Planting Dutch iris bulbs in containers is an easy way to create a beautiful mobile flower garden. These flowers are beloved by gardeners because they are easy to grow, and they produce reliably gorgeous and healthy purple and yellow blooms. However, even the easy to grow Dutch iris has a few basic planting requirements for growing strong and healthy plants.
Things You Will Need
There are several basic supplies and tools that you will need for your Dutch iris container garden. These items include:
- Dutch iris bulbs
- Potting soil
- Small shovel
Step One – Selecting Your Planters
When selecting your planters, you need to look for ones that are designed for allowing good soil drainage. This is critical as Dutch irises are prone to root and stem rot if they sit in soil that is oversaturated with water. Size is also an issue that you will want to take into consideration when planting your iris bulbs. Since irises do better when they are planted in groups in large containers, you will want to look for planters that are at least 8 inches in diameter.
Step Two – Prepare Your Planters
The next step is to line each planter with a layer of gravel. This will help improve drainage and it will also help to keep your potting soil from falling out of the bottom of the planter. Next fill your planter up about half way with a good quality potting soil.
Step Three – Add Your Iris Bulbs
For the best colors and plant health, you need to plant your iris bulbs about 3 to 4 inches apart in your container. You don’t want to overcrowd your iris bulbs so you will want to limit your bulb count as follows:
- 4 to 5 iris bulbs per 8 inch container
- 6 to 7 iris bulbs per 10 inch container
- 8 to 9 iris bulbs per 12 to 15 inch container
When planting your iris bulbs you need to make sure that you position them in the soil so that the pointy end of the bulb is facing upward. Once the bulbs have been positioned you will need to cover them with about two inches of soil.
Step Four – Water and Sun
After you have planted your iris bulbs you need to water them thoroughly and place the containers in full sun. They need full sun to produce the best color. As far as water is concerned you will want to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.
Step Five – Prune Just Before Dormancy
It is important not to prune your Dutch irises too early in the season. Generally you will want to leave them alone during the spring and summer months. Even after they have lost their bloom you don’t want to remove the foliage from this plant. Allow the green leaves to absorb energy from the sun. This will help the plant be stronger and more vibrant the next year. As the fall season takes hold your Dutch iris will start to turn yellow and wilt away. This is a sign that it is going into dormancy and it is now that you can cut back the foliage as needed.