Need suggestions for fragrant rebloomers

AquaEyes 7a New JerseyAugust 19, 2013

I'm slowly building a garden here in NJ. My "bones" are roses, mostly OGRs and some Austins. The next layer I want between some of them are irises -- bearded, Siberian and Japanese. The number of varieties is daunting so I want to severely cut the options down to fragrant rebloomers (bearded), or just repeaters (I heard there are some Siberians...are there also some Japanese?).

The roses are mostly shades of white, pink, purplish-red and dark-red, with a little soft yellow, apricot and peach. I'm looking for irises in shades of blue, purple, white and soft yellow shades in that order of preference -- no pink (have plenty of that already in roses), no orange. Flowers can be solid or any pattern. Height doesn't matter -- I can find spots for dwarf through tall.

I've started compiling a list of possibilities (fragrant reblooming bearded iris) by looking at Nola's Iris Gardens' website. I searched through their reblooming iris and jotted down those mentioned as being fragrant, then searched through their fragrant iris and jotted down those mentioned as reblooming (in case I missed any).

I then started looking at other iris nurseries (found via for more options, but I noticed that some don't make mention of fragrance among their rebloomers. So, I'm asking this forum -- what are your suggestions for fragrant reblooming bearded iris? Which Siberian and Japanese iris are known for blooming again? If there are no reblooming Japanese iris, I'll still likely make room for one or two somewhere.

Thanks in advance.



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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

You are in luck! Those are the most common colors for reblooming irises, and purple irises tend to smell great.

Recurring Dream (purple/blue) has a nice strong scent and it is a prolific reblooming machine in Southern California, blooming three or four times a year, from March to January. It has a very big flower.

"City Lights" has a ligher scent, and it is a decent rebloomer. It's purple/blue with white- quite lovely.

"Mariposa Autumn" is another reblooming machine with a nice scent, and it is a violet-red and white plicata. It's a little shorter than most tall bearded irises, so it is well suited for the front of the border. It blooms three or four times a year here. I highly recommend it- it's so pretty with roses.

"Total Recall" is a very pale yellow and white iris that smells nice and is my best rebloomer- blooming from late March to January.

I'll ask my mom about the scent on Violet Turner and get back to you- it's very pretty and reblooms well.

Your garden sounds enchanting.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:19AM
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Well, it's so obvious that I probably don't even need to mention it, but in case you don't already have it on your list, "Immortality" is a very dependable rebloomer (where I live, anyway) and has a strong, pleasant scent.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:54PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

I appreciate any and all suggestions. If I've heard of them already, I'll take it to mean that the "catalog descriptions" are accurate in peoples' gardens. I may just have to keep searching nursery websites and make one list of fragrant bearded iris, and another of reblooming bearded iris, and find cultivars that appear on both lists.



    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 5:21PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Rebloomers are very regional. An iris gets listed as a rebloomer if it has ever been reported to rebloom for anyone, anywhere. So there are a lot of supposed rebloomers that won't rebloom in the north, or if they do the flowers will get frosted before they open. That often leads to rot in the mother rhizome, and a toasted iris.

I'd start by looking at the Presby Iris Garden list. They seem to be having a rhizome sale this weekend, so look fast.

Here is a link that might be useful: Presby Iris Garden

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 6:25PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Mad_Gallica, how wonderful to see you here! And thank you for the suggestion. I won't be buying any until next year -- I'm still doing bed preparation. Right now I'm just trying to build a list and choose a few favorites.



    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:02PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

New Jersey- I should have looked. There's a guy who grows tons of rebloomers in New Jersey and he has a website- I'm sure you could email him and ask which of his rebloomers is scented.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Jersey Reblooming Irises

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 3:05AM
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