My Iris Hollandica Autumn Princess is My First Bloom of Spring!

Yeay, my Iris Hollandica Autumn Princess just bloomed!
Iris hollandica, commonly known as Dutch iris, is a species of flowering bulb that blooms for a few weeks in April or May. Blue and blue-purple flowers are among the most common flowers, along with yellow, white and bi-colored blooms. Growing the bulbs is fairly straightforward to do, provided you select an appropriate planting location and offer basic care as the bulbs establish themselves.
Select a location for your iris bulbs where they will receive full sunlight. Plant the bulbs in the autumn and set them into holes about 5 inches deep. Space the bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart or plant up to eight bulbs per square foot. Bulbs range in size from 3 to about 5 inches in circumference. If you plant in a container, use potting soil with a balanced mix of soil, peat moss and perlite. Plant the bulb so you have at least 1 to 2 inches of soil between the bulb and the bottom of the container. The Dutch iris is an annual, so you'll need to plant new bulbs each season.
Care Requirements
Iris hollandica grows well in climates as cold as USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 10. If you cover the ground with mulch, the bulbs can survive in Zone 8, as well. Keep the soil well-watered throughout the springtime growing season but not water-logged. Expect blooms once the shoots reach heights of about 6 inches, though the plant may reach an overall height of 20 inches.
Forcing Bulbs
To thrive, the Iris hollandica requires a cycle of very warm, cool and warm temperatures. The first stage should be 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the second should be 35 to 50 degrees, and the final warm stage should range between 50 and 60 degrees. In most locations, this corresponds to the summer, winter and spring. If you want to grow the flowers indoors in a container, you can simulate the changes in temperature by using a refrigerator to mimic cold winter temperatures. Instead of waiting until spring, you can force your iris to bloom indoors in early winter.
Companion Planting
If you want to plant an assortment of flowering herbs alongside your iris, good companion plants include lavender, echinacea and pittosporum. For a grouping of flowering bulbs, crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips are all spring-blooming. In addition, they all respond well to forced indoor blooming should you wish to grow an indoor flower bed. However, when arranging cut flowers, avoid putting irises in the same vase with daffodils, as mucilage from the daffodil stems can interfere with the irises' blooming.
- By Danielle Hill, eHow Contributor

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2 of 6 comments
  • Pamela F
    on Mar 27, 2015

    Yes, I should be called the anxious gardener:-)

  • Anton Lambert
    on Mar 22, 2018

    I absolutely love irises. Im sure there isn't a gardener that doesn't. I live in a tropical climate not suitable for any of the Irises unfortunately and so did without for the longest time. That is until I discovered Dutch irises! I have raging success with these. What I do is buy the bulbs and stick them straight in the fridge for a couple of months over our dry season. Then I plant them out a month or to before the rains arrive. They grow steadily from January on then burst into a magnificent show of flower in mid March. Our nights are cool and our days warm and clear at this time so they last very well. Unfortunately when the rains arrive with the ragging heat and overpowering humidity they rot and die. So treated like annuals I still get to have a glorious display of irises every year. They look sumptious and dramaticly exotic amongst all the tropical foliage and palms. The deep violet blues go stunningly well with the dusky red and chartreus coleus and with the other annual (for me) that grows at the same time, bright vivid petite orange dahlias. The whites too are lovely and look just incredible with purple ground covers and dark ruby black Cordylines . Wonderful treat!

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