Iris not thriving

A friend gave a bunch of irises to us after they failed to thrive at her house; she planted them in a shady part of her lawn.
We transplanted the irises to our garden in a sunny location. It has been three years and we have seen only one iris bloom; the bloom was yellow. No blooms this year. I wonder what I'm doing wrong and whether I should just get rid of them.
Thank you,
Jeff
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They like bone meal and potash and very little nitrogen. I sprinkle blood meal lightly over a new iris bed and dig it in with the bone meal and wood ash from the woodstove. They also do better with little organic matter in the soil. The more sun the better and drainage must be excellent. Don't bury the tuber. The back should be exposed to the air.
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What kind of Iris?
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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I do not know what type they are and neither does the person who gave them to us. I may replant them; it looks like maybe I transplanted them too deep in the ground. I provide them with bone meal every spring, but I am also giving them Miracle Grow. I will discontinue the Miracle Grow and see what happens.
Thank you for all your replies and pointers.
Jeffery
Travis M. wrote:

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Jeff wrote:

If the plants have narrow, green, grass-like leaves that die in the summer or fall, they are bulb iris (often called "Dutch iris"). If the plants have wide, gray-green leaves arranged almost in a fan that stay alive through most of the winter, they are rhizome iris (usually "bearded" iris).
I know little about bulb iris. I have been quite successful with bearded iris for many years.
Bone meal must be dug into the soil before planting. The essential nutrient in bone meal is phosphorus, which does NOT dissolve and travel down to the roots. Instead, it must be initially placed where the roots will find it. After digging bone meal into the soil, cover it with a little plain soil so that the disturbed iris roots are not in direct contact with the fertilizer.
Bearded iris do not need a rich soil. Go very easy when using fertilizers that have nitrogen. Excess nitrogen can cause the plants to rot and die. I buy a generic lawn fertilizer (without weed killer or insecticide) and use that in my beds. I lightly feed my iris once with this lawn fertilizer, after flowering.
Also, unlike many flowering plants, bearded iris prefer a slighly alkaline soil; avoid fertilizers that contain sulfur or sulfates. Thus, bearded iris might go well with dianthus (pinks and carnations) and primula (primroses), both of which also prefer alkaline conditions. Since bearded iris require good drainage, however, gypsum (calcium sulfate) is okay for improving heavy clay.
Bearded iris should be planted quite shallow. The tops of the rhizomes should be at the surface of the soil. If they are slightly exposed, that's okay. If you can expose them by scraping away less than 0.5 inch of soil, that's okay, too.
They should be divided about every 3-4 years. See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_divide_iris.html .
In cold-winter areas, bearded iris might need some protection. I once visited the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada). A number of plants that grow in the ground in my own garden were growing under glass at the Royal Botanical Gardens (e.g., rosemary). The extensive iris beds were no longer in bloom. I asked one of the workers there about how they deal with the iris in the winter. He indicated that they leave the plants in the ground but cover them with pine and fir branches in the fall.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Jeff I do not know what type they are and neither does the person wh
gave them to us. I may replant them; it looks like maybe I transplante them too deep in the ground. I provide them with bone meal every spring but I am also giving them Miracle Grow. I will discontinue the Miracl Grow and see what happens.
Thank you for all your replies and pointers.
Jeffery
Travis M. wrote: "Jeff" snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in message
A friend gave a bunch of irises to us after they failed to thrive at her house; she planted them in a shady part of her lawn.
We transplanted the irises to our garden in a sunny location. It has been three years and we have seen only one iris bloom; the bloom was yellow. No blooms this year. I wonder what I'm doing wrong and whether I should just get rid of them.
Thank you,
Jeff
What kind of Iris?
--
Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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If the iris are rhizomes, you can feed them by using hay or alfafa pellets. I use bales of hay and make alfafa tea with it and then I mix the used alfafa meal into the soil. The tea I bottle and use as a top soil feed during the summer and into winter. I've got TBI's MBI's and DBI's in my garden which has been carved out of a desert field. Right now they number over 300.
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