Southern Blue Flag Iris

Product Code: ivsou

Iris virginica (Southern Blue Flag)
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Details

The Southern Blue Flag Iris will adorn any water feature with beautiful fragrant flowers. These flowers consist of violet blue inner petals along with several hanging petals marked with yellow and white crests. Great for rain gardens and grows naturally along ponds and streams. This perennial plant makes excellent cut flowers. A wonderful plant for adding color to the low, wet spots in your landscape. Deer are not a problem with this plant. Grows in clumps 1-3 ft tall and wide. Hardiness zone 5.

Planting & Care for Iris virginica

Preparation

  • Best grown in wet, boggy, acidic, sandy soils in full sun.
  • Also does surprisingly well in average garden soils that are kept consistently moist, however best performance in the border will generally occur with sandy-humusy, water-retentive soils that are never allowed to dry out.
  • The species is often found in the wild growing in standing water, and this cultivar may be grown in shallow water (up to 6 ").
  • Tolerates light shade, particularly in the southern part of its growing range.
  • Clumps will slowly spread by creeping rhizomes to form colonies in optimum growing conditions.
  • Divide plants when overcrowding occurs.
  • Commonly this plant is used in the landscape near water gardens, along streams or ponds or in low-lying areas that are subject to periodic flooding. May be grown in borders as long as soils are kept uniformly moist.

Opening Plant Material

  • Containers - Completely saturate all container plants by putting in a larger container of water until stops bubbling, then remove. You’re now ready to plant.
  • Scroll down to an orange rectangular box and click on “Handling & Plant Guidelines” for illustration on planting each of these types.

Planting containers

  • Plant in March, May – November.
  • Slide plant from pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With shovel or knife trim bottom 2" off of the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
  • Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.

Pruning - After Planting

  • Containers - Although it is not essential for containers to be pruned after planting, a light pruning for shape, to remove any broken branches from shipping, or to thin out a heavily branched plant will help in the transplanting process and in the appearance of your new planting.

Pruning - Through-out the Season

  • You can prune the foliage, but only after your Virginia iris starts yellow and fade. Otherwise, leave the plants be so they can convert sunlight into energy, which is stored in their rhizomes.

Watering - After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Watering - Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

 

Go to our "Plant Features & Video Tab" for more information & tips on caring and maintaining this plant.

Handling & Planting Guidelines

Special Features & Videos for Iris virginica

Special Plant Features & Tips

  • Best grown in wet, boggy, acidic, sandy soils in full sun.
  • Also does surprisingly well in average garden soils that are kept consistently moist, however best performance in the border will generally occur with sandy-humusy, water-retentive soils that are never allowed to dry out.
  • The species is often found in the wild growing in standing water, and this cultivar may be grown in shallow water (up to 6 ").
  • Tolerates light shade, particularly in the southern part of its growing range.
  • Clumps will slowly spread by creeping rhizomes to form colonies in optimum growing conditions.
  • Divide plants when overcrowding occurs.
  • Commonly this plant is used in the landscape near water gardens, along streams or ponds or in low-lying areas that are subject to periodic flooding. May be grown in borders as long as soils are kept uniformly moist.
  • You can prune the foliage, but only after your Virginia iris starts yellow and fade. Otherwise, leave the plants be so they can convert sunlight into energy, which is stored in their rhizomes.

How to plant containers

 

Pruning Perennials in their Dormancy

ItemApprox Weight (lbs.)Approx Base Dimensions (diameter)Approx Height
#7 Grow Bag** 35-50 14-16" 5-8'
#10 Grow Bag** 55-70 18" 6-8'
#15 Grow Bag** 65-80 22" 6-10'
#20 Grow Bag** 75-100 24" 8-12'
1 1/4" B&B** 250-500 22" for single stems, 28" for multiple stems  8-11'
1 1/2" B&B** 325-600 24" for single stems, 30" for multiple stems  10-12'
2" B&B** 500-700 28" for single stems, 32" for multiple stems 10-14'
2 1/2" B&B** 600-1000 30" for single stems, 36" for multiple stems 10-15'
3" B&B** 850-1000 34"-36"  12-16'
3 1/2" B&B** 1000 36"  12-18'
10' B&B** 250 22"  10'
12' B&B** 325 24"  12'
14' B&B** 500 28" 14'
16' B&B** 600 30"  16'
2' B&B** 50 12-16"  2'
3' B&B** 60-250 16-22"  3'
4' B&B** 250 22-24" 4'
5' B&B** 325 22-24"  5'
6' B&B** 150-325 16-24" 6'
7' B&B** 500-700 28-32"  7'
8' B&B** 600-700 14-30"  8'
9' B&B** 700 32"  9'
#3 container* Less than 35  10" 10" 
#5 container** 40 11" 10.5" 
#7 container** 60 14" 12" 
#10 container** 80 14" 14 
#20 container** 160 19.5" 17" 
Bare Root* varies, but always lighter no soil on roots varies depending on item

*#1 - #3 containers and bare root are the only items that can be shipped FedEx and/or by our delivery trucks (see below for more information regarding pick-up and local delivery. 

**Any items over 100 Ibs., #5 - #20 containers or B&B can only be delivered by our trucks due to FedEx shipping weight and size restrictions. Our trusted trucks only deliver around a 100 miles radius from our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Any item you order can be picked-up at our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin or our new retail garden center Winterland Nursery for free (bare root orders cannot be picked up at Winterland due to lack of bare root coolers). See our estimated delivery schedule here

Growing Zones: 4-8

Bloom Time: May - June
Color: Blue, Green
Plant Size: clumps of 1-3' tall and wide
Flower Color: Purple-Blue
Sunlight: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Wet
Low Maintenance: Yes
Deer Resistant: Yes
Attracts Butterflies: Yes
Attracts Bees: Yes
Attracts Birds: No
Edible: No
Native: Yes

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