very few iris blooms

mudrnner(zone 4/5 NY)June 14, 2008

Hi,

I have a small garden with iris that bloomed beautifully a couple of years ago and then last year, very little and the same this year. I think so far I have had maybe 4 blooms. I don't think that the plantings are too thick, they are sort of in a line and about 2-3 deep. A couple of plants had buds that seemed to rot. It isn't especially wet or anything and gets a fair amount of sun. Last year we mulched all the gardens and now I am hearing you shouldn't mulch irises, but before we mulched the blooms were pretty pitiful last year as well. Any ideas?

thanks,

Dyahn

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shapiro(5a Ontario)

Agree that mulching irises is not a good idea: the rhizomes need all the sun and the air they can get. I had buds that rotted this year, but I think it was because we had tons of rain right as they were getting near to blooming. Not sure what you mean by "two or three deep" - do you mean two or three "rows" one behind the other? How about feeding? have you been feeding your irises? Try to give them fertilizer with a lower first number, like 6-9-9, to prevent too much leaf growth at the expense of blooms. If your bed is very close to a lawn - that might be a problem, since lawn fertilizer is just the opposite, the first number is high. Anyhow, just some thoughts.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:13AM
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laurief_gw

Check the FAQs (link at top of forum page). You will find a list with explanations of a number of causes of non-bloom in bearded irises.

Laurie

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:31AM
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mudrnner(zone 4/5 NY)

Thanks to both of you. Yes, I did mean 2-3 rows, sorry. I have been using Miracid to fertilize. I just came in from removing the mulch and making sure the rhizomes are showing. Hopefully next year will be different.

Dyahn

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 3:45PM
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irisqueen217(7b-8a TX)

My understanding is TB's do not like acidic soils. They prefer a neutral ph. If you are using Miracid, it will cause fewer blooms.

-Liz

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:54PM
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mudrnner(zone 4/5 NY)

Ok, then I need a new fertilizer for them. Also, does the no mulch rule apply to siberica and Japanese irises as well? I have a few ordered and want to get them planted correctly. I also have a Louisiana Black iris coming too.

thanks again,
Dyahn

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 1:17AM
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laurief_gw

Pretty much all of the rules that apply to proper culture for bearded irises are completely opposite for the beardless irises (Japanese, Siberian, Louisiana). Beardeds prefer well drained soil that is allowed to dry out between rainfalls, no mulch, low-nitrogen fertilizer, and a soil pH anywhere from moderately acidic to moderately alkaline. Beardless prefer consistent soil moisture; plenty of mulch; balanced fertilizer; and rich, acidic soil.

In other words, save your mulch and Miracid for the beardless.

Laurie

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 7:56AM
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mudrnner(zone 4/5 NY)

Phew, at least I got some of them right!!!

Dyahn

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 8:07AM
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irisqueen217(7b-8a TX)

Yeah I am learning as I go too. I couldn't figure out why I had a Siberian Iris that were barely multiplying at all.. I read up and found out they prefer acidic ph, so I have to move them.

Luckily I am digging a new flower bed, so I'll just sick all of them in there. :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 1:10PM
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denise_z7(OR)

In fall I cut all my Japanese and Siberians down and put allot of Sheer Manure the cheapest stuff on the clumps about 2-3" deep helps feed them and keep the weeds out of the clump

D

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 1:53PM
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mudrnner(zone 4/5 NY)

I have one siberian that I will have to move, it is in front of the bearded irises so I guess it needs a new home. The siberians that I have ordered I had slated for a nice damp area that is heavily mulched so they will be happy.

Dyahn

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 3:57PM
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