Saturday, November 7, 2015

Adopting the Southern Blue Flag Iris

The Southern Blue Flag Iris is one of the prettiest flowering aquatic plants out there.

Growing and cultivating it can be a challenge. If you happen to be an apartment dweller without, say, a convenient backyard pond handy, you might wonder how to grow a nice specimen of this largely aquatic plant, especially if you don't happen to have a convenient partly-sunny swamp handy.

All you really need, though, is a bucket.

My wife and I happened to be on the way to Cedar Key, Florida, when we happened upon a Blue Flag Iris on the roadside which someone had carelessly discarded. Undeterred, we rescued this hapless plant and took it home, whereupon we then stuck it in a bucket of plain old city water in an effort to mimic its preferred habitat. 

Sadly, the plant seemed to yearn for more. It seemed to want to swampy, muddy, murky waters of its home. To help it thrive, we decided to give it that kind of existence.

First step involved dumping some local soil into the aforementioned bucket, then filling it until the mud was submerged by a couple of inches of water. Then, we planted the Iris. Given that we live in the U.S. state of Florida, the mosquito is a clear danger. It simply doesn't fly to enable those tiny (or, in some cases, disconcertingly large vampires) to procreate in conveniently neglected buckets of water.

Fortunately, a solution exists in the form of Mosquito Bits.

Simply sprinkle some of this stuff into your backyard bucket or pond periodically according to the directions. The chemical released will neutralize mosquito larvae, an insect Failure to Launch, if you will. 

Now, the plant appears to have rebounded with a couple of clusters of 6+ inch blade-like leaves, and the plant's hosts have no need to worry about a mosquito invasion. At least, not until the mosquitoes evolve a means to procreate in spite of our best efforts.

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