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Walking Iris?? Blue..for the deep south.

Posted by aveo5 10 (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 14, 10 at 17:41

Hi. I have several types of so called 'waling iris' in my south Fla. garden. The white one with blue, and the yellow one,with brown spots, and I also have a HUGE blue iris that is nearly as big and as handsome as a 'regular' bearded iris. I grew it for nearly 5 years, and it did next to nothing. I thought I had been sold a northern iris, and was about to throw it out, when all of a sudden a root popped through the drain hole and the plant took off the minute it hit soil!

Now it is a HUGE plant, and in less than 3 months of growing, it bloomed! This past spring/summer. I have some pics. but I am hopeless at posting pictures on here. I was told it is a 'Louisana Walking Iris'. One of the 'Neomarica' types? This is my problem. I now have these huge swords of leaves, over 3 feet long, and the stem that bloomed now has a big plant growing in it! But it is so tall,if I bend it, it will snap off.

My question is...does anyone know what I have? The name of this Iris, common or botanical? And how do I root a 'walking iris' that cant reach soil? Now that I know it can grow here in Fort Lauderdale, and it will bloom huge blooms, and they smell so wonderful! I want more!! I know I can divide it, and it needs it now! But I dont know if I should try that now or in the spring? do i get this 'air borne' iris plant to root? Can it be cut off, and dug out of the leaf? Do I wrap it in sphagnum moss and hope it roots in the air wrapped in sphagnum moss and Saran Wrap? What do I do? This plant went from a sad few tiny leaves, to a huge plant with 3-4 foot long sword leaves in less than 3 months! Then it bloomed a month later! The blooms have long ago stopped. But I was surprised to find a 'walking iris' on the stem that bloomed. Can anyone give me any idea on how to get it to root? Or have a name for this light blue petaled iris, with darker blue inner petals, 3 of them, 3 big outer ones, the inner ones also have brown spots and have very dark blue veins.

It is obviously for southern gardens, thats why I bought it, but thought i got taken for a ride...but all it needed was root room! And it took off once it got it!! It is obviously a 'walking iris'. I saw it on EBay a week ago, and stupidly didn't write the name down! And now it isn't there. Any ideas on what I have and how to root the 1 plant that is so far off the ground, it cant be bent over to root in the soil.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Walking Iris?? Blue..for the deep south.

This is a quote from wikipedia:

"After pollination, the new plantlet appears where the flower emerged and the stalk continues to grow longer. The weight of the growing plantlet causes the stalk to bend toward the ground, allowing the new plantlet to root away from its parent."

That's why its called a walking iris.


RE: Walking Iris?? Blue..for the deep south.

Well first of all, I am trying to find out the name of this blue walking iris. Then how I am going to get the plantlet to root. It will never hit the soil. The stem it is on is way to long, and the plantlet is right in the middle of the stem. The leaves are not soft and 'droopy' like the other walking iris'. These leaves are over 3 feet long 'swords', like northern iris'. Very stiff and upright, no bending in them at all. To get to the soil, the stem would have to snap in half and that would kill the plantlet, I assume.

Unless I can somehow take it out of the stem and plant it myself. It is a 'normal leaf' that out of the blue bloomed! It isnt a special bloom stem that I recall iris' produce when they bloom.
That is what I am trying to find out. The other walking iris leaves are only like 1-2 feet long, and they are very soft and droopy, and the plantlets are produced on the end of the leaves. So unless this is not a walking iris and it is a fluke that it produced a plantlet in a regular leaf, it will never touch soil,the stem is to long and strong.

RE: Walking Iris?? Blue..for the deep south.

Hi aveo5,

I do not have an answer to your question, but this is very interesting. I wonder what kind of a plant you have? Could it be that the plantlet is a "proliferation" such as daylilies sometimes get? Maybe it's a Siberian or a Louisiana.

Is there any possibility you could post a photograph? That might help people identify the iris for you.

I would see if the plantlet grows rootlets right there on the leaf. If it does, I would cut the leaf below the plantlet and set the roots on some soil in a pot to see if they grow down. That's what I do with daylily proliferations, and they grow best if the rootlets are quite developed before you cut the stalk.


RE: Walking Iris?? Blue..for the deep south.

IF I could post a picture i would do it. I have been told how to post it like 5 times, and I cant do it. I have lost of pictures of the plant and blooms, but I cant post either. I can email them to people,but I cant post online, let alone in here. Wish I could...someone would see it and probably know what it is in a flash!

RE: Walking Iris?? Blue..for the deep south.

Hi, Your plant is a Neomarica caerulea. To root the plantlet place a stool or something tall beside the plant and put a pot of soil on it and gently pull the plantlet down into contact with the soil. Use a suitable rock/pebble to weight it down to keep in contact with the soil. If space is limited use a garden stake driven in near the plant and securely wire a plastic pot to it. This plant is reputedly difficult to divide successfully and as it is difficult to obtain I have never tried with mine so cant comment from experience. Good Luck. Robyn

RE: Walking Iris?? Blue..for the deep south.

After the blooms stop a plantlet will grow. Remove the plantlet and plant it in potting soil. Don't plant too deeply.

RE: Walking Iris?? Blue..for the deep south.

aveo5, like plantsplus_gld said, it sounds like you have a Neomarica caerulea 'Regina' variety. I have had some in pots for a couple years now, just north of you in Lighthouse Point, and they do very well and multiply like crazy. I too got plantlets from the blossoms and once it looked fairly robust I just cut it off, cleaned it up but nothing fancy or involved, and put in good potting soil. In less than a year that plant has created multiple new shoots and is doing just fine. Not sure if you have to do it in the spring, but with this weather I'm sure you could do it now and it would continue to grow for the next couple months and be fine.

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