Irises forum: Bearded iris in Canada

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Name: Marion Castleton
1 hour East of Toronto (Zone 4b)
marioncastleton
Mar 16, 2015 12:50 PM CST
Hi, - I want to know if bearded iris grow in zones 4 and 5 in Canada and are hardy in the winter?

Where can I get bearded iris in Canada? Many sites say they do not ship until fall, but I have read that one can plant irises in early spring too.

Marion
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 16, 2015 1:15 PM CST
They are hardy where I am, further east of you in eastern Ontario and USDA Zone 4a. However, I gave up growing the few that I had because of the iris borer.

Some of mine came from other gardens, some in pots from a local nursery. You could try asking the Ontario Iris Society if you want specific cultivars from a specialty grower, otherwise try garden centres locally or maybe someone else on ATP in Canada can help you out.

Ontario Iris Society:
https://sites.google.com/site/ontarioirissociety/

Forgot to say welcome to ATP!
[Last edited by sooby - Mar 16, 2015 1:18 PM (+)]
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Region: California
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UndertheSun
Mar 16, 2015 2:48 PM CST
Welcome Marion! Welcome!

Chuck Chapman is a well known hybridizer who lives in Ontario, Canada.

Here's his website: http://www.chapmaniris.com/
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Mar 16, 2015 3:28 PM CST
Welcome! !
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
Mar 16, 2015 6:49 PM CST
Welcome Marion! Glad you found us!! Welcome!

Here is another seller that appears to be about an hour south or south-east of you. Their website has a lot of helpful information. I have never ordered from them due to the customs issues...but you might want to check them out. They appear to be reputable.

http://www.trailsendiris.com/index.htm
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
Mar 16, 2015 9:35 PM CST
Hi Marion! Welcome to our forum -- Welcome!

I hope you can find a source for Irises in your area!!

Sue (sooby) -- I didn't know that Iris Borers were that far north? Confused Crying I'm so sorry. They're very discouraging -- but there are ways to eliminate them so that you can enjoy your Irises. Folks on this forum can help you!!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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
Mar 17, 2015 5:54 AM CST
I was going to mention Chuck Chapman. He sells irises from his website--he no longer uses a paper catalog.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Mar 17, 2015 6:47 AM CST
Bearded Irises are hardy here in zone 3.
The garden centers here bring them in late August.
You might try Vesey Seeds or Lindberg Seeds.
Botanus probably has them too.
Name: Marion Castleton
1 hour East of Toronto (Zone 4b)
marioncastleton
Mar 17, 2015 7:06 AM CST
Thank you to all who replied to my iris question. Great to have so much feedback. I will look into the suggestions. I have a few iris here and so far have never seen iris borer. I wonder if "Muddymitts" could let me know some preventative measures?
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
Mar 17, 2015 7:19 AM CST
Welcome! Marion!

There was a thread called Iris Borer that was started about 7 months ago. If you scroll down the iris forum list you will find it. They are horrid little things. In about a month from now, the best thing you could do as a preventative measure is to spray your iris gardens with grub control, such as Bayer Grub Control. It is used for lawns, but works well for borer control too. The sprayed area is covered for up to 6 months. There are other measures too, but I think you will find them on the thread.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Mar 17, 2015 7:56 AM CST
The Royal Botanical Gardens holds an annual plant sale , as well. I'm not sure if you have to be a 'member', or not, as I get mine from an "intermediary"...but the web address is [url=www.rbg.ca]www.rbg.ca[/url] last years prices were $4 per rhizome
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 17, 2015 8:22 AM CST
Muddymitts said:

Sue (sooby) -- I didn't know that Iris Borers were that far north? Confused Crying I'm so sorry. They're very discouraging -- but there are ways to eliminate them so that you can enjoy your Irises. Folks on this forum can help you!!


Yes, unfortunately, they do occur here. There's a map, not necessarily complete, showing the range of iris borer reports to Bugguide:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/11123/data

Something to bear in mind with suggestions for control information, Marion and I are both in Ontario where most "chemical" pesticides are banned for homeowner use by the provincial government. I believe the Bayer Grub Control that Leslie mentioned contains the same neonicotinoid insecticide as Merit (imidacloprid)? We can't get/use that here, or any other systemic insecticide. Squishing is legal though Smiling

Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Mar 17, 2015 9:44 AM CST
Good fall clean-up, and disposal of "waste" goes a LONG way to keeping borers....and disease !) in check ! And there are 'beneficial" nematodes that can be released in the bed areas, to prey upon the borers. Also, encouraging birds to visit your garden is a "win-win" deal.....you get to watch the birds, AND they eat lots of insects, and weed seeds.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 17, 2015 11:02 AM CST
Thanks for the suggestions. According to the Canadian Iris Society the best nematode for this is Steinernema carpocapsae - article address: http://www.cdn-iris.ca/borer.html

Too late for me since I no longer have any bearded iris, but hopefully this will help Marion if she encounters them at some point.
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
Mar 17, 2015 11:38 AM CST
Nematoads are preferable to the sprays which kill off bees. I almost lost a BB seedling to borers last year. We squish very well as a rule.
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
Mar 17, 2015 11:55 AM CST
Good Article Sue. Thank You!
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
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Mar 17, 2015 8:14 PM CST
Excellent article, nice synopsis of the latest study. Thanks
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
Image
Muddymitts
Mar 18, 2015 7:46 AM CST
marioncastleton said:Thank you to all who replied to my iris question. Great to have so much feedback. I will look into the suggestions. I have a few iris here and so far have never seen iris borer. I wonder if "Muddymitts" could let me know some preventative measures?


For some reason, I missed this thread yesterday -- so sorry for no reply.............. Sad

Marion, you've already received good responses on this issue. The best preventative is to keep your Iris beds clean -- removing dead leaves, etc. It's my understanding that it's pretty easy to see the borer inside the leaf (as it chews its way down to the rhizome) -- and equally easy to just squish it with your fingers. Might be quite a job if you have nearly 400 varieties, as I do................. Rolling my eyes. But if your government prevents the use of systemics, then you'll have to be vigilant in your manual approach.



Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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
Image
Muddymitts
Mar 18, 2015 7:50 AM CST
Sue -- thanks for posting that link to the borer map. I was astounded to see that (supposedly) Kentucky is not a state that suffers them. It's very hard for me to believe that -- Kentucky is home to every bug/pest known to live and breed in this country, and has a few not found anywhere else!!!! Angry I can't believe that we missed one!!!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Mar 18, 2015 8:22 AM CST
Mary Ann, I think that map just shows sightings that have been reported on BugGuide, which is more of an insect identification guide than a plant pest one. On the Butterflies and Moths of North America site it gives the range as: " Nova Scotia to South Carolina, west to Minnesota, Missouri, and Mississippi." (Learn something every day - gladiolus sometimes a host).
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Macronoctua-onust...

A caterpillar book I have gives the range as "Minnesota to Nova Scotia to South Carolina and Kansas." So I looked on Google and there are a few references to it in Kentucky.

I was able to grow bearded irises here for several years before it found them.

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