This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

March 16, 2015

Iris in bloom in Phoenix, Arizona

Irises (irii?) do great in the Phoenix, Arizona area. I've had them here in Glendale (a suburb of Phoenix) for many, many years. There are, of course, a few tricks to getting them to look their best, and this is what I know so far:

• Plant them in full sun. Like all blooming plants, they need sunlight to bloom. This does, however, tend to make them dry out here in the desert, so another trick is to...

• Plant them at the bottom of a slope. Iris are practically water plants, you can't overwater them. The area where this clump is blooming this morning is an area that collects water, both from the hill behind it, and slightly from the gentle slope in front of it. So give them a lot of water, as much as you want. In fact, this area started getting depressed last year from standing water, so I put some flagstone there. Which lead to another trick..

• Plant them where you have access. These plants are right on the edge of the garden where I can attend to them with ease. The blooms don't last, so they need to be cleaned just about right away or the plant will get ratty. And if you do this, another great thing happens...

• Plant them where people can walk up to them. Everybody loves to walk up to flowers. If your flowers are planted way back in the garden, don't blame people for stomping through your flower beds to go look at them. Put them out front and center, and give people a place to stand.

So there you go. This year I've put all of those things together, and I am very pleased.
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