Color Changing In Irises: Why An Iris Plant Changes Color
Why Do Eye Irises Change Color?
Iris flowers have different colored petals which make them look like butterflies or moths. They come in many colors such as red, orange, yellow, green and blue. Some of these colors are caused by pigments called anthocyanins found in their tissues. Anthocyanins are naturally occurring compounds that give plants their vibrant colors. These pigments are present in all plant species but they vary greatly from one plant to another. The most common anthocyanin pigment is cyanide (CnH2O). Other types of anthocyanins include lycopene, luteolin, zeaxanthin and quercetin.
Anthocyanins play a role in regulating the immune system and other functions related to vision. They protect against cancer and heart disease because they reduce inflammation in the body. They may even prevent cataracts.
The main reason why an iris changes color is due to the presence of anthocyanins. When there are too much anthocyanins in the plant’s tissue, it will lose its natural coloring ability and become pale and grayish-blue. The anthocyanin pigments are not harmful to humans so long as they don’t exceed certain levels in food products or supplements. The pigments can be detected in very small quantities in the human body.
Iris flowers are a common decorative element in paintings and photographs. The pigment in the flower is not toxic to humans. They have been used as a treatment for eye diseases such as glaucoma, depression and dermatitis. They do not work for headaches or fever.
Why Did My Purple Iris Turn White?
There are many reasons why an iris could change color. Most changes are caused by external factors such as lighting, temperature and nutrients. Other reasons why a flower might change color include age, disease or even genetics.
If your iris has changed color for no apparent reason, it might have a disease or pest problem. It could possibly have root rot, a fungal infection or nematodes. You should take some cuttings from it and try to grow new plants. These problems might cause your plant to die eventually.
If you live in a hot or humid climate, your iris may naturally turn a different color. The presence of natural pigments called anthocyanins causes this change in color. This happens when there is an imbalance between anthocyanins and flavonoids in the flower. Your flower will turn a lighter shade of purple or even white if this imbalance continues over several years.
If you live in a cold climate, your iris could also lose its purple color. The pigments in the flower will be masked by the snow and ice around it. This will make it look paler than normal. The pigments may even get washed away when it rains or snows.
Another reason that an iris flower may lose its coloring is due to a lack of nutrients in the soil. Yellowing is usually a sign that the plant isn’t getting enough iron, magnesium or manganese. You can add additional nutrients to the soil to reverse this condition.
Iris grow best in loose, well-draining soil that has a neutral or slightly acidic pH. You should avoid planting them in compacted soil or clay. The iris needs space to grow and needs the soil to be loose enough for its roots to spread out. A root rot infection can occur if the soil is too wet or too dense.
You should also avoid planting your iris in the same place every year. It’s best to relocate it every few years because it helps prevent pests and diseases from festering in the soil. This prevents your iris from getting sick every year. A healthy iris will have strong, thick roots that grow deep into the soil.
How Can I Prevent My Iris From Changing Color?
You can prevent your iris from changing color by planting it in a different area of your garden. You should also avoid over-fertilizing with nitrogen. This can cause the plant to lose its natural coloring because of an increase in leaf size.
Another way to prevent your iris from changing color is by providing it with adequate sunlight. It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Your garden shouldn’t get more than 14 hours of sunlight each day. If this does happen, the pigments in the flower may fade or disappear completely. The color may also be less intense.
Protect your iris from strong, direct sunlight when it’s extremely hot. The plant could get sunburned and change color. If the sun is extremely strong, this can even cause the flower to wither and die.
Your iris needs the right nutrients in the soil to prevent it from losing its coloring. The soil should have a pH level between 5 and 7 and have the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Your local nursery can help you find the right type of soil for your flower.
What Should I Do If My Iris Changes Color?
If your iris changes color, you should carefully inspect the plant to figure out the cause of this condition. Look for signs of disease or pests that could be eating away at the plant. A sudden change in color could also indicate a problem with the root system or that it’s not planted in the right type of soil.
If you notice signs of disease or pests, treat them immediately. You’ll need to use the right chemicals and pesticides to get rid of them before they kill the plant. You can also get rid of them manually by plucking them off the plant.
If you find that your iris is losing its coloring due to a problem with the root system, you may need to replant it in a new location. You should only do this if your soil has a high pH level or doesn’t have the right nutrients for the iris flower. Your local garden center should have the right type of soil you need.
You may also need to replant if you moved the iris from one part of your garden to another and it no longer gets the right amount of sunlight. Your local nursery or garden supply store can help find you a new location in your landscape.
If you plan on reusing the old soil, you should sterilize it first to prevent the iris from getting sick again. Add a few cups of chlorine bleach to a wheelbarrow of soil and mix it around with a hoe. Let the soil sit for at least 24 hours before adding it to your flowerbed. The bleach will kill off any pests or diseases in the soil that could harm your iris.
My Iris Has Buds But No Flowers.
What’s Wrong With It?
There isn’t anything wrong with your iris. Some varieties of these flowers don’t bloom each year. They put all their energy into growing beautiful buds instead. These flowers need to be left in the ground for two to three years before you can enjoy their blossoms. After this time, the plant will produce flowers each year when the conditions are right.
How Do I Care For My Blooming Iris?
Your iris needs a certain amount of care after it blossoms to ensure it will grow back year after year. This is also known as deadheading. Deadheading gets rid of the old flowers so the plant can put its energy into growing larger buds. It also prevents the plant from going to seed and dying after it finishes blooming.
Cut off each spent flower with a pair of scissors as soon as the petals start to droop. Don’t cut off any of the green parts or leaves. The plant needs these to store energy for blooming again next year.
You can also prune off the browned leaves in the fall. This will give the plant less surface area to lose moisture through transpiration and help it survive the winter better.
How Do I Take Care Of My Iris Overwintering In My Garden?
If you live in an area that experiences cold weather, such as the upper Midwest or Northeast, you will need to prepare your iris to overwinter in your garden. This includes lifting the plant out of the ground and storing it over the winter in a safe place. You can also leave the tuber in the ground and cover it with mulch, but this is only recommended for experienced gardeners.
To lift your iris, begin by grabbing the base of the plant and pulling up. If it doesn’t come up easily, try digging around it with a trowel to unearth the roots. Once you have it out of the ground, cut off any rotted or dead roots. Spread a layer of mulch 2-3 inches deep over where the plant was growing. This will protect the roots over the winter.
Sources & references used in this article:
Alteration of flower color in Iris germanica L. ‘Fire Bride’ through ectopic expression of phytoene synthase gene (crtB) from Pantoea agglomerans by Z Jeknić, S Jeknić, S Jevremović, A Subotić, THH Chen – Plant cell reports, 2014 – Springer
Mutation breeding in bulbous iris by G Hekstra, C Broertjes – Euphytica, 1968 – Springer
Are pollinators the agents of selection on flower colour and size in irises? by D Souto‐Vilarós, A Vuleta, SM Jovanović, S Budečević… – Oikos, 2018 – Wiley Online Library
Screening of the chemical content of several Limniris group Irises by P Kaššák – Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2014 – phytojournal.com