Irises forum: chalky soil for Irises?

Views: 904, Replies: 18 » Jump to the end
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
Image
CarolineScott
Aug 28, 2011 10:16 AM CST
This week I purchased "Tour De France".
It has yellow falls and white standards.
But on the packaging it recommends "chalky" soil.
I had never heard of this for Iris before?
I will try to find a bag of limestone rocks to place in the hole.
I am wondering if this is a new thing or did I miss something?
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Aug 28, 2011 12:08 PM CST
I've never seen or heard that recommended. If most other plants grow for you the iris will do fine. They grow in a wide variety of soils. I wouldn't worry . Perhaps a little bone meal mixed in well.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America Roses
Irises Cat Lover Daylilies Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Betja
Aug 28, 2011 12:11 PM CST
Yes, I was going to suggest you throw in a handful of bone meal at the bottom and mix it in.
Betty
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
Image
PollyK
Aug 28, 2011 12:32 PM CST
Hi Caroline!

Our soil is acidic enough we can grow Japanese iris without amendments, and the bearded irises grow fine here. If you can grow most perennials with no problems I would not worry about bearded irises.
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
Image
irisarian
Aug 28, 2011 5:40 PM CST
They really prefer a neutral soil, but grow in our 6.5 type.
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
Image
CarolineScott
Aug 29, 2011 8:36 AM CST
Thanks---I usually do the bone meal with Irises.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Image
eclayne
Sep 2, 2011 9:08 AM CST

Plants Admin

I've read recommendations for adding Bone Meal in other threads here and at Cubits. Is this to promote Rhizome growth/size? Very minor raising of PH? I add a high phosphorus fertilizer, 14-26-6, in late summer/fall to certain bulbous plants to promote "bulb" size. Is this a good regimen for bearded? Sibs, JI, others?
Evan
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
Image
PollyK
Sep 2, 2011 9:17 AM CST
I use a 10-10-10 for sibs and JIs. Miracid or Miracle Gro for acid loving plants if the leaves turn yellow.
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
Image
irisarian
Sep 2, 2011 9:20 AM CST
First # of a fertilizer formula should be low. 5-10-10 is getting more difficult to find for some realson. Too much nitrogen for bearded irises produces leaves, not bloomstalks.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Image
eclayne
Sep 2, 2011 9:30 AM CST

Plants Admin

No issues with high PH here. I usually add lime here and there for lavender, creeping phlox and a few others.

So do you pretty much leave the bearded alone in the fall? Is it best to fertilize spring and at transplant with the low N? FYI Polly the bearded you sent got just a bit of 6-6-6 at planting and a touch of bone meal and nothing since. I have a very good topsoil, old farm, with good drainage.
Evan
Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America Roses
Irises Cat Lover Daylilies Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Betja
Sep 2, 2011 10:48 AM CST
I also fertilize in the fall with a 6-10-10 granular that I get at WalMart or Orchard Supply. Regarding the bone meal I don't know much about it, only that Joe Ghio recommends putting a handful of bone meal in the hole and mixing it in with the soil when you first plant a bearded iris -- he says your plants will thank you in the future...
Betty
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
Image
CarolineScott
Sep 5, 2011 10:11 AM CST
You must be doing things right---by that photo!
Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America Roses
Irises Cat Lover Daylilies Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Betja
Sep 5, 2011 10:17 AM CST
If you're talking about my picture (avatar) when I post, I'm sorry to say that I can't claim those iris -- that picture was taken in the hybridizer Keith Keppel's garden, and the irises in front of me are his new introduction, EASTER CANDY. Wish I could grow 'em like that!
Betty
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
Image
CarolineScott
Sep 10, 2011 8:41 PM CST
Well they are beautiful!
Garden centers around here are selling "Bonemeal Plus",
which is bonemeal, ammonium phosphate and limestone so I guess that will be somewhat
"chalky".
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
Image
Oldgardenrose
Sep 11, 2011 7:06 AM CST
I kept reading the postings here trying to figure out the use of chalk. Chalk is a form of lime which raises the pH or 'sweetens' the soil. The chalk absorbs and retains moisture which one does not want for the typical iris beds. There is no logical reason to use it since adding humus is much more productive as an amendment.

From what I have read, bone meal is an excellent source of plant nutrients but can require as much as a year to break down to where the plant can utilize them.
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
Image
irisarian
Sep 11, 2011 7:53 AM CST
Aril & arilbred irises need the lime in our acidic soil. We don't use it otherwise. Most bearded irises prefer a neutral soil. Siberians love the acid soil.
Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America Roses
Irises Cat Lover Daylilies Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Betja
Sep 11, 2011 9:03 AM CST
Interesting info about bone meal, Jerry. I'll bet that's probably why Joe Ghio says your plants will thank you -- down the road!
Betty
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
Image
Oldgardenrose
Sep 11, 2011 10:08 AM CST
This is one of many internet site which discuss bone meal. From all I have read, late summer or late fall applications on newly planted items would be best for the nutrients to be useful in the spring.

http://www.the-organic-gardener.com/shrub-fertilizer.html
Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America Roses
Irises Cat Lover Daylilies Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Betja
Sep 11, 2011 11:19 AM CST
Thanks!
Betty

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Irises forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"