Iris flowers keep falling over

Is it normal for iris to fall over? I mean the flowers, of course. They were fine until the flowers came out and then boom, down they went. Should I tie them up somehow? The flowers are HUGE.
Pat
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You answered your own question.
Stake the flower stalks if they are top heavy.

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Cereus-validus..... wrote:

I was wondering if I "should" stake them up or just let them lay on the ground. Thanks though.
Pat
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Quoting PatK:

If what you want to know is if it is detrimental to the plants if you don't stake, the answer is "no". It's up to you (your free time and personal esthetics) -- personally my garden is too large to bother with running around to stake individual flowers.
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You stake the floral stems not the individual flowers, you goof ball.
I hope you wind up running around dodging killer bees for being so obtuse.

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It's a variety thing. Some have bigger blooms, some have sturdier stems. It's pretty much your choice - stake 'em, let 'em lie, plant a sturdier variety...
says...

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Ol' Duffer wrote:

Well, these were some bulbs from my grandmother's house and I didn't want to plant another variety, I just had these because they reminded me of her. I don't remember hers falling over. Could it be because I have them planted under the eave of my house and they're trying to get more sun?
Pat
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Maybe they are so limp because they were given too much water and too much fertilizer?


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PatK wrote:

If these are bearded iris, the stalks may have been chewed by snails or slugs. In my garden, that is the usual cause for iris stalks to topple.
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David E. Ross
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David Ross wrote:

Insufficient watering may make the stems weak. It's internal water pressure that stiffens them. (Also happens with amaryllis, for example.)
HTH
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Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:

I'd be more inclined to think not enough water, just because they don't get much where they are. I have to water them myself.
Pat
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The slug guess is often the problem when irises fall entirely to the ground. Even quite small slugs can damage stems. It should be easy to tell, at the point where the stalk bends & topples there'll be some chew-marks revealing where the outer wall of the stalk was weakened. Sluggo is a non-toxic slug control that so far as the plants are concerned is fertilizer, but it makes slugs & snails slime themselves to death.
If there is no evidence of having had the stalk chewed, & especially if the irises in question are the biggest fanciest bearded irises on three-foot-tall stalks, or of the varieties that produce a dozen flowers on one stalk -- too many of these have been bred for amazing flowers without sufficient attention to strength of stem. They are frequently top heavy & the first rainy day adds still more weight to big blooms, or a windy day, down they go. Those with less sun are even more prone to lodging.
Such irises indeed need staking, or can be wired together as a lot if its a large clump. Most of the less ultra-fancy irises will never "lodge" or fall down, although a few of the species irises like gladwyns just naturally flop partway.
Other causes of weak stems & lodging is an overcrowded clump that has depleted its own soil, too little sun, too much water, or very poor soil. Division & replanting after the soil is enriched with compost, in a sunnier spot, might fix it if these have been factors.
But for many tall irises wind & rain is all it takes & there's no avoiding staking; or grow different varieties that are resistant to lodging, or which are comparatively short. Also since irises are shortlived blooms even when all goes well, the tippier ones can just be taken for bouquets, they'll last just as long in vases.
If the leaves also fall over then the problem is "soft rot" caused by a bacteria, usually gets started in overly wet places. If a stalk or leaf falls loose, give the base a sniff, it'll smell bad if its soft-rot. This requires the rhizomes to be dug up, all the rotten bits cut out of it, the rest dipped in bleach or dusted with Comet, & replanted where they won't be so wet & nowhere near their previous location which'll still have the same horrid bacteria in the soil.
-paghat the ratgirl
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If they feed the Iris something that's high in "N" that could weaken the stalk too. I live in the High Mojave Desert and have close to 300 iris and we had more than our share of rain this year, to the point of them standing in water for some days and only a few stalks where snaped over in the 45 to 60mph winds we had on some days while the iris where blooming.
wrote:

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Starlord wrote:

I'm thinking it's more the size of the blooms than anything. They are really big and the stems are at least 3 feet long and a bit thin. They stand up find until the actual flower comes out and then they fall over. I'll try staking them. This is pretty much the first year they've bloomed with more than one or two flowers and I've had them for about five years. Oh and, there's no sign of any kind of rot or slugs or anything that I can see.
Pat
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I've got TBIris and this year with all the rain, I had stalks up to 48inch tall and they where not the ones to fall over, it was some old geman types that had a few stalks go over and they where thin ones. So being tall is not the trouble, not with me not losing any 48 inch tall ones to wind, the only one of those that when over had the paw print of a cyolte by it.
Good TBI's have been bred for tall stalks and big blooms on them.

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good grief. Go to Lowes or Home Depot or WalMart and get some of those 38c green flower stakes that you slip a single stem into after you push it into the ground as deep as you can (they're about two foot long, the larger ones are longer, almost three foot) and hold them upright. When the flower buds are all open, snap off the spent part, remove the supports and use again! Next year, invest in the circle grid you imbed over a clump of plants when the leaves are just coming up, and they flower stalks will push thru the square grids and you don't have to worry about individual staking each stalk.
Irises don't have to be coddled. I've seen clumps of them in abandoned yards that were full of flowers and no rains for weeks. They're pretty tough. They're falling over because the flowerheads are just large. Don't be tempted to bury them deeper, it will stop them from flowering altogether......... madgardener

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