Why are they blooming in this stinkin' heat?

clinging_vine(z8 SC)August 16, 2012

A few of my iris plants are blooming NOW. I live in coastal SC and it's HOT and HUMID for months.

I love the bearded irises for the beautiful springtime bloom, but when they bloom at this time of year they open, feel the 90 degree temperature and wilt in a day. Not all of them bloom now, but the plants that did are on different sides of the house even...

It happened last year, which I thought was just a fluke, but it's happening again...

Any ideas why, or what I might to to discourage it?

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I am not sure of the answer, but are any of these iris rebloomers? Did they bloom in the spring too? I had a reblooming iris that didn't bloom in the spring, but bloomed at the end of July. It is just now making offsets. I have also heard of iris waiting to bloom until a hot spell is over, but I haven't heard that iris wait until it is very hot to bloom!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:03PM
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Nancy zone 6

I have had the same thing happen here. At the end of June during our hottest 2 week period between 100-112 degrees, an iris rebloomed. It is a reblooming iris, but who would have thought it would choose that time. I had another iris bloom about the same time, but it didn't bloom in the spring. Elainelope has a bloom stalk on it right now-it bloomed in the spring & I don't think it is a rebloomer. I don't think it is actually going to bloom, it formed decent buds, but the last few days they look dried out. Very odd year, I've never had this happen before.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:30PM
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irisrover(9 CA)

A likely cause is light. Light like from a street light or other lights you might have around the house, can trigger irises into blooming offseason.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:37PM
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That is odd. I live next to a cornfield. I don't think there is any light pollution that could be responsible. The day length was probably about the same between when my iris normally bloom, about one month before the longest day of the year, and when my odd-time-bloomer bloomed, which was about one month after the solstice. So light could have something to do with it, I guess.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Nancy zone 6

The rebloomer is fairly close to a security light, but the others that have bloomed are not close to any artificial light source.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Clinging Vine, I would think the ones you have blooming now are rebloomers. esp if this same group bloomed last year also...They are obviously very happy where they are! If you dont want them blooming now I would suggest digging them up and replacing them with only spring bloomers. As happy as they are..they should bloom again this Spring..If you are unhappy because the blooms only last a day in this heat..I would suggest cutting them and bringing them in to enjoy..I only wish I had that problem.
ngraham ..Elainelope is a re bloomer.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:51AM
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clinging_vine(z8 SC)

Thanks for everyone's help. They didn't bloom at all this spring. I don't think they are re-bloomers. There is a street light on the adjacent property, but it doesn't throw a great deal of light in my yard.

It was an exceptional winter here,very mild... do they need some cold?

I did cut them and enjoyed a few blooms in the air conditioned comfort!

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 12:36AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

No, they don't need cold. Just a weird year for irises!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:34AM
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