watering iris

monaqquilterJuly 26, 2008

if iris are left in ground and never dug up, do they need watering during summer? or left to dry. i care for a lady that has iris beds she has cut them off after blooming, and insists they not get wet from the sprinkers. she has beautiful blooms in spring. we are in the foothills above sacramento california

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carlos42180(Z5 Chicago)

Iris should only watered when planting new rhizomes, to help establish them to your soil. Established iris should not be watered, as this encourages rot, particularly in humid areas. I never water my iris after their first year. Since you are in Sacremento, it might be a bit different than how I grow Iris in Chicago. Perhaps someone from California can better assist you.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 9:57PM
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Sparaxis(Vic Aust)

It really depends on what type of iris you are growing. Bearded irises of all classes will survive a severe drought without watering through summer, although some might like a little protection from severe scorching heat, particularly the dwarf beardeds, whose roots are more on the surface.
If you have rebloomers, they are unlikely to bloom in Autumn unless they have been watered during the summer.
Where I have water available, I deep water my irises with a soaker hose for 2 hours, roughly once every 3 to 4 weeks through the our long, hot summer.
If you are growing japanese, louisiana and a number of other species irises, you will need to water them copiously.
Most crested irises, spurias, Picific Coast iris, and even siberian iris if they are in slightly moist water retaining soil, will survive summer without much water.
Cheers, Jan in Aus

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:59PM
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