An Iris newbie has tons of questions
Hello everyone. The house I grew up in came with three colors of Iris and two different sizes. We never took care of them except one time when my mom and a friend thinned them out. We have since moved and I've decided it's time to get some more irises. In my (admitidly limited) research I have found a website (www.schreinersgardens.com) that has irises that bloom at different times of the season, but it doesn't have actual months or seasons (early/late spring). I don't know the bloom cycles of irises and I want all of mine to bloom at once. I plan to get a couple Lavander plants and then put the irises between them. The colors I want are "black", white, purple, maroon, and yellow. I know there's no true black iris, so I want it to be a dark purple rather than dark red, so it'll match the other colors better. I haven't decided if I want one size or two, but I don't think I want under 12" or over 36". I want bearded irises of a solid (or mostly solid) color.
So here're my questions:
1 - Do all irises have the same desease resistance? Do they all do well with some neglect, or do some need to be babied?
2 - Is the height the website gives the height of the flower or the leaves? I remember the flowers going above the leaves, am I correct?
3 - Do irises need a lot of water, somewhere in between, or little water. My understanding is they want little water, but I can't find a definitive answer.
4 - The bloom cycles are described as being "very early, early, early mid, early mid late, mid, mid late, and late" what do all these mean? How long do irises bloom? If I buy lavender that blooms in the spring for 4-6 weeks and irises that bloom in the spring, would they last 4-6 weeks? I'm very confused on the bloom cycle.
5 - I know with roses rain can damage the flowers and make them look ugly; are irises also affected by rain?
6 - What "black" iris do you reccomend that has a purple base and looks the most black?
7 - What does it mean when an iris's style is described as "self"?
Once I know the other information I should be able to pick out the other irises. I'm in Virginia, zone 7. Thanks very much!
This post was edited by Rosecandy on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 13:48