Irises - How far south in Tx?

rblegend(8)March 8, 2007

We are thinking of moving to south Texas- Like San Antonio,maybe even Corpus Christi.

They have such mild winters - anyone know if TB's will grow there?


Rae Ann

Yes I will ask Texas iris society also - but wanted to here from any texans!

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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

When I moved here almost 11 years ago, the previous owner had planted irises all over the yard, and yes, every spring I get beautiful flowers. They would probable even do better if I would just fertilize them, but being on the bay, I worry about too much chemical run off into the bay.

BTW, speaking of nice weather, it is currently 72, sunny and all of my plants are starting to put new leaves and blooms on. I love the warm weather down here in Rockport, just 27 miles NE of CC on the bays.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 4:35PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I was something of a TB nut in Nebraska, so when I found I would get to move here I asked if they'd grow here. The general opinion was--no, but Louisiana Iris are so lovely you'll never miss them. Not entirely true--I miss them a little, and I miss the SDBs and the IBs more, and I find there are some tall beardeds that grow quite well here--unfortunately for my snobby self they're the ones we referred to in Nebraska as 'dogs'. They're mostly older varieties, and usually diploids. But the La irises are truly gorgeous, and grow so easily you'd think they were native! Hybridizers have worked on them, and they are indeed native to the entire Gulf Coast.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 12:02AM
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wmoores(7/8 MS)

I am wondering if the people who had success are talking about albicans, germanica, kochii, etc. Those will survive in almost any climate. The gentleman from NE who moved to LA referred to the iris he grows as dogs - the older ones.

I have gone to the LA Tours in Lafayette and in nearby areas. One person was trying to grow modern TBs in pots. He said they had never bloomed. I did see some modern TBs at Leesville, LA, but that is much farther north than Orange. There was even an aril bred in bloom!

Rae Ann, why don't you write the AIS Membership Secretary and ask for a print-out of AIS members for Region 17? It wouldn't cost much and it will list those AIS members who live south of San Antonio or near the Gulf. Ask if there is a club south of New Braunfels. Write to them and ask how they grow modern TBs.

When I lived in Region 17, there was a couple from Yorktown, TX, between San Antonio and Corpus Christi who participated in Region 17 activities. They told of the struggles of trying to grow TBs in that area. They spent a lot of money trying to find modern TBs that could thrive in their area. I have already told you about the lady in Houston and what a struggle it was for her.

Walter Moores

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 8:50PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

We have a number of iris growers here in Lafayette who spent a lot of time and money trying to grow the modern TBs--I remember especially the guy who was an officer of the AIS at the time I came here, and had hybridizers from the rest of the country sending him things they thought might grow for testing. I remember he had some that bloomed for Christmas. I guess I'm warped--I know a lot of people who try to 'push zones' to grow things from another part of the country--or the world!--that need more chill hours, for instance--people who want to grow lilacs or peonies here, for instance. But there are so many things that do so well here that the rest of the country can't grow. I grew up on the west coast, and a lot of the things we grow here need more heat in the summer. LA irises for the most part won't bloom for them.
Just by the way--I don't qualify as a gentleman--

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 10:57PM
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wmoores(7/8 MS)

Sorry, I confused your gender. The message was not signed.

I see there is a flood of reponses from coastal Texans who write of their success growing modern Tall Bearded Irises.

I also see that the person who first brought the question up about "How Far South Can You Grow Irises?" and was thinking about moving to South Texas has not followed up on a response.

Walter Moores

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 12:54PM
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I have grown bearded irises in San Antonio they do really well, as long as you do not plant them in direct sun, they like the morning sun. In Rockport, I grew them under a live oak tree, and they really multiplied. I had them for about 2 years, then dug them up, they only bloomed for about 3 weeks, not long enought. I planted 3 Louisiana Irises, last July, and they are finally looking good. I hope they do ok. I have them in my Rockport garden, I like their leaves, have no idea what color the flower will be, it has not bloomed. Barbra,

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 8:49PM
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