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is this Japanese Iris???

Posted by alyciaadamo 3/4 (My Page) on
Tue, May 24, 11 at 12:58

I bought some HUGE irises 2 years ago from Lowes, got them home and planted them. The crown is at least 2-3 inches below soil level(I just planted them they way they came). That first year they bloomed and I thought they looked like bearded irises(buit I have no pictures and it was 2 YEARS ago). When I looked up they name they came with at the time I couldn't find anything. I even asked here if anyone heard of it and didn't get any responses, everyone just said used Google search. Well last year they didn't bloom at all. The foliage still grew very tall(3'-/+ tall) and nice and green just no blooms. I was reading last night how irises like sit as close to the surface as possible (my other irises are at soil level as well) so I was thinking I should lift them and see if that helps. I dug them up and washed off the roots, the weird thing is they do not look like bearded iris rhizomes. The roots look more like a ball of roots, but I did notice a weird shaped bulb on the very bottom. Also all around the leaves look like hair. I Googled iris rhizome and saw a drawing of a Japanese Iris which looked very much what is on the bottom of these irises. How much sun does Japanese Irises need? I have them in I think 5-6 hrs of morn/afternoon sun. Are they more water plants? The soil stays moist but I wonder if they need more water? The first picture is one that I pulled off the main plant. Any info would help.
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: is this Japanese Iris???

Looks like Japanese or Siberian Iris. Definately not tall Bearded Iris. The Japanese and Siberian Iris require full sun/partial shade and like to be moist. Some people plant them at the edge of a pond, in the bog, and they do very well. Mine are in full sun in my border flower garden and are fine. I do water often. When they bloom, post a picture and maybe we can tell you if it's Siberian or Japanese Iris.
Hope this helps.

Nancy VB


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RE: is this Japanese Iris???

so would you say its not blooming because of the lack of sun or water? It stays moist but not really wet and the sun is definitely 5 hours but not real sure if it gets a full 6hrs of sun. tThe reason for not really knowing how many hours of sun is because we live in-town with houses on all sides. Also with each season the sun is placed at different levels in the sky(never really noticed this before 'til I started gardening) In the summer the sun starts around 7-8am stays in that area until about 1pm but then at the end of the day gets another hour of sun set light. So Should I put it back where I had it or move it?


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RE: is this Japanese Iris???

I don't know why your Irises arent blooming, but I found this article and believe it to have all the information you will need. Do plant it in a spot that gets the most sun in your yard.

Caring for Japanese Iris
Cut off faded Japanese iris flowers to maintain an attractive look and stimulate new ones. Once the blooming period is over, cut off the old stems. Do not, however, cut the leaves back severely after flowering. The plants need their leaves for the rest of the season to store up energy for next year.

Watering Japanese Iris
Japanese irises require lots of moisture, about an inch a week. If they are in a regular garden bed, run a drip system when rainfall is sparse to keep the soil from drying out. Mulch the plants well. Near a pond where the water table is just below the soil surface, they can manage on their own.

Fertilizing Japanese Iris
Japanese irises are heavy feeders and should be fertilized twice during the season. At planting time or every spring sprinkle a general purpose fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants on the soil near the irises. Do not allow it to fall on the stems or leaves. Repeat this later in the summer just before they begin to bloom. As with other bulb plants, do not use manure.

Mulching and Weed Control
A 2 to 3 inch layer of chopped leaves, shredded bark or other attractive organic material spread on the soil over the iris rhizomes protects them. In the summer it discourages weeds and helps the soil retain moisture. In the winter it insulates the iris roots against the typical alternate freezing and thawing of winter. This minimizes soil heaving and disturbance of the shallowly planted rhizomes.

Propagating Japanese Iris
To acquire more Japanese iris plants and to keep existing ones blooming at their best, divide the broad clumps every 3 or 5 years. Do this either in the spring or early fall. Carefully dig up the knarled clumps of rhizomes and wash them off with the hose. Slice through their densely matted roots with a sharp axe or large knife, to make smaller chunks composed of 4 to 6 rhizomes each. Discard sections of older, weakened rhizomes from the center of the original clump. Replant the most vigorous ones as directed above. When dividing in the fall, trim back iris foliage for easier handling. Newly divided clumps of iris may not bloom the following season. With good soil conditions and an annual application of fertilizer, most clumps will bloom within a year or two.

As you can see, the care for the Japanese iris is much different than the Tall Bearded or German Iris.
I hope this helps and don't give up, they are beautiful flowers and once established need little attention.

Nancy VB


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RE: is this Japanese Iris???

Alicia, run your finger along the length of the leaf and see if it has a pronounced midrib, you'll be able to feel it easily, a raised area along the center of the leaf running the length of the leaf.

Then report back, LOL.


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RE: is this Japanese Iris???

Looks like you have a Japanese Iris as the foliage on them are wider than Siberians. I grow all three by the way and the culture on each one is different. Although what is not discussed is Ph of the soil. Good info provided by Nancy regarding Tall Bearded Iris, Siberian Iris and Japanese Iris. I will have to add, Japanese Iris rhizomes must be planted 2-3 inches deep and in heavy humus soil that is acidic and consistently moist. I use bloom builder on most of my plants before they bloom to help promote good blooming. I grow many Tall Bearded Iris and Siberian Iris.


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