Neomarica Iris (Neomexicanus) is a genus of flowering plants native to Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. These are often called “walking” or “trampling” irises because they grow along roadsides, sidewalks and other areas where there is trampling or overgrowth. They have a short life span but their flowers produce long lasting fragrance.
Growing Walking Iris Plants – Tips On Care
The growing period for neomarica irises is from spring until fall. During this time the plant produces its flowers and then dies back to dormancy. If left unattended, these plants will die back even if they are not watered during this dormant season.
Because of their slow growth rate, it takes several years before a single one can be grown.
If the plant is allowed to go to seed, it may take decades before another plant comes into existence. When they do come into existence, they usually don’t flower until well after the first frost. This means that they must be protected from cold weather conditions when possible.
Most gardeners keep them indoors year round, which makes sense since the temperature inside most homes is cooler than outside.
As for the habitat of these plants, they like full sun to partial shade. The soil should be well drained but can be ordinary potting soil or even a mixture of sand and peat. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy.
These plants are heavy feeders so a liquid fertilizer should be applied once a month during their growing period.
Besides providing enough light and proper watering, trellising is also important in the growth of these plants. Typically, they are grown on a stake which is inserted in the center of the plant and run along the ground as it grows. When the stem starts to flop or bend over, simply provide more strength and support by attaching more stakes to the one already there.
The plant should be tied to these strong stakes particularly when there is a strong wind or even a light breeze.
These plants are easily grown from seed but take a long time to come into existence. It is best to buy a nursery grown plant rather than growing it from seed.
Walking Iris Care
It is important to provide adequate growing conditions for the plant to thrive once it has been planted in the ground. They should be planted at the right depth and given room to spread out within the boundaries of their designated growing area. They prefer to have sunlight but will also tolerate some shade.
They also prefer moist soils that drain well. Pesticides should never be applied unless necessary because these plants are very prone to contamination when it comes to pesticides and herbicides.
Here are some tips for caring for your walking iris plant:
* If the leaves of the plant start to turn yellow, it probably doesn’t have enough nutrients in the soil. Mix in some fertilizer for perennial plants and flowers preferably with a 1-2-1 ratio.
* The leaves might also turn yellow if the soil is compact and unable to absorb the water you’ve been giving it. If this happens, loosen the top layer of soil and replace it with some new soil.
* If your iris plant has stopped blooming, it could be due to a number of reasons including too much watering or not enough sunlight.
* It could also mean that the plant is getting too much nutrients. If you’ve been treating your plant to chemical fertilizers, stop using them for a while and let the soil rest. The same is true if you’ve been feeding it with synthetic slow release fertilizers.
By taking good care of your walking iris plant, it should last for a number of years in your garden.
Sources & references used in this article:
Florida Getting Started Garden Guide: Grow the Best Flowers, Shrubs, Trees, Vines & Groundcovers by T MacCubbin, G Tasker – 2013 – books.google.com
Florida gardener’s guide by T MacCubbin, G Tasker – 2002 – books.google.com
Florida Gardener’s Handbook: All You Need to Know to Plan, Plant & Maintain a Florida Garden by T MacCubbin, GB Tasker, R Bowden, J Lamp – 2012 – books.google.com
Plants for tropical landscapes: a gardener’s guide by FD Rauch, PR Weissich – 2000 – books.google.com