Iris novice! Wanting to begin...

ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)March 2, 2013

I am a rosarian, but love irises. Have a few, don't know the names, but am interested in ordering more soon. Have explored websites and am overwhelmed, to say the least!

What I am looking for are blues, whites, pinks, lilacs, and maybe other softer colors...not so interested in mauves and oranges, or bright bright colors ( other than all blues, love blue and can't get that in a rose) or more tones is great in a flower. Scent is a plus. Rebloom is a HUGE PLUS!!!!

Love tried and true as well as super and new!!!!!

Would like to order a dozen to twenty. Can you help me select some?? My garden is antique roses and perennials, think English cottage garden ( in Texas!) ! Know of Blue J iris and have a shopping cart full!

Do rebloomers really repeat? Is it worth it or is there a "con" to a rebloomer I am not aware of?

Many thanks! Come over to roses if I can return the favor!!

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kal2769(Zone 8)

Try Googling irises & Plant Delights Nursery for a pretty good selection. I grow Iris japonica for shade and dry/ airy soils, and the Louisiana iris for my swales, streams and ponds.
Iris japonica 'Eco Easter' is great for blues, as is Iris ensanta 'Handmaiden'.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 1:42AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

In your climate, the rebloomers may get cooked in the heat, but I think it's worth a try. Iris ensata do not grow here- I'm not sure how hot it gets for you, but they do not like too much heat.

Rebloomers: A lovely white with a blue rim is Grand Circle. Victoria Falls is a nice medium blue that reblooms, and City Lights is a darker blue- bordering on purple, that also reblooms well and had a striking garden presence. Recurring Dream is a monstrously prodigious rebloomer here in CA, it's a mid- purple blue. Clarence, a lighter blue, is prolific for many people.

Frequent Flyer is a nice reblooming white, and so is Lunar Whitewash. My favorite is Coral Chalice, which has a touch of peach in it.

Most pink irises are sort of peachy- Alice Goodman is a good rebloomer, Beverly Sills reblooms for me too. Rose Teall is a good darker pink rebloomer, and Jennifer Rebecca is a cool pink rebloomer, but it can be slow to get established and does not like really hot climates.

Lilac is my favorite. I have Plum Pretty Whiskers, which has rebloomed.

Other great irises in blue that are not rebloomers: pastel favorites include Queen's Circle and Absolute Treasure, medium blues include Seapower and Merchant Marine, I really like Blueberry Parfait and Cascadian Rhythm. Oh, and World Premier.

Other lilacs- Persian Berry is the most lilac/orchid colored iris ever, and it's a great grower and bloomer. Rhinelander is a flat silvery kind of lilac. At the lavendar end are irises like Telepathy, which reblooms for me.

Here's a link to an American Iris Society blog post on people's favorite blue irises.

I'll bet Louisiana irises would grow well for you too. Sinfonietta is a nice blue.


Here is a link that might be useful: AIS World of Irises Best and Bluest I

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 1:00AM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

You love the same colors as I. Beardeds bloom here before the roses - drat! I also like those whose falls drape rather than being held out horizontally. And I prefer beardeds around 35 inches - don't have space for the 40 inchers.

There are some reliable good rebloomers and some not so hot. Much depends on weather conditions. Often they don't achieve the large, ruffled, showy bloom if that is important to you.

Another thing I've learned -- if an iris hasn't won an HM I now steer clear (unless it's foreign, a Blyth, Anfosso, Bianco, etc.) If it's won an AM and I like it in several pictures (and they match written description) I'm safe. One exception was Kentucky Woman - no soul. And I don't hesitate with the HM winners if I've seen the true color -- buds often spaced badly, poor branching, etc., so can't make it to the AM level. But many charm me more than Dykes' winners.

Skating Party is probably my favorite pure white -- lovely. And I don't much care for whites. Leda's Lover is a good ceamy white. And I like Elizabeth Poldark even tho the standards spread wide as the bloom ages - it works with this iris (think Leda was a parent). If you like SA (space agers) Mesmerizer can be stunning.

"Blues" -- Abiqua Falls, Color Me Blue, Delta Blues, Navajo Jewel, Oregon Skies, and one of my old favorites Babbling Brook. Mind you, no delphinium blue exists.

Lavender -- Mary Francis (love, orchid lav.), Bubbling Over is excellent and plays well with other colors.

Pinks -- Chanteuse, Lace Artistry (love, peach influence), Vanity. Would love to see Coming Up Roses. Like Femme Fatale a lot because it's so frothy. A dark horse by my favorite hybridizer (Hager) is Foolish Fancy -- pictures don't do it justice -- rose influenced blue -- afternoon shade helps maintain the color.

Peachy Pink -- Alice Goodman, Beverly Sills still pleases. Would love to see Buisson de Roses.

Peach -- Status Seeker I go back to again and again. Maybe it's because the orange sherbet with pink influence in the standards is so clear and clean. Nice bloom form.

Those are the pastel solids (selfs) I treasure.

Non-Selfs worth noting:
Bollywood was love at first sight - the right shade of soft yellow over lavender with the right amount of ruffling.
Gypsy Woman has excellent color balance of soft yellow over a light fall edged by pronounced violet.
Jennifer Rebecca is an oldie rebloomer loved by many, pink-lav blend (have never seen in person).
Sweet Musette is drool worthy - peach over lav. pink blend.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:30PM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

Kal, thanks for the link and mention of Louisiana irises. I'd forgotten those and they do well here.

Hosenemeseis, great mentions as well, and the link is amazing. I just can't quite make the leap to loving day lilies the same despite their longer bloom. These explain in picture exactly why! Beautiful!! Thanks. Some real winners on your list, thanks for the names. I did find Beverly sills today locally, on a garden stop, but will search the others out on line! ESP. Recurring Dreams, sounds like a winner!

Iris gal, thanks for the great list and education to boot! I haven't thought much about heights but guess I should. Nor the difference in award winnings. Do agree on Skating Party, must track that down.

Thanks for taking the time to educate and inform...and enable!!!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 3:39PM
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You can plant irises on the northeast side of deciduous trees to provide a little relief from our brutal summer sun, & be sure to put the exposed part of the rhizome on the northeast so that the foliage protects it a little.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 12:45PM
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I have some light purple I am dividing and would sell inexpensively. I can send picture.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:38PM
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random_harvest(z8 TX DFW)

Another Dallasite here. Reliable rebloomers for me are Immortality (white), Harvest of Memories (soft yellow), and Autumn Tryst (lavender plicata). Autumn Tryst has bloomed for me most every month except for our hot summers. I had and loved Jennifer Rebecca but she died out on me.

Tall bearded irises seem to either love or hate our climate, but they're cheap enough we can afford to experiment. I've had the best luck with those of Fort Worth hybridizer Burseen.

Since you're an antique rose lover (I am too!), don't overlook the historical irises from the 20s and 30s. Their soft colors and more tailored form look great with the old roses.

Oh, and don't miss the local iris society's annual fall sale at NorthHaven Gardens. Most everything I've gotten from them has done well, plus they always throw in a handful of free peanut-sized rhizomes that have grown into some of my most spectacular flowers.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:50PM
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