OK - here's the deal in as few words as possible. My existing bearded iris
bed is overgrown and needs to be moved and divided up. Worse, the location
has become filtered afternoon sun over the last few years. (bed has been
there, with semi-regular division for at least 10 years.)
I'm thinking of just lifting them all up, dividing and cleaning and moving
them to an existing bed which has good drainage. I'd move all those plants
up to the old iris bed, where most of them will do fine until I finish the
great rearrange of the gardens. (As an aside, I'm thinning my daylily
collection, and otherwise changing the garden up.) New bed is unlikely to
become shady in the next decade.
My other concern, is since this new iris bed will be "front and center", it
will be boring unless I find some good companions that like the same summer
So - Make the move now while I have the time or wait until it starts to cool
down and hope I have the time. Watering is not an issue.
Monitor what is happening in your local nurseries (real nurseries, not
lumber yards or hardware stores). When bare-root bearded irises first
appear for sale, wait one week. Then dig and divide.
If you are moving the iris to a new bed, prepare that bed while waiting
for the time to dig and divide. If your soil is clay (as is mine), add
a generous amount of gypsum to the new bed when you prepare it. This
will give the gypsum time to break up the clay before planting the iris
Don't forget to put some bone meal or superphosphate in the bottom of
the planting holes (old and new beds). Cover lightly with
non-fertilized soil so that disturbed iris roots do not directly touch
the fertilizer. The phosphorus will promote flowering.
My bearded iris seem to do okay with part-sun. I would suspect that any
lack of flowering is more likely to do with crowding than with the
amount of sunlight. I thoroughly divide each iris bed about every third
or fourth year, doing a different bed each year so as spread the effort
from year to year.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_divide_iris.html .
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
On 8/6/10 4:18 PM, in article pL2dnVnJCvqC88HRnZ2dnUVZ email@example.com,
Hmm- I've had some bad luck using bone meal - seems to drive the critters
wild and they dig every thing up. Like all 500 daffodil bulbs. I see a bag
of superphosphate in my future.
You're a LOT warmer than I am - while the map tells me I Zone 5a, I garden
as if I'm Zone 4. The winter winds whip in and swirl around a bit and the
cold air settles in. I can measure as much as 6 degrees different from the
top lawn (hill top) to the bottom lawn and vernal pond area.
Thanks again guys
I am familiar with growing irises in NH. The problem there tends to be soil
too high in organic content and/or clay, hence not draining sufficiently.
Irises do like to be soaked now and then, but they thrive compared to other
plants in locations where the soil is sandy and periodically gets very dry.
On 8/11/10 10:50 AM, in article i3udc3$glj$ firstname.lastname@example.org, "Una"
Which is why I only considered certain areas of the yard - a little lean and
well drained. I'm leaving them in their old home with a little amending and
it easy not to water that bed when I've decided I HAVE to water.
I have always moved bearded Irises as soon as they have finished
flowering. the old roots are beginning to die off and the new ones
usually are only 'buds' so you do not damage them as you dig up the old
rhizomes. I assume you know to plant only the younger pieces and with
the fan of leaves at the North end so they do not shade the roots. Also
you may trim the leaves back by about half.
I hope your foot is healing quickly. I had a similar foot that I
spranged: that is when you
bang it on the chair leg and sprain the joint, but no broken toes.
But takes just as long as broken to feel OK. Mine seems to be OK now.
Anyway, I dig (or did) TB iris anytime that I felt like digging them.
So I don't know
why you can't. I have Siberian (Caesar's Bro) and a Louisiana, 6
Pacific Coast Hybrids,
and a Dwarf Bearded that I love, but not one TB remains. Because of
the reason you
mention: they look great for about 2-3 weeks and then they look
AWFUL. No just boring,
but awful! So I gave
all mine to a friend down the street; she filled her front yard with
them and I go down in
the spring and say Oh how beautiful. Then when they look dreadful I
don't have to look
at them/deal with them etc.
I do love the little Dwarf Iris. It gets 8-10 inches tall, is a lovely
blue-purple, is fragrant,
and does not multiply very quickly. When it needs work the clump is
small enough to
dig/divide/discard old pieces/replant in no time at all. In addition,
it reblooms, and
people do not slam their door when I offer them a few. It's named
"Smell the Roses"
So I say Go for it.
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