General Discussion forum: "tender Iris"

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Jul 7, 2013 3:11 PM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside Co, Illinois Zone 5A
Some iris are known to be "tender", or suitable only for warmer zones. I have a "yen" to try to grow both Purissima, and San Francisco, here ,in zone 5. Is there anybody out there in "Cubits Land", that grows either of these? If so. what zone are you in? Do you think planting next to the foundation of the house would be enough protection?...Thanks...Arlyn
Jul 7, 2013 10:55 PM CST
Name: Brett Barney
SE Nebraska
Hey Arlyn,

I got both of these from the HIPS sale last year and later happened upon something that implied that Purissima is tender, so I found some pine needles and mulched around it a bit with those. It wasn't until midwinter that I read that San Francisco is supposed to be tender, too, and by then I thought it wouldn't be any real use mulching it or anything. Both came through just fine. Neither one bloomed, but almost nothing that I bought from the HIPS sale last year did. I just dug them yesterday, and they are both healthy and have several increases starting. The USDA chart has me in zone 5b, BTW. I have a very hazy memory for such things, but it seems like last winter might have been a bit mild temperature-wise, and I'm pretty sure we didn't have any really big cold spells without snow cover, so it might be that P & SF would be in danger in a year with that sort of stress. FWIW, I'm planning to cover the rhizomes of those two with bricks this winter.

Jul 9, 2013 6:04 PM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

I grow both, zone 6a, and so far they've done well.
Jul 9, 2013 6:31 PM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside Co, Illinois Zone 5A
Well, I think I'll just put SF out in the iris bed, and if it's still there in the spring, I'll order Purissima to keep it company! It sounds as though they should have at least a fighting chance of survival here....Thanks for all the input...Arlyn I tip my hat to you.

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