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Welcome to the Society for Siberian Iris

Thank you for your membership in the Society for Siberian Irises (SIS),  a section of the American Iris Society. Your membership will provide you with a subscription to The Siberian Iris, our semi-annual publication on Siberian irises and related species, including crosses between species. The bulletin is normally mailed in May and November, and you should receive it by mid-June and mid-December.

As a member, you may rent slides for your personal education, or for showing at a local iris or garden club. These are available from our Slide Chairman, Dr. Robert Hollingworth, 124 Sherwood Road East, Williamston, MI, 48895. We also have letter and e-mail robins circulating. We offer help with any growing problems by writing our expert, Dr. Robert Hollingworth, address above, and we encourage you to share your experiences with Siberian irises by writing articles for The Siberian Iris, our bulletin, and sending them to our editor, Ellen Gallagher, 1689 Riverside Drive, Berlin, NH 03570.

Every few years we schedule a convention devoted to Siberian irises. We tour several gardens, have special programs and speakers of interest, and present awards to some of the best Siberian irises and growers. The announcement of these special conventions will be in the bulletin, The Siberian Iris.

We hope that being part of the Society will bring you much pleasure.


Lori Lanford, Membership Chairman
3053 Willoughby Road
Mason, MI 48854

For additional information about our officers, cultural information, awards, iris gallery, and more, please visit our web site at:

Siberian Iris Cultural Information

Siberian irises are among the easiest of all types of iris to raise and bloom in the temperate climatic zones.  Their graceful stems, blooms, foliage, and neat habit of growth make them the most adaptable irises for the perennial border and for landscaping.  Their handsome foliage is attractive all year, even when the first frost turns them a rusty red-brown.

SOIL:    Siberians perform well in most garden soils, but do best if you provide a rich soil containing liberal amounts of organic material, with a mildly acidic pH of 6.0 - 7.0.  If your soil tends to be over 7.5 pH, working in sulfur, or acidic organic material such as pine needles or Canadian peat will help increase acidity.   In areas where the groundwater is alkaline, repeated acidification will be necessary.

FERTILIZER:     Requirements vary depending on your garden soil, but most successful growers use a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, or a 14-14-14.  Fertilize in early spring, and again after bloom season, to encourage growth for next year.  Many use foliar feedings monthly with a soluble fertilizer such as Miracid.

SUN & MOISTURE: In northern states, Siberians do best in full sun, or at minimum six hours of sunshine.  In hot southern areas, protection from the mid-day sun is often a requirement.  They enjoy lots of moisture in spring, and will do best if given a minimum of one inch per week during the balance of the growing season, so plant them with other perennials, such as daylilies which also need constant moisture to keep doing their best.  They tolerate, but do not appreciate, summer drought.

MULCH:    A mulch of organic material will benefit the plants in summer by conserving soil moisture and keeping the soil cooler, and it helps to prevent frost heaving, especially on new transplants.  The mulch is also beneficial in reducing weed germination, thereby giving you more time to watch the plants grow and bloom!  It can however provide a home for voles and mice that eat the rhizome.

PESTS:     Siberians are more resistant to disease than other garden irises, but do suffer from scorch in those areas where this attacks other iris varieties.  They are not immune to the iris borer in those areas where this pest gains the disgust of iris growers.  One application of Cygon 2E, or Orthene, applied when the weather hits 70 degrees in the spring will control this pest in most situations, along with good garden hygiene in your spring cleanup.  If you have trees or bushes near your garden, remember that borer moths sometimes lay their eggs in trees above the plants, so sometimes a second spraying is necessary after the grubs drop down from their hatching spot.

TRANSPLANTING & DIVIDINGCOLD CLIMATES:  Spring is the best time to plant or divide, with August as second choice.  This gives the plant a chance to establish a good root system before winter rolls in.  WARM CLIMATES: Avoid the hot weather periods; many prefer the cooler fall period.  If unable to obtain plants at the best time for your area, you may pot them up and put in a protected area.  If wintering over in cold areas in pots, be sure to set the pots in the ground, with the tops at soil level. Use of gallon size pots is best for this procedure.  In any situation, keep newly transplanted plants well watered at all times, with one inch per week a minimum, and mulch for their first winter.

WHERE TO PURCHASE SIBERIANS?  In the back of every issue of the American Iris Society Bulletin and The Siberian Iris is a commercial directory which contains the most up-to-date information listing reputable commercial gardens.  Internet users can shop many of these gardens by visiting the American Iris Society and Society for Siberian Irises websites.

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