The Q&A Archives: Rebloom Iris

Question: I bought Twise bloom Iris, First year they did bloom twise, but later on only once, what I have to do between time.

Answer: Rebloomers (or remontants, as they are sometimes called) are found in all bearded iris varieties ? from miniature dwarf to tall. A few of the beardless varieties (like Siberians) that bloom a second time are called ?repeaters.? If you?re interested in trying your hand at growing rebloomers, the first step is to learn which cultivars rebloom in your climate zone. The quickest way would be to go to the Reblooming Iris Society website. Also, several hybridizers? catalogs have zone information on the rebloomers that they carry.

Rebloomers need, first of all, to be established: minimum one year in one place in your garden. Some may take another year or two before they?ll put on their rebloom show. For optimum results: A) The soil must be rich and well drained. B) They must receive a full day of sunshine, if possible - minimum four hours. The more sunshine, the more rebloom (and you must remember to take into consideration the position of the sun in relation to your rebloomers in the fall. C) They need extra water and fertilizer.

Some remontants will rebloom as early as a month after spring bloom. Others won?t bloom again until the fall. A third category, (called all-season rebloomers), can rebloom several times (or even every month) before being cut down by a hard frost. So far, there are about twenty or so of these all-season (or continuous) rebloomers. A fourth category is ?sporadic rebloomers.? These unpredictable irises will rebloom ? you guessed it ? only when they feel like it.

Oh?and one more thing. Each garden within a certain climate zone can have what we call ?microclimates? ? mini-environments created by the surrounding conditions (ie. location in relation to a sheltering building, trees, etc., or hills, depressions, direction of wind or sun, etc.) where a cultivar could rebloom, even though not recorded as doing so in your climate zone. You might find yourself very pleasantly surprised to find an iris trying to rebloom because it is positively affected by these microclimates.

If an iris fails to rebloom for you after you?ve given it all the tender loving care mentioned above (and after you?ve made certain it?s been reported to rebloom in your climate zone), try moving it. In spite of the fact that most rebloomers perform better after becoming established, if you notice a cultivar seems to be unhappy in one spot (because it?s not performing), try moving it. Don?t be afraid to experiment with fertilizer, water, location, etc.

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