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stolen irises

Posted by traceyc 9b Australia (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 17, 08 at 20:57

Hello all

I'm a newbie iris grower in Victoria, Australia. Last year an old guesthouse nearby was being demolished and it's gardens bulldozed flat. So I couldn't help myself and snuck out over several winter mornings and dug up everything I could - bulbs especially and clumps of bearded iris. I extended some of my garden beds and added them all in. The bulbs all bloomed but not the iris. Then I read that they wouldn't likely bloom the first year after division anyway.

Now its the first couple of weeks of winter and they are all blooming! They are a deep purple with white beard..very lovely. I'm thrilled they are blooming but surprised as it seems very early. I haven't seen iris blooming in other gardens nearby at this time. Could any of you experts tell me if this is normal or not and what I can expect in Spring/Summer. Will they bloom again? Should I cut them back at any time? Sorry for my ignorance but appreciate your replies!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: stolen irises

There is a common purple that blooms off season here also.

I would cut off dead foliage but not healthy --- it is feeding the rhizomes.

Sounds like you're hooked on iris :-)

RE: stolen irises

There's a historic iris called Crimson King, a deep purple intermediate with a white beard, that blooms for me very early in spring & then again in late May or early June.

I guess it might bloom very late if it had been disturbed/transplanted & had missed or skipped its regular bloom time.

RE: stolen irises

Thanks both for your replies. Yes irisgal, I'm getting completely hooked and am already eyeing my paddock for the possibility of new iris beds!!

sylvia you are spot on - my stolen irises are indeed Crimson King. I've read up on them and it seems they often bloom at strange times so the first weeks of winter may not be all that uncommon for them, especially given the season seems completely out of kilter so far. I have jonquils flowering already (Spring is supposed to start September - ie two and a half months away!), roses blooming and various other things happening that make me think somehow the garden has been forced into a false early spring.

I'll be interested to see if I get a second bloom on Crimson King..and when!

Thanks again.

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