These, spring blooming flowers, can be difficult to find in retail stores. Iris, Peonies, and Bluebells can be order through a mail order nursery company or acquired locally from someone who has extras. After getting the plants you can have flowers for many years by replanting the new plants that grow from your original plants. Iris, Peonies, and Bluebells are described, in this article, as grown in USDA plant hardiness zone 5.
Of the many types of Iris, this is about the group commonly called Tall Bearded Iris which bloom at the end of May. These flowers are the largest and have the most attractive colors of all the Irises. Often there are 1 or 2 flowers on the stem and the blooms last from 3 to 7 days. Because of this short blooming time an Iris flower taken inside and put in water will shrivel up within a few hours. It’s better to leave the flower on the stalk and take a close-up photograph of the colorful flower.
Iris require a soil that will not saturate during the spring rains. They like complete sun and no other plants or compost in the growing area. It’s good to keep the top of the soil within 1 foot of the plant loose.
The roots of the Iris are sometimes called rhizomes and are close to the top of the soil. To keep the Iris blooming, ever 2 years it is needed to separate the plant rhizomes. After blooming the leaves and stem remain until the middle of August and then begin to wither. At this time, a group of rhizomes are dug up and divided into single rhizomes. The leaves are cut off 5 inches above the rhizome. Then each rhizome is replanted by leaving a foot of space between each other with the top of the rhizome at the surface of the soil. Water only to keep the plant firmly in the ground. The leaves will continue to wither off.
Many red, pink, or white petals form the 3 inch peony flower. These flowers bloom around the end of May for 3 weeks. Then the 2 foot high green leaved plant remains until the fall freeze.
The soil, within 6 inches of the plants, is better if loose with compost on top. Peonies prefer sunlight but can grow in partial shade.
A simply way to replant peonies is to replant, with dirt on, part of the established cluster of plants in early spring. To do this, after peonies have grown to 6 inches tall, divide a smaller clump of plants from the established cluster. The soil around this smaller clump is dug up, not the peony plants. Then dig, at the new location for the moved clump of peonies, a hole for the size of the soil moved. After this place the clump of peonies, with soil attached, into the ground. The roots must remain, undisturbed inside the soil for this to work.
Bluebells will bloom in early spring for about 2 weeks. A few weeks later the plant will end its growing season after that the plant withers.
It’s best to plant Bluebells in a shaded area that has 3 hours of afternoon sun. Keep Bluebells at least two feet away from a mowed lawn. This is done by planting summer blooming perennials near the Bluebells. Bluebells need natural conditions to grow. Because of this don’t loosen the soil or add compost near the flowers. Also do not remove the fall leaves near the plants.
A simple way to have more Bluebells is similar to replanting Peonies. First, after the cluster of plants grow 3 inches above the ground, dig up clump and replant the clump the same as Peonies. After this, plant summer blooming perennials near the new planted Bluebells.