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.
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?
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
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
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
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.
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.
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.
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
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
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.