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Is this an OK new iris bed?

Posted by lucilleclifton (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 12, 09 at 21:21

Hello iris experts! I am going to be transplanting some beautiful dark maroon irises from the wild area at the back of my yard to this box. Now here's the catch... I'm pretty sure the former owner used the box as a sand box. But, we've been putting extra soil from planting and edging projects into the box, and I mixed it all together just now. What I have is a mostly sandy, but passable soil content. I'm not familiar with what irises like, but I do know they are subject to rot... so I would assume a really sandy mix would actually be good for them since it's well drained. Can anyone confirm or deny my suspicion? I'll peruse over in the lily forums too, but I was thinking of putting the three iris plants I found in the center of this bed, and surrounding it by lily of the valley on both sides. Here is a picture of the bed and the soil content. Any suggestions are most welcome! Thanks!

Ignore that dead area behind the box... that was an old area where the former owner had a swingset, I believe. It's also mostly sand, however the weeds were furious there this spring. So, I hit it with Roundup and will be prying out the wood border there and restoring turfgrass to that area.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is this an OK new iris bed?

Your iris will do great there. They like good drainage. Make sure you plant iris with the tops of the bulb thingy showing. Otherwise they won't bloom. However, Lily of the Valley is not a true lily and those folks won't be able to help. LOV needs shade, iris full sun or near full sun. Put your LOV somewhere shady and hope it does not take over. It may take a few years, but in moist shade it can be a monster. Also do not mulch your iris.


RE: Is this an OK new iris bed?

Thanks Pat! I discovered that news about LOV in reading the lily forum... but I love them, and I think the box should help contain them. What's weird about the iris I'll be transplanting is that it is growing in nearly 100% shade. It's growing in a grassy tree border at the back of my yard. Not sure how it would have gotten there, since our house is very old and it's nowhere near the house or any old lot locations. Anyway, I thought it would be OK to move it to the similarly shady spot under this box since it's already adapted to shade. It will get some sun, just not a lot. Thanks for the advice! I will be transplanting in July on everyone's advice here. :-)

RE: Is this an OK new iris bed?

I wouldn't put LOV there because they will multiply & eventually be shading the iris rhizomes with their leaves. So you will always be digging up the "extra" LOVs.

Also, they like shade, and will sunburn in full sun, which is what irises need.

So they aren't really good companions. Either the irises won't like the shade the LOVs enjoy, or the LOV is getting burned up where the irises love life.

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