watered abundantly.
Fertilizing Japanese irises
Fertilizer for Japanese irises is applied twice or thrice a year during the growing season. For the first time, the flower is fed after planting. For this, mineral fertilizers or a weak solution of cow dung are used (mixed with water in a ratio of 1:10). During the growth period, the plant is recommended to mulch regularly. This contributes to an even and abundant supply of oxygen, due to which young roots develop.
In summer, Japanese irises are sprayed with iron chelate or a weak manganese solution. This procedure is carried out in order to prevent early yellowing of the leaves.
Pests and diseases of Japanese irises
Japanese irises rarely get sick. However, the plant is prone to rot in waterlogged soils. Therefore, before planting a flower, it is recommended to organize a drainage layer by adding sand or fine expanded clay to the soil. This will prevent acidification and waterlogging of the soil.
Irises are susceptible to thrips. If there are signs of infestation by these insects, the flowers should be treated with insecticides. In autumn, the affected leaves and petals must be cut off and burned. This prevents re-infestation of new plants the next year, as insect eggs are destroyed.
Preparing Japanese irises for winter
Irises begin to prepare for winter in mid-October. To do this, the plant is pruned by 15 centimeters. If non-frost-resistant varieties are grown on the site, then the flowers are then covered with a 15-centimeter layer of mulch or spruce branches. The following option is considered the optimal solution for wintering: the plant is covered with dry leaves, and the top is covered with plastic wrap stretched over wire arcs.
After the onset of spring, it is recommended to stir the mulch periodically, thereby opening access to oxygen. You can completely release the flowers from the shelter in mid-May.
Growing Japanese irises in a container
Japanese irises, due to the peculiarities of growth (rhizomes do not diverge in breadth), are suitable for growing in containers. This planting method is used when the plant is placed in water bodies. It is allowed to lower flowers into water by 5-8 centimeters.
It should be planted in reservoirs with the onset of summer. Irises are removed from the water in August, when the temperature of the air (and water) begins to drop at night. After that, the container must be dug in the greenhouse and left until next year, following the previously described preparations for winter preparation.
When growing Japanese irises in a container, it is necessary to regularly add and mulch the soil. This is due to the fact that the plant is pulled upwards, thereby forming a bump around the trunk. When grown in containers, it is recommended to divide and replant flowers more often. Otherwise, over time, the irises will not have enough space for the development of the root system, which will lead to the death of the culture.
Fight against diseases and pests of Japanese irises
Common diseases affecting Japanese irises include:
- Bacteriosis There is no specific treatment for this disease. Leaves affected by bacteriosis are removed and burned. If necessary, flowers are removed from the flower bed along with the roots.
- Wet rot. To prevent infection, the roots are kept for half an hour before planting in a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
- Fusarium (gray rot). In order to prevent infection and in treatment, a 5% solution of bicarbonate of soda or copper sulfate is used.
- Heterosporiasis. To prevent infection, it is necessary to dosed the introduction of phosphorus fertilizers. In the treatment of heterosporiasis, fungicides are used.
- Botrytis. In the treatment of the disease, fungicides of the triazole class are used.
- Sheet mosaic. The affected leaves must be removed, and the plant must be sprayed with a 0.2% solution of copper oxychloride.
If thrips are found, the flowers should be treated with a mixture obtained from 90 grams of karbofos emulsion and 10 liters of water. The plant is sprayed once a week. To combat the bronze beetle, use the Kinmix solution.