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African iris is a great all-purpose plant for home landscapes in Zones 8 and above. Its sturdy, reed-like foliage is evergreen and a wonderful accent plant in the landscape. Count on bright white flowers to decorate the clumps of 2- to 4-foot-tall plants from spring to fall. Call on African iris to add color and texture to tough landscaping areas, such as parking strips, flanking driveways, and dry patches near a home's foundation. It stands up to heat, drought, and neglect.
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African Iris Care Must-Knows
Plant container-grown plants or divisions from a friend in the spring. African iris grows best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It will tolerate several hours of shade but requires at least 6 hours of bright sun to bloom well. Water plants regularly for the first growing season after planting. Once established, African iris requires very little maintenance and rarely needs supplemental watering. If clumps become crowded, don't hesitate to divide plants in spring. Use a sharp spade to slice the rhizomes apart.
Cool Weather Options
Grow African iris as an annual in Zones 7 and below. Enjoy the bright white blooms in container gardens or planting beds for the season and replant the following year. You can overwinter African iris rhizomes by digging them up before the first fall frost. Allow the rhizomes to dry in a cool, dry place for about a week before packing them in peat moss for storage over winter. Replant in the spring when the soil warms.