Sparrows & Irises


What’s attractive, in overcast west-end Toronto, about these iris leaves? I tried to sneak up on the sparrows and catch them in the photo, They seem to be attracted to leaves or is it the possibility of worms rising with the forecast of rain, or could it be that they’re attracted to the grass?
Is there any risk to harming the irises by placing netting over the plants, aside from my having to access the plants for weeding? Maybe they’re trying to help me out-I’m behind in my weeding, among other things…


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your question.

What is most likely attracting your sparrows this time of year is they have been busy foraging for straw, dead leaves and other fine material for building their nests. They will not do any damage to your Iris collection.

The netting can keep out some pests, but make sure they are not weighing down the leaves and bending them. Also soon may iris will be trying to send up flowering heads, and you will not want to thwart their growth. Hence if you want to keep the netting up for a while , please ensure that there is enough support to allow for the iris to grow freely. You will  also make it more difficult to do weeding.

Enjoy your Irisis!