Louisiana Culture

Origin: Louisiana bayou and Gulf Coast marshes

These beardless irises have adapted easily to our area. Graceful plants have flowers with a more open form. The most vibrant colors in irisdom, they include shades of red, blue, purple, pink, and yellow. Contrasting signals range from a narrow line to a wide sunburst.

Height varies from 2 to 4 feet.

Keep rhizomes wet and cool until planting time.

Okay to refrigerate, but do not freeze.

Plant in September and October.

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Louisiana’s need acid soil. The addition of soil sulfur will correct alkaline soil; refer to package for amount needed. Use peat moss and mulch to loosen soil and hold moisture. Add fertilizer high in phosphorus; follow manufacturer’s instructions. Work amendments into the soil to a depth of 12 inches.

Louisiana’s increase rapidly and tend to “travel.” Spaced at least 24 inches apart, they can be left to grow for several years in the same place.

Trim dried roots from rhizomes; new roots will be white. Plant 1 to 2 inches deep, carefully working new roots into the soil. Pack soil firmly around rhizomes to eliminate air pockets.

Water deeply to settle soil and plants. Although they will grow in standing water, they do not require it. Just keep soil damp with regular watering, especially at bloom time and in early fall when new growth begins.

Louisiana’s are heavy feeders. Use a water soluble plant food for acid loving plants at the manufacturer’s recommended amount. Feed at 2 to 3 week intervals in the spring through end of bloom and again in fall.

Louisiana’s make excellent pond plants, just plant in pots and submerge.

Background photo ‘Goodwin Fire’ (LA) 2019 (Gary Miller hybridizer and photo contributor)