If you'd like to plant exotic looking flowers in your garden, consider planting irises, which are hardy and easy to grow. Available in several varieties, these flowers are grown from sections of roots, which are called "rhizomes." The following article offers tips for planting irises successfully.
Most people plant irises using rhizomes, which need to be planted in late summer or early fall. Though you won't see flowers until the next year, this is the best way to plant, as it allows the plant's roots to develop over the winter. This makes for a stronger plant and better blooms in the spring. You can purchase rhizomes at your local gardening center, or you can order them from a catalog.
Irises prefer dry soil, and they're susceptible to root rot if they get too wet. Choose an area of your garden that's fairly dry and receives plenty of sunshine. Southern exposure is best. If possible, till the soil in the area where you will plant your rhizomes a week or two in advance. At this time, it is a good idea to amend the soil to create better drainage. Peat moss, compost and perlite all make great soil amendments.
As a general rule, you should not plant rhizomes deeper than two inches. Space rhizomes about 18 inches apart so that the plants will have plenty of room to grow. Once you have the rhizomes set in place, cover them with soil and water thoroughly, soaking the soil around the planting area. Mulch your plantings to protect them during the winter and keep them from coming up too early in the spring. Your irises will need to be divided every two to five years, depending on how quickly they grow. Divide and transplant in late summer for the best results.