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Plant of the Month: Louisiana Irises

By Mary Townsley

Louisiana irises are native perennials found throughout the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi Valley. The five species of native Louisiana irises readily interbreed and nursery plants are commonly hybrids with a wide range of bloom size, bloom color and mature plant size. Fall planting is best to prepare for spring blooms. Although the native irises can often be found in swampy or boggy areas, ordinary garden beds will work just fine. Choose a bed in full sun, incorporate organic material and some balanced fertilizer, plant the rhizomes shallowly about 12" apart, mulch and provide adequate water. As these irises multiply quite readily, your friends and neighbors will thank you when you divide clumps in the fall every few years and share!

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