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Iris Info

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by comfrey on November 14, 2006 01:42 AM
I know how to plant Iris, but I read somewhere that when you plant them you should place them a certain way to have them grow/spread that way. I can't remember which way it is...The fan part is suppose to face one direction or another, anyone know??? I have some that I am planting next to a fence...and I don't want them going through the fence, but out away from the fence.

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by alankhart on November 14, 2006 05:27 AM
To obtain a good flower display, plant at least 3 rhizomes of one variety in a group. Space the rhizomes about 12 to 24 inches apart. Point each fan of leaves away from the other irises in the group.

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by joclyn on November 14, 2006 10:07 AM
lol, i wish i'd known about how to plant them when i first got them...i was a complete noob to outdoor gardening then...

i planted them (by dumb luck in groups of three) but the one group that i put next to the fence i put in wrong...my neighbors got a good showing, tho!! [Big Grin]

didn't know about the 12 inch minimum either. that's definitely needed as the bearded iris are FAST reproducers!!
by comfrey on November 14, 2006 12:22 PM
Thanks for the help! Let me see if I have this right...the direction the fan is facing is the direction they will grow?????

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by johnCT on November 14, 2006 10:48 PM
I think more importantly than fan direction is rhizome depth. Shallow, shallow, shallow...

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John - Zone 6
by comfrey on November 15, 2006 12:36 AM
quote:
Originally posted by johnCT:
I think more importantly than fan direction is rhizome depth. Shallow, shallow, shallow...
I understand about shallow, but there is a certain way to direct the direction they grow, I want them to grow out away from the fence, so what I am trying to get strait is...which direction should the rhizome be facing or which way the fan should be facing.

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by comfrey on November 15, 2006 01:06 AM
I did a web search and found the answer to my question: "aim the fan of leaves in the direction you want the plant to grow"

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by joclyn on November 15, 2006 04:50 AM
yes, comfrey, aim the fan in the direction you want them to grow (if you don't, your neighbors will have the pretty show of flowers...like mine did).

and john has another good point - they don't need to be planted too deeply, either.
by comfrey on November 15, 2006 09:26 AM
quote:
Originally posted by joclyn:
yes, comfrey, aim the fan in the direction you want them to grow (if you don't, your neighbors will have the pretty show of flowers...like mine did).

and john has another good point - they don't need to be planted too deeply, either.

Mine are being moved along the sides of the garden fence, and I didn't want them growing into the garden, as the tiller operator (DH) might just till them under, thinking that they are just weeds, [shocked] I also have to watch him closely when he is weed eating ...I know about planting them shallow and leaving the upper most part of the root above ground, in colder areas the whole root should be covered lightly. I was being lazy asking here instead of looking up the answer for myself [Embarrassed] Thanks for everyones input though I do appreciate it!

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by joclyn on November 16, 2006 09:12 AM
just WHAT is it with men & tools??? [Big Grin]
by comfrey on November 16, 2006 12:09 PM
quote:
Originally posted by joclyn:
just WHAT is it with men & tools??? [Big Grin]
[lala] [lala] You did mean to say "some " men didn't you???? [Big Grin] [Big Grin] I know that the men that are on the forum would not be a threat to flowers in and around the yard...in fact they planted them there themselves [thumb]

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by joclyn on November 16, 2006 01:26 PM
well, yeah, SOME of them, anyhoo...

i'll bet, tho, if truth be told, more than a few would have to admit they'd done some damage (however inadvertent (sp?) it was) tho!! [Smile]
by johnCT on November 16, 2006 09:08 PM
Ive never heard any complaints. [dunno] [thumb]

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John - Zone 6
by comfrey on November 17, 2006 01:03 AM
quote:
Originally posted by johnCT:
Ive never heard any complaints. [dunno] [thumb]
Well John I believe you fit into that "some" category. This last summer I waited and waited for my tiger lilies to bloom and finally there were buds, I just couldn't hardly wait.....Well the weed eater managed to chop the tops off all the tiger lilies, and I never got to see a bloom one...now to put it mildly I was [Mad] [Mad]

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by joclyn on November 17, 2006 06:03 AM
quote:
Originally posted by johnCT:
Ive never heard any complaints. [dunno] [thumb]
well, then, you're part of that rare breed known as 'some' that doesn't go overboard and all testosteroned-out when it comes to using power tools...

here's to ya!! [muggs]
by flowersgrowing on December 06, 2006 04:59 AM
SOme things about IRIS. Enjoy

Irises are named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow and grow wild throughout the northern hemisphere, from high Himalayan bogs to arid Greek hillsides and the banks of British canals.
Iris

Iris

Recommended varieties

Irises are incredibly useful upright perennials that can be grown in many different areas. Chose well and you’ll have irises in flower for six months, from November to June. You’ll also get a wide colour range from rich blues to flashy yellows and extraordinary combinations such as butterscotch yellow and violet. Many also have beautiful, intricate patterns.

