How to decorate small living room

GOOD TO KNOW

Don’t confuse Louisiana irises with the yellow flag iris (Irispseudacorus) which is a Category 1 invasive species that must be removed. The two look very similar but the yellow flag has flatter leaves with a raised midrib. The flowers are yellow with brownish mottled markings.

Louisiana irises grow best in partial or dappled shade, are planted deeper, need acid soil and plenty of water. They tolerate extreme heat and high humidity and flower for longer.

GROWING TIPS

When planting in the garden, add a handful of sulphur to alkaline or neutral soil and mulch with pine needles.

When planting Louisiana irises in containers, use a heavy mix of garden soil and acid compost as normal potting soil will drain too quickly.

Plant rhizomes about 10cm below the soil and about 1m apart because they multiply quickly.

Don’t overwater newly planted rhizomes. Keep them damp until new roots are established to avoid rhizome rot.

Plants must never be allowed to dry out, especially once new growth begins in February. Try this: Line a 40-50cm hole with plastic or an old pond liner, pierce a few holes for drainage and pile the garden soil back in. This creates a boglike condition that suits them perfectly.

Each plant bears a number of spikes with each calyx bearing two buds that flower in succession. Removing the first flower as soon as it’s finished blooming encourages the development of the second flower.

When dividing plants, cut down the leaves by two-thirds, keep the new offsets

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