Which irises do not grow or bloom for you?

hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)July 13, 2012

I was just thinking about the irises I have purchased that do not do well in Southern California. I know they do well in Minnesota, or Utah, but that doesn't help me. So here are some that I cannot grow or that do not bloom for me.

Starship Enterprise. One flower stalk with two flowers over the last eight years; no increase at all. I just gave it away.

Impressionist. Nada. No increase at all either.

Queen's Circle. Bloomed once and died.

Ringo. Very fussy. Small rhizomes, few flowers on the stalk that fry in the heat. Rarely blooms.

Ecstatic Echo. My favorite iris. It just kept growing all wiggly on the ground and getting accordion leaves. The stalks had very few flowers. My mom tried it with the same results.

Every Standard Dwarf and Intermediate Bearded I have tried. They lived, but no flowers.

How about you?


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I've had Tom Johnson for four years and it has never bloomed. Country Moon bloomed this year for the first time, but it was among the rhizomes I left at my old house, so I just saw it briefly walking by. IB's do great here. Late iris don't do so well, as it gets really hot by the time they bloom and they tend to fry some. Maybe if I watered them more? Sheer Bliss gets a lot of curly leaves and short bloom stalks and weird blooms if there is a late frost. The others seem to weather frosts better. Oh-Panama Hattie and Total Recall have never bloomed either.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:32AM
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gardenofeden777(8a central Louisiana)

I planted Persian Berry 1 year ago. It was one healthy large plump fan when I bought it. It bloomed this spring and was just gorgeous. But no increase at all and the plant now has 2 sad looking leaves on it. I want to move it but am afraid that I will seal its demise if I do. And I have more to add to the list. When I go outside tomorrow I will take my notepad. Oh and I have 2 Immortality planted they are growing slooooow. The one in full sun is 1/2 the size of the one in part shade.

Renee - do you want any pics of our sad iris? lol


    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:31AM
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That's good to know about Persian Berry. I thought it was a nice color and was thinking about it, but I don't think I will get it. Most of my iris are from an earlier time and maybe are a little more robust as a result. I went to the Blue J iris place this spring. I was too late to see the IB's though, so I could just compare the ones that were blooming at that time. I could see the luminatas were struggling, and that others grow like gangbusters. If anyone has an iris person close to them to learn from then that can help them select iris. Then you could see what does well in your area. Somebody wrote on this forum before that lots of white iris, Immortality among them, are sort of difficult. My iris that are in part shade do better than full sun also. This is something that I learned from my move last fall.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Nancy zone 6

I seem to have problems with some of the Kasparek iris. I've had Anaconda Love several years, not much growth, no flowers. I decided to move it this year, I think it might be dead. But then, I've thought that before. Still, it might as well be dead if it never blooms. Batik & Baboon Bottom bloom well if I don't move them. But, I do tend to move them. Gnu Rays bloomed last year-its first year in my garden, but nothing this spring, so it may join its mates. Gnus Flash though does great, multiplies a lot & blooms every year. I have a few others, but they are new & not really settled in yet.
Six Pack is a lovely, different iris, but blooms sporadically. Dawn to Dusk blooms every year & looks beautiful, but doesn't really multiply. Each year I have 1 bloom stalk. Mother Earth doesn't seem to like me much, bloomed really nicely last year, but nothing this year. Pumpkin Cheesecake is lovely when it decides to bloom. Immortality was really bad, not blooming at all for a few years, last fall was the first time it rebloomed for me. This after about 10 years. It really needs to be divided, but I figure I'm gonna leave it alone as long as it is blooming happily. Other whites I have do well though, maybe too well.
On the other hand, Persian Berry does beautifully here. Total Recall took a couple of years to bloom, then rebloomed its first fall. It didn't rebloom last fall, but I didn't have much to bloom last fall, but it did bloom nicely this spring.
I got Ringo in 2010, it must have died though. It hasn't bloomed, & not where I thought I planted it. Wouldnt' be the first time an iris showed up after I've thought it missing. Things move around mysteriously in my garden :)

I'm really glad to know about Starship Enterprise though. I've admired that one a lot. Queen's Circle too. Of course, our climate is very different. I hope someone else might chime in that is closer to my zone.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 2:54PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Persian Berry is a weed here. I should divide it every year. My mom finally got rid of it because she couldn't keep up with it.

Immortality did not bloom here at all, so I got rid of it.

Andi Rivarola, the president of the iris society I belong to, grows Queen's Circle like nobody's business. I water a lot and he doesn't, and he lets his irises go dormant in the summer. That's probably why.

