All Irises for sale on this site are bare rooted rhizomes, freshly dug, year-round and guaranteed to be true to colour and form, given the right growing conditions.
Climate: Our irises are grown in a climate of extreme weather conditions in a mountainous region just south of Canberra. Hard, hot summers, long periods without rain, dry winters with temperatures to -8°C, occasional snow and drought. We are fortunate in having lots of sunshine throughout the year and very little humidity. The established plants are watered sparingly. During the last seven years of drought we have not watered our irises at all and they have performed beautifully and prospered nicely.
Soil: Bearded Irises require full sun, very good drainage and soil which will allow a free root run. The soil is acidic and gravelly, with a clay base to which lime is added before planting, and then annually thereafter. Applications of gypsum are made as required. On planting we ensure that the soil is well limed and we usually add slow release fertiliser for each plant. Animal manure can be used but it should be placed well below the rhizome to avoid rhizome rot.
Establishing: The plants should be spaced at least 50cm apart. It is best to lift and divide established clumps every 3-5 years, depending on their increase. Once re-planted, we keep the soil around the newly planted rhizomes damp for the first 2-3 weeks. By then they will have settled in, commenced root development and the previously clipped central leaves will start to lengthen. If conditions are very windy, place something heavy across the rhizome to keep the plant stable in the soil, as the one sure way to kill off newly planted iris is repeated dislodgment in the soil before roots are established. During their first summer we water the plants occasionally after they have commenced growth as this promotes root system development as well as rhizome increase. Older established plants are not watered after January.
Maintenance: During summer and through to late winter any dried off leaves are pulled away and rhizomes are exposed to the sun. The plants are given a generous lime application and fertilised with rose food around mid winter. We do not clip green leaves from established clumps as we believe this depresses bloom for the next season.
Zoning: Please note: Tijara Irises cannot be shipped to Western Australia due to Quarantine restrictions, and we do not supply to customers residing in the Northern Territory as they will not flower without a good frost. Generally speaking you will have success in plant hardiness zones 1-3, with variable results in zone 4 dependent on frosts:
Glossary of Colour Descriptors:
Planting & Growing Tips:
Full sun is best. Good bloom can be obtained with half-day afternoon sun.
Areas with some cold winter and some frosts are required to initiate flowers. High summer rainfall and humidity can also cause problems with rot and rust spotting.
Cutting of Foliage
We recommend removing spent foliage only for established plants and cutting when re- planting. Good house keeping is very important and dead foliage should always be pulled off and disposed of as it occurs.
Depth of Planting
Cover rhizomes to 1 to 2cm. Some rhizome should be constantly exposed to the sun to stimulate next year's bloom.
Plant your rhizomes 50 to 60cm apart.
On planting in summer, we recommend an application of a long term, slow release fertiliser, or old animal manure used well below the rhizomes. After bloom and in late winter we give plants an application of rose food. They also receive an application of dolomite in summer, and clay-breaker as required.
Ensure rhizomes are stable in the soil when they are first planted. Roots can be very short so please secure the rhizome until the middle fan has lengthened by about 2 ½cm. By then the roots have also developed and spread.
We usually re-plant every 3 to 4 years. Light sandy soils will necessitate replanting every 1 to 2 years. Observation of plants for overcrowding is essential.
Irises are fairly accommodating - Soil must be well drained, allow unrestricted root run and have sufficient nutrients to support plant growth and performance. Ideal PH is 5.5 to 7.5.
New plants are watered well on planting and about once a week until growth is established. Do not over water. Established plants are watered about every 2 weeks after bloom until early January to establish the next season's blooms. If you are lucky nature will do it for you. After that they are rarely watered for the Summer and Autumn months. They are not watered during winter or when we are in drought. We do mulch between but not over the plants to assist moisture retention in the soil.
When to Plant
The best time to plant is from immediately after flowering until the end of March. Reasonable bloom can also be achieved from May plantings. Late May to early June plantings can reduce bloom performance significantly or result in no bloom for that year. Later than mid-June plantings will not bloom until the following year.