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When should I fertilise my irises - before or after they flower? As our "garden" is now a west facing courtyard, they will have to stay in pots but they are doing well, apart from the dreaded molluscs. Picture 2 is of my variagated iris but I don't think it's a bearded iris, it just will not flower. It's been all around two gardens and is now in a pot - last chance!




You need to ask Siris on here, but what she has told me about feeding it has to be low in nitrogen or you may make the rhizome rot , bone meal is ok as it slowly release its food .

" the only thing irises may resent more than underfeeding is overfeeding "

How long have they been in the pot and what compost are you using ?


17 Apr, 2016


They went in during 2014 and I've no idea what compost or soil they're in, only that I used chippings in the top so that the rhizomes could bake in the sun. The mother plant was so huge I divided it up and just used a small part of it in two pots. Thanks Gnarley, I'll look up Siris' page and see what they recommend.

17 Apr, 2016


A few days ago my one and only Iris, spreading nicely, had two large holes in the centre of the new leaf section where, it was suggested on here, snails had eaten it. Two days ago I sprayed with Bug and Pest something or other from the garage shelf. When I looked today the holes had almost healed over so whatever pest it was clearly didn't like being sprayed. I'm delighted and hope it now flowers when the time is right.

Sorry, I didn't answer the question. I haven't fed mine at all but probably will eventually.

17 Apr, 2016


Hello Cammomile, I do have a passion for bearded Iris, which I grow in the border. They do need a large root run so I don't grow in pots/tubs. Iris hate wet around the necks, they can rot easily. A high Nitrogen fertilised encourages leafy growth, which in turn encourages slugs to eat the lush growth. Neck rot is a bacterial infection, which can happen under persistent wet conditions. If you get it you will know, it stinks.
The rhizome is the food 'bank' for the plant so I feed with Blood, fish and bone about 6 weeks after flowering, which incidentally is a good time to divide them in the uk, as they then start to make new roots. Water well, around the rhizome, not on, until well established. Feeding about 6 weeks before flowering can be helpful, but I don't.
I hope this potted version is of some help, enjoy your Iris.

17 Apr, 2016


I use Tomorite at about the same time after flowering as Siris. B.F. and B. is no use here, it encourages the foxes to dig up the plants looking for the meaty source of the scent.

17 Apr, 2016


Thank you all for your help. Unfortunately the only bit of useful garden is north facing with a small patch of sun in the morning and the soil is rather puggy so the only solution for now is pots.

18 Apr, 2016


North facing is not ideal, but the plant in the picture looks healthy. Probably best not to invest in any more beardeds.

18 Apr, 2016


thanks Siris

18 Apr, 2016


No I just haven't got the room now. I do have a small variegated iris, which is about 5 years old, which didn't flower for my friend and hasn't for me -yet but it's only been in a pot for a short while, fingers crossed.

18 Apr, 2016


A Bearded? Not all Beardeds are of the same vigour, even if the rhizome is exposed to full sun.

19 Apr, 2016

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