The plant grows between 2 to 6 feet tall, with a leaf spread of 1 to 2 feet wide. Plants that grow from rhizomes also spread by rhizomes, and irises are no exception. The soil is too hard to dig and divide. Crested irises are often considered in the same manner as the beardless iris. The dark green leaves of your African Iris are evergreen, so will provide some vertical definition to your landscape even when it's not in bloom. Elegant form and showy flowers in almost every shade imaginable make irises (Iris spp.) White African Iris  is one of many common names for the beautiful lily you see in the picture to the right. As iris rhizomes spread, they become crowded. Plants go dormant in summer. The flowers are borne on stiff 2-4' tall stalks waving above the foliage and last one full day. National Gardening Association: Planting Bearded Iris. Irises grow from underground bulbs or fleshy roots called rhizomes and, with proper care, the National Gardening Association says they'll regrow season after season in zones 3 though 8, or even zone 10 in dry climates. When to plant them Since irises are perennials, you can plant or move them practically anytime, so long as you’re careful. Slender leaves look grassy, and the plants prefer dry summer months when many of the cultivars go dormant. Store rhizomes in the refrigerator until you can plant them outside, preferably as soon as possible after dividing. Height/Spread. A cousin to bearded iris, Siberian iris and the rest of the iris flower clan, African iris is a native of South Africa. You might wonder if it’s also necessary to cut back grassy irises such as bicolor (Dietes bicolor) or African (D. vegeta) — plants that also sport the long, slender leaves common to grasses.We’ll look at the taxonomy of these plants, and then get down to brass tacks about whether you … We're passionate about helping home gardeners to get more out of their gardens and enjoy the fruits of their labors -- literally. Irises are a popular perennial plant delivers a beautiful display of flowers. These plants spread freely by underground stems and produce flat flowers in the shades of blue, violet and white. Join now. African iris will bloom best on rich, moist soil but will tolerate moderately dry soil conditions, growing in full sun to partial shade. Flowering begins mid-spring and continues profusely until late summer or even fall. and rhizomes reaching beneath the fence. Elegant form and showy flowers in almost every shade imaginable make irises (Iris spp.) Japanese iris (Iris ensata) have religious and symbolic importance in their native Japan. More properly called the Dietes Iridioies or the Dietes Vegeta White, you may know it as the Cape Iris, Fortnight Lily or just plain Wild Iris. The Japanese iris thrives on moist, rich soils and may be planted with success around ponds. Plant them a minimum of 16 to 18 inches apart (less space for dwarf irises and more for tall bearded iris varieties). When your plants need to be divided, grab yourself a good pair of gardening gloves and start to separate the ‘blades’ (which resemble a fan) and transplant them … There's even a yellow version with 3 purple spots that's affectionately called the Peacock Flower or the Butterfly Lily. They all require a sunny location, particularly the bearded types. While African Irises are not particularly susceptible to various plant diseases, sterilizing pruning shears in a 1-10 bleach/water solution after pruning ensures that diseases will not be transferred from plant to plant. Sku #6160. Blooming repeats on the same plants, usually about two weeks apart. Fight pests effectively and actually win the battles. African iris Bruce Bennett/For the Chronicle. It will, however, do Bulbs increase by division and can be dug up and separated every few years. Bulbous three-sided seed pods quickly form, bending nearly to ground from the weight of the seeds. While some plants, like bamboo, spread rapidly (even invasively) by underground rhizomes, the iris spreads gradually over a few growing seasons. Flower colors are white, blue, violet, yellow, orange, red, purple and lavender. Bearded iris ranges from about 6 inches in the miniatures to more than 3 feet in the large types. 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