As many of the blooming irises come to their end at the arboretum, I want to share with you a little bit about these unique plants and how I’ve interacted with them over the last few weeks. The Iowa Arboretum has been home to over 400 varieties of irises for the past 3 years. Breeders from around the world were able to send their plant varieties to Iowa to be planted, evaluated, judged and enjoyed. Even though I was only around for their last few weeks of their stay at the arboretum, I was able to help get them groomed for the International Iris Convention that took place on May 26th. The convention drew in 300 people from all over the country, which meant I had a lot of socializing to do. It was quite clear they loved irises and loved talking about them, so it made for a fun day.
A few of the things I learned while caring for these irises include:
- They get suuuuuuper heavy when it rains. We had to stake over 100 of them to keep them standing due to the enormous amounts of rain we had in May.
- Irises like it nice and sunny. So 6-8 hours of sunlight will make them as happy as can be.
- They absolutely hate mulch, so keep that junk away.
- The plant’s rhizome needs to stay close to the top of the soil or it gets crushed and can’t breathe.
- IRISES ARE FLIPPING COOL AND NOW I’M SLIGHTLY OBSESSED.
Now I wouldn’t call myself an expert by any means, but I can say that I have gained plenty of iris knowledge between working with the plans directly and talking with guests at the convention. Now I can’t wait for our day lilies to bloom. (INTERNALLY SCREAMING)