If you are looking for a plant that will thrive in a site with sun to partial shade and moist soil, and that features lovely flowers with interesting sword-like foliage, then Louisiana Iris is the plant for you. This tough perennial is well adapted to much of Texas, especially the acid soils and wet spring and fall condition of East Texas.

Louisiana Iris comes in a wide range of colors including blue, purple, yellow, pink, white and shades of brownish red. The flowers appear in spring on 2-3 foot stems held above the striking foliage. A single plant that is thriving in its site can form a clump 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall in two years. These clumps of green foliage add great architectural interest to the garden and will persist year round where winters are mild. They are excellent companion plants for water gardens, growing both in the water itself and on its edges.

Like most irises, Louisiana Iris likes to be planted shallow, with the tops of its rhizomes just above the soil level. They do best with frequent light feedings of compost tea, fish emulsion, or water soluble fertilizer. If not planted in moist soil, they should get extra watering.

Clumps of Louisiana Iris should be divided when they begin to produce fewer blooms. Dividing can be done in the summer, after blooming, or in early fall. Replant divided rhizomes with the top half above the soil line. Then enjoy these hardy perennials for years to come.

LuAnne Ray, Smith County Master Gardener

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