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Registered: ‎03-10-2010

My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

About the only flower or bulb I plant is iris.  Over the years I've added new colors, black is my favorite, about three varities.  So here I am again, an iris garden full of purple and purple and white.  No yellow, and only one black bloomed.  Are these varieties weaker?  Many plants did not even put out stems this year, much less blooms.  These have all come from Schrieners and late in the season I added their low initrogen fertilizer.  How do I get these plants to put up stems and blooms?

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Registered: ‎06-21-2015

Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

I also have alot of Iris. I don't know if this is the reason but we had alot of rain this spring and mine went nuts with flowers. Maybe they needed more water.

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Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

I also love iris. I have the exotic and the double pedal ruffle ones. (I forget the aame). My exotics are doing really well this year but last year not so many stems. We've had a ton of rain this year. My double ruffle were better last year than this. I'm sure weather plays a big part in this but to what degree I would ask Phlip Watson. I weed, furtilize and pot ash my soil. It's not the best but it's been improving with this combo. I have the iris in different locations and I have the same results.

I do have a deer problem even though I have fences around most of the gardens They seem to prefer one type over another. Do you have a critter problem? Groundhogs will eat the plants to the ground so it's another year before they have a chance to grow if at all. 

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Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

Are they getting plenty of sun?  My Siberian Iris rarely bloom, and I think it's because they get morning sun only, about three or four hours.

 

My grandfather planted several beds of iris only.  They were beautiful and in a very sunny location.

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Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

My first suspicion with Iris is always that they were planted too deeply. They're one of those plants you can pretty much just sit atop the soil and they'll take root and grow. They don't like to be planted deep.

 

A garden with lots of Iris invites in lots of Iris pests like the Iris Borer. The Iris Borer will eventually find a home in the rhizome and consume it from the inside out. They get a couple of inches long and can do all kinds of damage. Pesticides are typically useless, but you can watch the plants and interrupt their life cycle. They tend to overwinter in old Iris leaves so garden sanitation helps to minimize the problem. Intercepting them before they reach the rhizome can also help. Once they get into the rhizome the plant is either lost or you have to dig the borer out and kill it.

 

It's very easy to fall in love with one type of plant and fill your garden with that plant, but then you're making it into a cafeteria for the pests that like that plant. A more varied garden typically minimizes the pest issues. If the bad bugs have to hunt around for the plant they like, there's a chance they may miss it. If your whole garden is filled with the plants they like, it would be like me landing in a chocolate warehouse. Whoo-Hoo!! Party time!

 

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Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

[ Edited ]

Completely agree with @gardenman. My suggestion would be to dig up and thin out your iris bed(s). Clean it/them out every three years by sharing rizomes with friends (or discarding infected, soft or decaying rizomes in the trash, never in a compost pile).

 

A very light, partial covering of soil is all that is needed and water well. Mother Nature will take it from there if they are in a partial to sunny location. Too much watering will result in rotting the rizomes! Planting too deeply or mulching will cause the iris to stop blooming. They are hardy and don't need much help other than sanitation and thinning out the beds on a regular basis to maintain healthy, beautiful iris with large blooms. 

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Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

This is only a memory of mine, so won't be a help as to iris troubles (although gardenman's advice is spot on).

 

When I was a kid, my best friend's dad worked in some sort of agricultural capacity and most of their backyard was filled with bearded iris of all kinds.  This was instead of the lawn all the rest of us in the neighborhood had. I do remember he was especially pleased with the darker ones.  I am not sure there was a black one back then, but maybe.

I wish I'd taken more of an interest at the time, but my horticultural leanings took over not too far in the future.

 

Image result for bearded iris field

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Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

[ Edited ]

@depglass wrote:

About the only flower or bulb I plant is iris.  Over the years I've added new colors, black is my favorite, about three varities.  So here I am again, an iris garden full of purple and purple and white.  No yellow, and only one black bloomed.  Are these varieties weaker?  Many plants did not even put out stems this year, much less blooms.  These have all come from Schrieners and late in the season I added their low initrogen fertilizer.  How do I get these plants to put up stems and blooms?


 

 

@depglass   Sometimes, it takes a year after planting for an Iris to bloom.  If they are too crowded, they may not bloom.  I have to keep mine in pots because we have gophers and moles, so this is a real pain.  Also, the rhizomes should not be covered with soil as they like to bake in the sun, and may not bloom if covered.

 

The Heirloom bloom and spread like crazy, have a lot of these.  I have many Schreiner's also.

 

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Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help


@ValuSkr wrote:

Are they getting plenty of sun?  My Siberian Iris rarely bloom, and I think it's because they get morning sun only, about three or four hours.

 

My grandfather planted several beds of iris only.  They were beautiful and in a very sunny location.


 

@ValuSkr   

Siberian irises perform best in moist, well-drained, fertile soils. However, they will tolerate poor, dry sites. They can be grown in partial shade to full sun.

Siberian irises are usually planted in spring or late summer. However, container grown material can be planted any time during the growing season. Space plants about 18 to 24 inches apart. Plant 3, 5, or more of the same variety in a clump for the best visual display.

To aid establishment, water Siberian irises once a week during hot, dry weather. Water when needed for at least one full growing season.

Plants seldom bloom the first year after planting. Siberian irises should be blooming well by the third or fourth year. They will eventually form large, well-established clumps.

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Re: My garden obsession is bearded iris, need help

Here is an info sheet we hand out to homeowners who have irises:

http://ccenassau.org/resources/-iris-culture-and-problems

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