whats the life cycle of a iris?

madeyna(7/8)June 14, 2009

I cann,t seem to find anything that gives some kind of time span to a iris. Do they bloom ,then in the same year start making babys. Then nothing but making babys the next year while the babys from the prevous years babys grow, then the first years babys bloom the following year? So the babys would be blooming on thier third year? Does any of this make since or did I jumble it up?

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alisande(Zone 4b)

Sounds like you're talking about strawberries. :-)

There are plenty of people here more expert than I, and I trust you'll hear from them. But in simple terms, my experience has been that iris bloom in spring and then put their energy into expanding. There are no obvious "babies," but if you started out with a one-stalk iris, the following spring you're likely to see more than one stalk. In other words, the rhizomes increase in number and size, and the stalks multiply accordingly.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 8:07PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

You've got it. The rhizome that has sent up a bloom stalk will not send up another. Exception: some cultivars will send up more than one blm.slk. per rhizome.

The rhizome that has bloomed is now reproducing. Some are very vigorous, producing lots of babies that grow to blooming size quickly (Thornbird is one). Others may produce only 1-3 babies. Mine take at least 2 years to grow large enuf to bloom.

When the babies have established their own root systems the mother rhizome withers away and dies. When you dig one up you will see pinholes on the bottom where roots used to be.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 9:34PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

I'm glad Iris_Gal stepped in. I apologize for my misinformation! ("Learn something new every day," my dad used to say.)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 11:37PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Alisande ~ just different language for the same thing you said :-)

I read a nifty article about thinning a clump in ground rather than lifting it for division. That way the newer babies' roots aren't as disturbed and bloom is less interrupted. I have heard people say this iris skips a year in blooming. Now I know that means its baby rhizome need 2 years to become blooming size.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 12:37AM
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Thanks thats what I was thinking but couldn,t confirm it anywhere. So some reproduce more and quicker than others . That explains alot. I have some that seem to produce more fans but so far no noticable toes. Just a huge mother rhizome. So I,m guessing that at some point that mother will shrink and allow the toes to grow out.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 12:55AM
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