The Q&A Archives: Dutch Iris Didn't Bloom

Question: In the fall of 2000, I planted several Dutch iris bulbs. The plants bloomed nicely in the spring. I let the foliage wither then removed it. In October, the bulbs shot new foliage that lasted throughout the exceptionally mild for Utah winter. However, no flowers came this spring, the leaves just grew larger. What could be the cause for this problem?

Answer: Generally, Dutch irises aren't suited to growing in your area. They are native to South Africa, where they receive a period of dry weather that allows them to rest, and rest is crucial to bloom. It sounds like your iris didn't have their rest if they were able to grow all winter. Instead, try English irises and rhizomatous irises, including Japanese, Siberian, and bearded types, which are better adapted to your region (where rest should come in the form of winter chilling). You can plant them September, and look forward to blossoms the next spring. Enjoy!

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