Discussions and Q and A about growing irises forum: How to grow irises

 
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ImagePollyK
Jan 31, 2010 8:35 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Let's talk here about our successes and challenges growing irises. Any questions are welcome. Everyone is invited to post, and you may start new threads in this forum.
Imagestormyla
Feb 3, 2010 2:02 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Oh Polly, What is the name of that beauty?
ImagePollyK
Feb 3, 2010 8:34 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Careless Sally. Takes a pretty pic, doesn't it.
Imageirisarian
Feb 3, 2010 8:59 AM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
Re bearded: I get nervous with everyone seemingly hotfooting to PNW. What is to become of northern growers with just a slight change in climate. I am mainly thinking of TBs here. Paul black says he really wants to grow a pink TB in cold climates. Hybridizers whose plants do well here are Hal Stahly & Sterling Innerest. Then from MO along comes Barbara Nicodemus. So there are some, but it is a bit nerve wracking. Then plants with an I. aphylla heritage are sometimes not happy further south. So growers be alert.
Imagestormyla
Feb 3, 2010 2:36 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Relative to TB irises, I know that everything says that they should be grown in full sun. But I have very few sunny spots and grow many TB's. They bloom and increase very well in part shade. Our climate is very good for growing just about anything, but I do have to make sure to keep the falling leaves off of the rhizomes.
Imageirisarian
Feb 3, 2010 3:37 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
Glad that they grow for you.
ImagePollyK
Feb 3, 2010 3:46 PM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Thank you for the info Stormy. I grow quite a few in light shade too. The medians especially seem to do well.

Lucy, your concern is certainly a valid one. It does seem a lot of the bearded iris hybridizers are going to 'iris heaven' as Dee calls it. Not so, luckily with the beardless. The only large grower in the north will be Blue J, maybe, but they don't hybridize many, so unless the west coast ones grow well in their gardens, they will only be able to offer older, northern grown one.




****Anyone, if you have a question on how to grow irises, please feel free to start a new thread****
Imageirisloverdee
Feb 13, 2010 9:05 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
When I lived it So Ca I had iris in really dappled shade and in full sun, the only way I could grow them in full sun was to cover the rhizome about 1/2" (bearded) of dirt. The did well in the dappled shade sometimes outdoing the full sun.

Some people believe you must baby them! NOT as they go in our compost pile where all the trimmings, rotted one, ones we no longer will be carrying grow. One day I will take a couple of pictures when it is not raining and let you see how well they are doing in the compost pile.

JI they say to give them quite abite more water, my JI are planted in the commerical between the sibs and spuria and get no special attention except at the time we are going to move and divide them and replant back,,,

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imagenaomimade
Feb 24, 2010 11:24 PM CST
Name: Naomi DiVincenzo
Colorado Springs
zone 5b
LOL D!
I agree!
I dug a bunch of different iris the year before last and had some 'leftovers' that were fat rhizomes that had a bloom stalk.
They say you should toss those, but I made a 'pity plot'... a place in my yard where I planted the ones I couldn't bear to toss in the trash.
I got a few really big rhizomesn this year from that area!
Waste not, want not.......
ImagePollyK
Feb 25, 2010 8:01 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

'Pity plot'. I love it.
Imageirisloverdee
Feb 25, 2010 8:36 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Well my pity plot would now be my ever growing
compost pile, this year I will take pictures of it
in bloom.

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

bonjon
Feb 27, 2010 8:31 AM CST
Name: Bonita (Bonnie) Masteller
Raleigh NC
OK - I've got a growing question for y'all. re: alfalfa

I've been reading all the rave reviews on the alfalfa. I finally found a source - it was not nearly as cheap around here as I'd been lead to believe. So before using it:

? I read that there's some weed seed associated with it's use. should I somehow try to have it ground first? I couldn't find the alfalfa meal, only feed pellets.

? does it need to be tilled in, or can I top dress with it?

? Does it really have the ability to stave off some of the dreaded leaf spot, which just about destroys my foliage each year?
Imageirisloverdee
Feb 27, 2010 9:05 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Are you talking alfalfa pellets? such as unsalted rabbit
pellets. If so I do not use it straight I make a compost tea
strain it and run it through my fertilizer sprayer.

Makes lush greens, do not see much difference in
the flower.

I have trouble with rabbits if I put it down in pellets.

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

bonjon
Feb 27, 2010 11:34 AM CST
Name: Bonita (Bonnie) Masteller
Raleigh NC
I was worrying about rabbits.....and deer.

Aitken wrote that he tills it in. In my remote garden, I can do this. But not here with the established beds.
Imagenaomimade
Feb 28, 2010 12:22 AM CST
Name: Naomi DiVincenzo
Colorado Springs
zone 5b
..because of the 'dirt' that I have had in my yards these past 10 years, I threw a handfull of Alfalfa pellets in the hole and mixed it in... I can't tell you if it's some kind of 'miracle fertilizer' (because I have sand where I am now, so anything organic is a miracle.. ha ha!) And, the last yard I had, I discovered had been a land-fill before they turned it into a mobile home park...and that dirt was questionable to say the least... but look at these iris growing! They are the first year's blooms that I got back in..... 1998? ( the awakening of the iris lover in me)
so... where was I going with all this... sorry... tired..... Alfalfa pellets worked into a new planting bed certainly doesn't hurt!

Thumbnail by naomimade

Imageirisarian
Mar 1, 2010 9:39 AM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
I prefer using the meal, but it is good as well as regular compost.
bonjon
Mar 1, 2010 6:36 PM CST
Name: Bonita (Bonnie) Masteller
Raleigh NC
where does one find the meal? I've been looking and looking!
Imageirisloverdee
Mar 1, 2010 6:39 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Usually at feedstores here.

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

bonjon
Mar 1, 2010 7:22 PM CST
Name: Bonita (Bonnie) Masteller
Raleigh NC
so far, only found the pellets - and they were $14 for a 50 lb bag. someone told me to expect about 1/2 that price. Ouch! but I got a few.
Imagesugarcane
Mar 19, 2010 1:49 PM CST
Name: lindsey
greenville, nc
Hi iris experts, I need your help!
My mother-in-law is expanding her deck and we dug up all her bushes,bulbs and iris and will put it all back in when the deck is finished. Her iris were basically growing on top of the ground just under some leaf litter. Most of the rhizomes were quite long(6 to 10 inches) but only had a fan at one end with some roots right there under the fan, the rest of the rhizome was naked of leaves,eyes or roots. Can I cut most of the rhizome off and just replant the part with the fan? Any tips would be welcome!
lindsey

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