dutch iris bulb purchase/planting 2009 - Knowledgebase Question

Kentwood, Mi
Avatar for mfstandish
Question by mfstandish
April 14, 2010
Last year (5/09/09) I purchased the dutch iris miss saigon package of 25 iris bulb and planted as directed. I divided the bulbs in five groups of five bulbs each. The yield was a few grass like blade that grew to about five inches in height. Not great, so I said lets see what happens next year. I am getting again a few spindle like blades. Please advise. Bad bulbs or what?

Answer from NGA
April 14, 2010
It does sound like they are struggling. Is it possible you planted them too deeply? If they are too deep the bulbs will run out of energy before the leaves can completely emerge from the soil. It can take several years of growing foliage to give the bulb enough strength to break through the top of the soil. Dutch iris need to be planted in a sunny site and the bulbs should be only about 3" below the soil surface. I'd dig them out after the foliage dies down, amend the soil with compost to a depth of about 6" (spread 2-3 inches of compost over the planting bed and dig it in to a depth of 6"). Then plant the bulbs so they are about 3" below the soil surface and water them in well. I think you'll see a big improvement next year.

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