My bearded iris is blooming...in October?

loribee2(CA 9)October 18, 2010

I know zero about bearded irises, but that did not stop me from buying one at Lowes and planting the bulb (tuber?) in a raised bed in my garden. I did that last year around this time, if I recall--it was whenever you see them at the big box stores.

Leaves came out of the ground pretty quickly after I planted it, and they've been there ever since, but I never got one bloom. A check of the internet said they can take a year to bloom. It also said they might not bloom if you planted them too deep. It also said I should pull them up and store them in a bag over the winter, but I've been waiting for the leaves to die off. Instead of dieing off, I just discovered a bloom on the darned thing!

So...can someone tell me what I'm supposed to do with this thing? It's hard reading info on the internet because I don't know if it applies to my climate, and all the info seems to contradict itself.

I'm in Northern California--Sonoma County. Sunset Garden Zone 14-15 (I'm on the border).

Basically, I'm wondering if I'm supposed to dig it up, or can I just leave it there? And is it normal for it to be blooming right now?

I realize there's an Iris forum, but I thought I'd start with people in my climate as the info seems to vary so much!

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

No no no. Don't dig it up. When you have a massive clump overrunning the garden, then dig up to divide and trade :-)

If the top of the rhizome is showing above the soil, they are the correct depth.

Deep irrigation, allowing the soil to dry out between, is what will suit best. They do not like moist soil.

You're in a great zone for iris. The only ones in bloom now are called rebloomers. Height of bloom is around Mother's Day here. Early ones in April.

Rhizomes from the big box stores are usually not in primo condition. It would not surprise me if they took two years to bloom.

There are a few Californians over at the Iris Forum. Things are pokey right now but come bloom time the posts are fast or furious.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 10:03PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

Ooh, thanks, Iris_gal! I feared I may have planted it too deep, though I know I followed whatever instructions came on the package. I'm quite excited to see a bloom. I can't wait to see what color it is, since it's been so long I've forgotten what I bought. I'm guessing since it's blooming in October, it must like the spot. I'll keep my fingers crossed that this is the first of many.

Thanks again for the helpful instruction!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 10:13PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Hooray for Reblooming Irises! My favorite flower in the world. From now on it should give you a good show. Take a look at the iris forum FAQs if you have any questions. Let us know what color it is, okay?
Renee

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:15PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

I will! I'll post a pic. I have to say it took me by surprise. All summer I've been looking at that bunch of leaves thinking, "I've got to do something with that iris." But it kept dropping to the bottom of my priority list. I'm glad it did. Apparently, all I had to "do" was have a little more patience!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 10:43PM
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dgbeig(SanFran -z10)

I've tortured my poor bearded iris �" moving, dividing, throwing it around wherever there was a bare spot.
It continues to push back! Becoming green and healthy wherever I put it.
Doesn't bloom as much as when it is displaced, but these things can take a lot of abuse!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 4:11PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

That's my kind of plant! LOL Seriously--I forever have people who marvel over my green thumb. My answer is always "I'm not that good--I just don't plant things I've killed before." LOL I'm all for indestructible!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 11:18PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Loribee, you and I have the same green thumb.
Renee

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 11:43PM
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