Black Iris: Number 10 in a Garden Photo Series
Black Iris Arrangement
Black Iris Blooms!
Though I have a special fondness for white flowers, a friend gave us a black iris and I have fallen in love with it.
My white iris bloomed faithfully this year, my varieties of blues and purples are starting to bud, I’m still waiting on my Russian iris that multiplied so well last year, and a yellow that is tucked away in a corner will probably be the last iris to bloom in my yard.
Our Black Iris Turned Out To Be A Mystery
The black iris came to us in the middle of an extremely hectic season of life. A nice gift, I thought at the time, but there was no way we could think about where best to plant it. My husband stuck it in the end of our vegetable garden to wait until life’s responsibilities eased up.
Enough time went by and so much happened that I forgot where the iris came from. I would see it growing in its quiet little corner and eventually sort of thought that it was a stray from my flower gardens, guessing that we were probably trying to salvage for later planting.
The forgotten plant multiplied as it waited to be rediscovered. An early spring had me looking forward to getting out with my flowers, even though I faced a lot of work--bunches of cleaning out and catching up to do. Some blooms have already come and gone, but today brought a surprise.
Black Iris PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
My husband told me he was checking on squash plants after a surprise frost and discovered the iris blooming in the vegetable garden. The temps dipped so low that squash plants were nipped, but this iris stood the test. What a happy thought it was to remember the friend that it came from when we finally saw the black iris blooms.
To put it mildly, they are amazing. The flower petals seem to have a warm velvety quality, but I haven’t touched them yet. The color is rich with depths of blues to blacks, and the stamen looks as black as black can be. I hope my closeups can give you a sense of the extravagance in this iris' details.
These blooms are on tall, sturdy stalks that seem extra healthy, probably because they were planted in the vegetable garden, the same reason the soldier-like foliage is as green and robust as any iris I’ve ever seen.
I won’t disturb our black iris until it finishes blooming this year, the best time for transplanting being late summer or early fall. I'm planning the ideal location and getting ready to divide it and, of course, I’ll be sharing some of the division with another friend for that's part of the fun of flower gardening.
Planting And Growing Black Iris
Black iris is an easy plant to grow if you know how to give it a good start. Planting it correctly rewards a gardener with striking blooms each spring and it lets the plants multiply to their hearts' content.
Iris love sunshine and that should always be the first consideration when deciding where to plant them. They need at least a half day’s sun, but in the hottest climates they would probably benefit from partial shade.
Good drainage is essential so planting them on mounds or on slopes ensures that the roots will not sit in water and rot, as well as become susceptible to pests. They like shallow plantings so they can dry out easily during a rainy season.
Lightly fertilizing with a typical product for flowers can be helpful, but do not use high nitrogen fertilizers. My black iris are certainly healthy for having spent time in our vegetable garden. Iris do not like to be watered frequently, preferring to have good deep drinks, then allowed to dry out. Overwatering iris is easy to do and should be avoided.
Iris endure and even thrive in a variety of soils but they especially like moderately acidic soil. Reading up on how to test soil ph could be helpful, but it is probably not necessary. If you are a purist, enjoy doing it, then get the advice of your local agricultural extension agent.
Black Iris Flowers
It is not a long-lasting cut flower, but once you have several clumps of iris established you will have enough blooms to enjoy cutting some for indoor arrangements. Black iris will make a stunning spectacle of themselves in my dining room and I may have to plan a dinner party so I can show them off.
If you do not yet have black iris in your garden, check back here on my photos for I plan to update this hub as new blooms unfold their magnificent colors and deep texture. The shots are from two different cameras and are taken at various times of day.
Perhaps I’ll even have a chance to get some good pictures of the bloom stages now that I know they are out there, or maybe give my own time-lapse a try. Hope you enjoy seeing this hub evolve as number 10 in my garden photo series!
Use Black Iris In Floral Arrangements:
- Iris, Lovely Iris!
In honor of the iris, that honorable and dependable garden princess, a poem and a photographic montage.
- Spring Blooms Inspired 5 Live Floral Arrangements
Floral arrangements don't have to be complicated. Whether you choose simple or ornate, one of these will delightfully inspire you to use fresh flowers to make an arrangement.