Irises forum: Stupid things I did while learning to grow irises

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Oct 4, 2014 8:25 AM CST
I think it might be a good idea to share some of the dumb things we did as we became iris gardeners. Both to give us a good laugh, and to help others learn from our mistakes.
I don't have time to list all of mine, as it would take all day, and no one would want to read all of them Hilarious! But here's some to start us off:
I mulched my irises that I got the first year I started to buy some in quantity, and I put it on thick! I made sure I watered them every other day that first couple of summers. After all the wild irises that I remember as a kid grew in a bog, so I assumed that all irises needed lots of water. Then I couldn't understand why I had crown mold!
Rolling my eyes.
I fertilized with a high nitrogen fertilizer, and wondered why I had such beautiful leaves, but no blooms! Grumbling Crying


I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Pam
Pennsylvania
Irises Keeps Horses Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: Pennsylvania
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Snork
Oct 4, 2014 8:29 AM CST
I let Hubby pick the site for the garden when we first moved to this farm. Now I need one longer leg to garden on the hill. At least when I fall over I roll toward the house! Sticking tongue out
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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grannysgarden
Oct 4, 2014 8:47 AM CST
Since Mama never watered her irises I thought they did not need water. Even though her garden was on land with many springs and mine on hardpan. Most lived but mostly as rhizomes.... I kept thinking 'what is wrong with these stupid irises!!!'
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 4, 2014 11:10 AM CST
Pam, do you have trouble with erosion? At least if you stand down hill from where you're weeding, you don't have as far to stoop! Hilarious!
Bonnie, opposite of my problem! Rolling on the floor laughing
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 4, 2014 11:32 AM CST
Well, I'm STILL learning to grow irises! Every new season brings new problems, and new information, and tips,(thanks to the forums, and magazine articles)on dealing with them. Being a very lazy sort of fellow, I always try anything that looks "easier" than the way I presently use.......sometimes that's a good thing, and, sometimes it isn't !!
This year, the big problem has been rot....I think it's "crown rot".....and last year it was leaf spot, and next year.... Shrug! ...Who knows ! But, every year, and every iris ,is an ongoing series of trials, errors, and lessons, and hopefully, successes ! .................Arlyn
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 4, 2014 1:28 PM CST
Too compacted soil
Too little water
Too close together
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
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janwax
Oct 4, 2014 2:32 PM CST
I think I grew some 20+ years ago, too deep!
Iris is the goddess of the rainbow.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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grannysgarden
Oct 4, 2014 2:59 PM CST
And...... years ago buying rhizomes from a big box store and expecting them to be what they were supposed to be. Planting them by color and size and getting surprises on every one!!!
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
Garden Art Daylilies
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Linneaj
Oct 4, 2014 5:06 PM CST
I really ignored mine and they did well. Let's see what happens now that I am trying. Rolling on the floor laughing
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 5, 2014 4:12 AM CST
Boy, you guys are too good, not many blunders. It's 29 degrees here this morning, so there's some ice crystals on the grass. It may get colder before the sun rises.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
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PollyK
Oct 5, 2014 7:17 AM CST
My biggest problem is planting them too close together. I sell siberians, and they were growing into each other, with the tag overtaken, so I had to wait until they bloomed to sell them. Now I plant them 3 foot apart.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 5, 2014 7:41 AM CST
Well, Tom, until this year I have only tried to grow a handful and those more as incidentals. Have much more room for error these days. Big Grin
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Oct 5, 2014 8:11 AM CST
I planted some early ones too deep. The fans would come up, but only one or two bloom stalks every year. I dug them up for a new garden, planted them correctly and now they grow like weeds.

I was really good with my first "planted correctly" bearded iris and planted them 2 feet apart. I guess I made a garden of slow growers because they were still 2 feet apart. The sudden increase in my iris population (ehem buys and trades) means tht all my iris are a bit closer together.

I am still in the learning curve for my Japanese and Species X so I am sure there will be a mistake there somewhere! Also still not sure where and how to plant my iris tectorum.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Oct 5, 2014 8:13 AM CST
I'm realizing that I planted my iris a little too close together too. And I think some of them would have liked more water. Other than that...I've had the benefit of people like the rest of you to steer me straight and avoid the worst of the possible pitfalls. Smiling
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 5, 2014 9:19 AM CST
While I wasn't new to growing bearded Irises when this happened, about 8 years ago, it was my first experience with leaf spot. Somehow, until then, I'd never seen it on any of my Irises. At that time, I was living in a narrow valley with a creek running through it, and surrounded by woods, so it was a prime area for fungal diseases. I thought all my Irises were goners, so while I brought all my other plants with me when I moved here, I left all the Irises. Been kicking myself for that ever since! LOL
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Oct 5, 2014 9:50 AM CST
We will all help you get new ones here, Neal. My problem is losing some Siberian tags & unable to get them straightened out.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 5, 2014 10:17 AM CST
Neal, have you been able to replace them? I made markers with a sharpie, and thought that would be good enough, and didn't make a map of one bed. I still have a few that haven't bloomed so I can id them. Little did I know that a sharpie would fade over winter.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Oct 5, 2014 10:51 AM CST
"Stupid things I did while learning to grow irises"

Join this forum... Glare


Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Lovey dubby
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
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PollyK
Oct 5, 2014 11:28 AM CST
Lucy, if you have a list of the sibs, I might be able to help you match them. Or, you probably got them from Jan and Marty, who could help identify them.

A lot of them sure do look similar, though, don't they?
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Oct 5, 2014 11:59 AM CST
Rob -- Hilarious! Hilarious!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

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