Louisiana Irises (Iris), and Waterlilies (Nymphaea) are beautiful and elegant water-loving, flowering plants.
Louisiana Irises (Iris) bloom from mid-September to mid-October – this is the prime-time to buy them in flower from your GCA Garden Centre.
They like to grow in full sun to semi-shade and will grow successfully in garden beds where they receive regular irrigation, preventing the soil from drying out. A thick mulch layer will assist in keeping the soil moist (not the mention all the other benefits such as suppressing weeds and feeding the soil). As Louisiana Irises naturally occur in swamps, ditches and other moist sites in the Southern USA, they are at their happiest when grown in a bog or shallow pond and make superb aquatic plants. They can also be grown in large pots with no drainage holes - creating a mini-bog.
Louisiana Irises have one of the most diverse range of colours of any Iris. After flowering, the spent flower stems on your potted Louisiana Iris, should be cut back and the plant can then either be planted into the garden or transplanted into larger containers, in both instances lots of compost should be added to encourage new growth for next season.
Waterlilies (Nymphaea} - the prima donnas of the water garden are among the simplest of ornamentals to grow, all they need is full sun (a minimum of 6 hours per day), some good soil and at least 30 cm of still water, although some varieties can grow in water more than 1.5 meters deep. Full sun is necessary for the plants to grow vigorously and produce flowers as well as for the flowers to open during the day. They do not like to be in a pond with a fountain or in swiftly moving water, neither do they like wind.
They are winter dormant and usually start emerging from dormancy towards the end of August / early September. Feed your waterlilies with designed aquatic plant soil (available from GCA’s). We recommend using bone meal: apply by lifting the pot out of the pond, making two or three holes in the soil (approximately 10-15 cm deep) and pouring 15 ml of bone meal into each hole. Backfill hole with some sand to prevent the fertiliser from leaching and set waterlily back in pond. Bone meal can be applied every three months thought-out the growing season to maintain optimum growth and flowering.