Growing Iris cristata (Dwarf Crested Iris)

Latin Name Pronunciation: eye'riss 

An easily grown, native ground cover for rock gardens and woodlands. Spikes of flowers in blue or violet shades with yellow crests and purple-spotted, white centers appear in spring above the fans of bright green, 6in foliage. White forms of Dwarf Crested Iris are also seen, and selections with large flowers have been developed.

Light/Watering: Partial shade or shade; in full sun, requires constantly moist soil. Needs regular moisture. Water thoroughly after planting and give a new plant a good soaking once a week during summer when rainfall is less than 1in per week.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Moderately rich, well-drained soil, amended with sand or leaf mold. Crested Iris tolerates low fertility, and clumps lose their density when over-fertilized. We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. We fertilize perennials just once -- in early spring -- with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 10-10-10 or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care: Divide after flowering with a sharp spade or, preferably, by pulling apart the tangled rhizomes.

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