Botanists divide irises into two key groups: the rhizomatous, which have rhizomes on or just beneath the soil, and those that grow from bulbs. The first group divides into two further sections, the beardless and bearded (with a distinctive little beard in the flower centre), all of which can get very confusing. The best way to decide which ones you want to grow is to visit specialist nurseries and check their colours and growing conditions.

Irises include some of the easiest and most attractive marginal pond plants, the majority of which can also be grown in damp borders that don’t dry out. They come in all shades and mixes of blue, purple and white, including double-flowered varieties. Some of the most dramatic are the modern Japanese hybrids that have extremely complicated markings. They tend to be vigorous and are easy to propagate by division in early spring (instead of the more usual August).

Winter and Spring

Although irises are principally associated with full sun, there are some species that not only tolerate but actually thrive in cooler conditions. They are free flowering in winter, providing a perpetual succession of blooms.

I. foetidissima: called the roast beef iris after the smell of its crushed leaves, it’s one of the most adaptable plants regarding soil or position, and is often found growing in hedgerows in the south of England. It has slender leaves and produces insignificant brownish flowers in April. In late autumn the plump seed pods open to reveal brilliantly glowing, sealing-wax red seeds that remain on the plant into the New Year. ‘Variegata’ has striking white markings but is prone to rust if not divided regularly. Both have been awarded the AGM.

I. japonica: a slightly tender iris that likes an area in front of a sunny, sheltered wall. It produces a broad fan of leaves and, in late spring, exotic pale blue or white frilly flowers, dramatically splashed with purple, with an orange crest. ‘Ledger’ is reputedly the hardiest form. ‘Variegata’ has attractively striped green and white leaves. I. japonica and ‘Variegata’ have been awarded the AGM.

I. unguicularis: whenever the temperature rises above freezing for a few days, this will produce late winter and early spring flowers, adding up to many hundreds over the season on established clumps. The excellent ‘Mary Barnard’ is the most free-flowering form. It has slightly narrower leaves than the ordinary type and starts producing its rich purple flowers early in November. In cool springs, it may continue into April, although it usually stops in March. ‘Walter Butt’ has scented, almost grey flowers, and might even start flowering in late autumn.

Soil Preferences

Irises generally prefer well-drained soil, the exception being the water-edge varieties. Add grit and humus to open up heavy clay soils. Pacific coast irises require neutral to acid soil and, unlike most irises, flower equally well in partial shade and full sun. I. cristata prefers humus-rich soil in partial shade and is best divided just after flowering. I. unguicularis likes the poor soils and dry conditions of the southern Mediterranean and North Africa, and flowers best when tucked up against a south-facing wall.

Planting

All irises, except the bulbous varieties, should be planted with the broad, fleshy rhizomes at or just below the soil surface. The rhizomes need direct sunlight and mustn’t be shaded by surrounding plants. Plant the bulbous irises 10-20cm (4-8in) deep in autumn, and lift and divide as the leaves fade. Juno irises should be planted 5cm (2in) deep.

Feeding and dividing

Feed with a low-nitrogen, slow-release fertiliser and add extra lime for very acid soils. Late summer is the best time to move or divide most forms, but divide I. cristata just after its spring flowering.

When dividing the rhizome, keep the young, vigorous parts and discard the old. Water the newly planted sections in dry weather in their first season after transplanting, to help them establish new root systems.

Growing from seed

Most iris species can be grown from seed, although some may take many years to flower. Hybrid irises will not grow true from seed and need to be propagated by division.

Safety

Take care when handling irises as the sap can cause skin irritation. All parts of the plant can be poisonous if eaten.
by Deborah L. on December 06, 2006 06:33 AM
Irises are perennial/evergreen????

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by Patty S on December 06, 2006 02:03 PM
Deborah, yes Irises are perennial.
[teacher] Perennials come back every year without reseeding. ("P" is for "Permanent" & "Perennial".)
Annuals grow from seed, then they bloom & make seeds before they die off in a single growing season.


I guess you could say that Irises are "evergreen"... in that the plants don't completely die back during the winter, & the leaves are always green.

I'm not at all familiar with the varieties of Iris that Flowersgrowing listed above, but her article is interesting & I'd like to get my hands on some of them & add them to my "collection"! [grin] I think that most of us are accustomed to the Bearded, Dutch & Siberian Iris that we were talking about earlier this year, in this thread.

Flowersgrowing, I don't know anything about Romania, but you must have very different weather patterns than we do here. I know that there are some Iris that will bloom in the fall here, but it's more common to see the type that bloom in abundance in the spring, before the heat sets in.
(I'd love for my Iris to bloom from November to June!)  -

Do you know if the species that you listed ("foetidissima", "japonica" & "unguicularis") are rhizome or bulb plants? Also, you made mention of a "Juno" Iris, but didn't give a description... is that another name for one of those three species? [dunno]

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by flowersgrowing on December 06, 2006 06:38 PM
Hello,

You dont heard about Romania? Is a nice country. You now "Dracula" [Smile] "Hagi" and "Ceausescu". Those are the names who pass our borders.
The iris species "foetidissima", "japonica" & "unguicularis" are bulb plants .

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