Iris Germanica ‘I’m Back’,  Bearded Iris, zones 3-9

Tall bearded iris.  Plants form a clump of green sword-shaped leaves. This fabulous re-bloomer adds drama to the garden with light purple petals and near-black falls. I’m Back’s blooms are also sweetly fragrant and it blooms continuously throughout the season. Choose a sunny position, with a well-drained, loamy soil. Bearded Iris are heavy feeders, so plan to fertilize in early spring, and again in late summer.  Plant with the top of the rhizome at the top or just below ground level in loose sandy soil, or slightly above the soil in heavier soil.   Plants should be divided every 3 to 4 years, in August. Be on the watch for Iris borer. To reduce the risk of pest and disease problems clean up in the fall by removing dead or damaged foliage. Excellent for cutting. CAUTION: Harmful if eaten.

Sun Exposure:  full sun

Soil type: sandy or normal

Soil PH: all but prefers slightly alkaline soils (consider adding lime if soil is very acidic)

Soil Moisture: dry, average to moist does not tolerate wet sites

Care level: medium (clean up dead and damaged foliage in fall) (fertilize regularly)(see planting instructions above)

Flower color: light purple, near black

Bloom time: late spring to early summer and again mid fall

Foliage Color: light green

Uses and Characteristics:  accent:  good texture and form, specimen, massed, fragrant, reblooming, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, deer and resistant, cut flower, poisonous toxic

Flower head size: large

Height: 36 inches Width: 12 to 24 inches

Growth Rate: medium

Propagation:  Divide every 3 or 4 years in spring, midsummer or early fall.  To divide, dig up the rhizomes, break them apart and plant the parts that have a fan of leaves, discard the rest.  

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