Any Iris Experts?

MelDawn0511(7)May 1, 2013

Its me again, :)

Is there anyone here who is knowledgeable with irises? I have them dabbled here and there in my side yard most of it has had brush and saplings growing around it covering it up. I have read several sites on them but am still unable to find the answer to my question. I have uncovered a small patch of them and only one has bloomed, I want to transplant them into one area that they will have a permanent home and can thrive in. I have read that bearded irises, which is what I have, have two blooming cycles.

Therefore my question is this, if I transplant them now and weed out the ones with rotten rhizomes, will I risk them not blooming later this season?

If that's the case I'm ok with that because my ocd is kicking in and its driving me crazy that they aren't all together, just here and there.

Oh and my neighbor down the street has the most beautiful tri-colored irises I have ever seen, how mad do you think she would be if she found some missing? Lol only kidding


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Im not an expert but have had iris in the same spot for about 12 years now. I believe that it is a certain type of iris that blooms more than once, not necessarily just the bearded iris But, i could be wrong, i was wrong about gladeolus not being perennial here.... Thats the great thing about this site, you learn something all the time.

I believe the iris to be one of the most hardy flowers there is. They are really more of a tuber than a bulb, dont need to be planted very deep at all and arent very fussy. They are prolific reproducers so a small investment or gift from a friend could last a lifetime.

As for moving them right now, i would go ahead and move them of you want to. They will either bloom or not, but for sure will bloom next year!

Good luck


This post was edited by Erod1 on Wed, May 1, 13 at 18:22

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Bearded irises generally have one cycle, they bloom right now. There are some "reblooming" irises, but I would not count on those being reblooming, just because the majority of ones people own are not.

Irises should really be moved in July, I use July 4th as my marker, but if you want to move them now, I don't really see how it could be too big a problem since they are in less than ideal conditions.

Irises are incredibly hard to kill :) I have an accidental iris bed in the middle of my lawn where I was sorting irises many years ago (under a tree that is now gone) and apparently some got left and rooted themselves!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 6:40PM
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I'm new here, and certainly no expert on irises, but.... when we moved onto our current property we inherited a ton of irises, only we weren't getting any blooms. Last summer my hubby moved them into a beautiful reclaimed brick planter the previous owner put in some 15 years ago... and this spring almost every iris we moved has blossomed, some have 5-6 flowers on each stalk, and those stalks are 4 ft (yes feet!) high. I count myself lucky to have had these results, but in general we found with ours that spreading and thinning them out caused them to start blooming again, though not til the next season.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:21PM
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It is only a certain type of bearded iris that reblooms and they don't reliably rebloom in my garden in the conditions that they suffered last year. The more common iris can fade after a few years if they become too crowded, too shaded or too stressed. But if dug, thinned, fertilized, they should recover and bloom well the next year. Iris like neutral soil so here where soils are so acid, I work a little woodash around the plants, but not too close. They also bloom better with adequate phosphorous.

Taraleigh, that white iris in your photo is one of the most prolific out there. There is a dwarf dark purple-blue that is also tough. My mother has an iris bed that has become way too crowded and almost nothing in there blooms, but the tall white and the dwarf purple still bloom.

Iris are prone to two main problems. There is a brown rot that affects the foliage. A spraying with a fungicide or neem oil helps. (You would think that being in the sun would make them less sucseptible to this but mine in the sun are worse than those in the shade.) And there is a borer that tunnels into the stems. I remove those manually.

As mentioned July is the best time to move them, but I have moved them in bloom succesfully and even had them bloom the next year, with adequate water and fertilizer after the move.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 10:05PM
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Thank you everyone for your input. You guys are awesome.

Taraleigh your irises are beautiful. I think I have a variety of different irises because some are much bigger than others and after my find of the lavender one yesterday I'm guessing I have a variety of colors to. Now I'm really looking forward to next year to see what they look like and hopefully they will all bloom.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:06PM
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I love iris. My grandmother used to grow lots of them and it brings fond memories of her garden when I see them bloom.

I've planted a few over the years, some inherited from friends, and some purchased retail. One of my faves is 'Sierra Grande' bred by Schreiner's in 1992. The flowers are huge! I love to look at their catalog. Some of their rhizome are pricey, but they have a certain reputation and lots of history to back it up. There is a section on their website on how to grow iris.


Here is a link that might be useful: Schreiner's

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Not an expert, but I've had irses off and on, over the years - maintaining one bed for over fifteen years.

I've had great 'luck' by thinning them out every three or four years - no less than once every five years - adding more amendments to the soil when I do.

Cut the rhizomes about four to six inches long, leaving about two inches of green at the top and about four inches of roots at the bottom. Plant them in the amended soil with the green part sticking out and the rhizome and roots fully buried and many of them usually bloom the next year. I always end up with blooms the next spring. The rhizomes w/o any leaves can be used and planted, of course, but they take take a couple years to mature and bloom.

I usually do all of that in mid to late fall, about the time I'm pruning bushes and trees for the winter. More of a habit on my part, than anything else, I suppose. It's always worked fer me!

Irises are very hardy, though. You just about can't kill them, unless you cut them up into little, tiny pieces. You can thin them out any time of year, as long as you keep them watered now and then.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 2:53PM
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We removed the crab apple tree last year under which a huge batch of Irises were growing. The blooms are spectacular this year and with over-crowding. They are the hardy types. We have white ones elsewhere.

These need dividing. I look forward to expansion. It's so wonderful to welcome spring by them and Serenity, my 5yo, just adores them.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 2:57PM
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