There are places in the world where you can dig a hole, put the plant in, and that's it. In fact, I was in one of those places last week - Southern California. I helped a friend dig up and subdivide some iris, which do incredibly well there. And naturally, as they had multiplied, they were getting overcrowded, which was reducing the bloom, so while I came to the rescue, I was also able to get some choice bulbs (actually they're called rhizomes) to bring back here to the desert.
The first thing that I did here was to provide a water line. Iris love water! In the photo you can see how I am beginning the process of "excavating" the native soil. I love Arizona, but the soil is really only good for native plants, who have the ability to send their roots through that "concrete". I start by soaking the area, then physically removing the clay soil (I put it in a pot and set it aside). Then I break up what I can (watch out for your lower back!) and fill with potting soil.
I like to say that my plants aren't really planted in Arizona, they're planted in holes in Arizona filled with potting soil!
|Bearded iris blooming in the desert|
By the way, the best iris to get is the bearded iris, also called Siberian. It's the one with the purple blooms. And, uh, it's OK to use the word iris for plural and singular. If someone uses the term "iri", just back away slowly.