GROW SIBERIAN IRIS -- Iris sibirica
Where ever I’ve lived, I’ve always tried to grow Siberian Irises, even if I knew that I would eventually have to leave them behind when I moved. For me, their charming beauty is a reminder of my grandmother and all the niche gardening societies she and her friends belonged to — one of which, was The Society for Siberian Irises.
Back in the 1960s when this society was first formed, as it is also still today, this society (a part of the American Iris Society) was all for people who love, grown, and want to know more about this particular Iris variety. In thinking about them today, I think it worthy of mention that very often these plant societies include:
- Plant scientists
- Commercial growers
However, the main membership is really about ordinary people who really enjoy and care about the development of superior garden plants. These days they are global gardening societies. Membership costs are very minimal, but the benefits of finding people with the same keen interest in a certain plant are immeasurable — not the least of which, is the friendships that can be found in such places.
Now, The Society for Siberian Irises, publishes twice a year a host of articles revolving around the:
- Genetic Research
- Insect pests
- Plant exploration
- Cultural Practices
- Recent Introductions
- Old World Varieties
- These articles for the
For Siberian Iris lovers these publications are both interesting, informative, colorful, and chock full of photographs. One way in a complicated world to get back to basics and remove and temporarily refresh yourself from this world’s troubles, is to throw yourself into something that matters to you, no matter how insignificant it might seem. If you love Siberian Irises, then by all means, become an expert on them, not for anyone else, but for yourself.
In case you are not familiar with the Siberian Iris, since most gardeners only know about the Bearded Irises that are ever so popular, with good reason — the Siberian Iris, they originally were found in nature in Central Europe and Asia, in and around meadows.
Thirteen Facts About The Siberian Iris
- They like most types of soil as long as the drainage is good.
- They are not water loving, so are somewhat drought resistant compared to other Iris varieties.
- They do best in full sun.
- Some parts of the plant are poisonous if digested.
- They are herbaceous and have smooth textured leaves.
- Their soil pH needs are between 6.1 to 7.8.
- The best time to plant them is in September.
- They can be grown both from seed and propagation.
- With the Siberian Iris, if you desire to grow from seed, simply let the pods dry on the plant, then break open to collect the seeds.
- Propagation method can be from dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs
- They get moody about being moved, so take care when dividing them, and divide them in mid-sized clumps rather than individually.
- When transplanting, do not allow the roots to become dried out.
- Never use lime on Siberian Irises
A good collection of the both older and new varieties can be made up of the following:
Across the Wide Missouri — lovely blue
Believe In Angels — angelic white
Caesars Brother — handsome deep purple, tall and startling
Dance Party — Purple on the outside, light lavender to white in the center
Dreaming of You — delicate and delightful lemony yellow
Eric The Red — wine color, closest approach to red
Gatineau — fine light blue of medium height
Helen Astor — bright mauve pink
How Audacious — purple with yellow
Mountain Lake — very blue in effect
My Bubba - Striking blues in contrast with each other, a real show-plant
Snow crest — pure, snowy white; makes a dramatic contrast when planted near Caesar’s Brother.
Tycoon - plum purple, the largest of all the Siberians
If You’d Like To Know More About Growing Siberian Irises