My garden friend Susanne grows Starship Enterprise in Utah, but I have never seen it grown here successfully. I gave the tiny rhizome to a woman in my iris society who can grow ANYTHING. We'll see what happens!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:12AM
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So-I've had "Total Recall" for four years. It took it two years to bloom here, and then I found out what had been sent was a different iris, Oasis Cathy. So I told the vendor, and they sent a Total Recall that late summer. I had to plant the new rhizome in a pot as I was moving here to my present location across town. I got it into the ground in November here, and it survived the winter and grew and grew into a prodigious fan, but no bloom. So I just wrote above that it had never bloomed, and I go out immediately after and it has now a bud! In 100 degree July! So I'll get to see it bloom here anyway. I hope it can make some new growth before it freezes. I just wanted to offer some idea of the difficult situation it has had to really show off it's best in my case.

I also have to say I am hopeful of Tom Johnson blooming here next year. It has grown really well in the lighter soil I have here at my new house, much better than it did at my old house which had heavier upland soil. There was one person who posted here in a similar thread from before who really likes this iris, and it grew prodigiously for him. We'll see if change of soil type can help.

I too hope more people in colder zones will chime in. There was someone in a colder zone who posted on the DG site who said Queen's Circle does really well for them. I looked it up and it is a pretty iris.

Well, Renee, you've really been running the gauntlet of the red and white amoenas. Gotta try 'em all! I hope Repartee works out.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:16AM
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As far as SDB's in the SoCal go, look for ones from Weiler or Blyth. In particular I think CHANTED (pink, blue bd.) and LITTLE BLUE EYES are examples.

I have also had some success with SDB by Sutton, Tasco or Lauer.

QC does very well here and it's home is Sacramento...

Second the failure on Immortality - never bloomed here and dwindled.

Of the famous rebloomers, my besty is ROSALIE FIGGE.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:01PM
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gardenofeden777(8a central Louisiana)

Well Renee, I went and dug up my Persian Berry, I figured if it looks that bad might as well give it a chance to live and I moved it. And guess what? It had 2 little buds growing! They are small about the size of a red bean, but it looks like it might pull thru! It was out of the ground literally 2 min. before I replanted it. I put it in a spot where other Iris are really happy.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:12PM
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For me it would be easier to make a list with those who grow AND bloom, it would be much much shorter. Some grow and bloom for some years , just to die in severe winters. Some I have never succeded to see the bloom on(because of dying): Silverado, Fall Fiesta, Night Ruler and many many others. Jesse's Song is a terrible rotter here.

Some of reliable growers and bloomers: Sultry Mood, Song of Norway, Spinning Wheel, Dusky Challenger, Latin Lover, White Owl, Stepping Out, Breakers, Best Bet, Amethyst Flame, Supreme Sultan, Lime Fizz, Echo de France, Sweet Musette, Holy Night.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Nancy zone 6

I forgot about Fall Fiesta. I don't know that I can call it an absolute failure, but it has had 2 full years-got it summer 09-& hasn't bloomed yet. Nice healthy looking rhizome, certainly big enough to bloom, but nothing yet. I got it because of the name, I expected it would rebloom in the fall, but apparently not. Night Ruler only blooms every other year for me.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 1:31PM
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I have the following that have never bloomed for me:
Going My Way
Earl of Essex
Coral Chalice
Pink Vanilla
Peach Frost
Study in Black

Immortality has bloomed 2x

I got all these around 2000

Debby Rairdon and Shipshape have bloomed twice since 1998

Wabash blooms almost every year

I don't know what I'm doing wrong! They really don't multiply; instead they seem to shrink!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:41AM
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I forgot to say that Grachus, Snuggle Bug and Gold Galore bloom every year

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:43AM
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Nancy zone 6

I'm astounded that Earl of Essex doesn't do well for you Spicebush, it is almost a weed here. Blooms dependably every spring & fall.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 7:00PM
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It's interesting to see Immortality mentioned a couple of times. It's listed so many places as a reliable rebloomer. It does OK for me, but no reblooms. Increase is average, less than some, more than others. This year I divided it and put it in a bed of its own. No summer bloom, but that might be due to dividing it. We'll see if it blooms next spring.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 7:31PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Coral Chalice does really well in Southern California. Where are you, Spicebush?

Have you ever divided the irises? Are they in full sun?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:10PM
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gardenofeden777(8a central Louisiana)

A little late on my return response I am... Anyway

Bewilderbeast 3-4 fans but only 8-9" tall.
Rose Unique dwindling rapidly...
Copatonic - healthy but short maybe 12" tall
Batik oh my 3-4 fans 4-5" tall! geesh (planted 9 mths. ago)
2 in totally different places, same results
and I know there are others also not liking Louisiana
have to take another jaunt tomorrow.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:35AM
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ngraham, I wish it grew like a weed here and it even blooms twice for you!

Renee, I'm in SW Virginia, in the mountains. I've never divided the first ones I listed. They've never grown enough to need dividing. I divided Debby Rairdon after it bloomed two years and it never bloomed again. Shipshape bloomed once and then shrank to one fan.

I wish I knew how to get them to grow. My soil is quite acidic but I have put a little lime around the irises. I have Siberian iris that bloom every year and actually multiply. I have two Louisiana iris that increase but have only bloomed once in about 8 years.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 7:27PM
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