Here is a step-by-step guide to caring for purple flame iris:
- Planting: Plant purple flame iris bulbs in autumn, preferably in a sunny to partially shaded location with well-draining soil. The planting depth should be about twice the height of the bulb. Space the bulbs about 6 inches apart.
- Watering: Water the bulbs immediately after planting and then regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season, water deeply once a week or more frequently during dry spells.
- Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) once a month during the growing season to promote healthy growth and flowering.
- Mulching: Mulch around the plants with a layer of organic material, such as bark or compost, to help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
- Pruning: After flowering, remove the spent flowers and any dead or yellowing leaves. Cut back the foliage to about 6 inches in late autumn to promote healthy growth the following season.
- Winter care: Purple flame iris is hardy to USDA zones 5-9 and does not need to be lifted for winter storage in these zones. However, in colder regions, dig up the bulbs after the foliage has died back and store them in a cool, dry place until the following autumn.
- Pest and disease control: Watch for pests like iris borers, thrips, and slugs. Remove any infected or damaged foliage promptly to prevent the spread of disease.