Irises forum: Hello Irises growers. I'm not sure about the soil I should use for my first iris

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Name: Mary Hughes
Hill Country New Braunfels (Zone 9a)
Life long Reg.Nurse
mesquite664
Sep 20, 2016 7:37 PM CST
Hello there Iris experts. I've had trouble finding my way the Gardening Association. But I think I've got it now. What I need to ask: what about the soil I use? I was planning on mixing a sack of Miracle Grow with some plain old local dirt. We have minimum soil and rock. I will have the soil tested to give me more info. My mother just used Cow manure and she had beautiful irises. I ordered some irises from Schringers. I also have a few bearded Irises left from a prior owner. So please send me all your suggestions. I'd like to start preparing the bed soon. Thank you all, hope your Irises are beautiful this spring. Mary Hughes
Name: Darcy
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
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djinnevada
Sep 20, 2016 7:43 PM CST
Hi Mary, Welcome!
I am certainly no expert but I think the main thing I have learned is that they need good drainage. And then watch the drainage. Oh, and the other important thing is the drainage.

There is a ton of information in the previous posts and threads...but I know how overwhelming it can be to think about reading them all when you are in a hurry to get started. Really, if you are growing bearded iris, full sun and good drainage.

Good luck!
D
BTW, did I mention drainage?
Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Region: Oregon Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads
Hummingbirder Irises Organic Gardener
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HighdesertNiki
Sep 20, 2016 9:11 PM CST
Welcome! Mary,
Good drainage at least the on the surface where the rhizome hangs out. Don't plant it too deep because it will get wet and rot. Full sun is better than part sun.
"The Earth laughs in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography
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Totally_Amazing
Sep 20, 2016 11:29 PM CST
Welcome! Mary,
There is a thread called "Let's Talk "Dirt" . . ." in the irises forum you may find useful. It's on page 3 of the iris forum threads and the last reply was 4 weeks ago.
The information in the thread called "How to grow a rhizome......" is also useful. That thread was last updated 3 months ago.
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Winter Sowing Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Sep 21, 2016 7:35 AM CST
Welcome! and I agree with the others - just remember that irises are not desert plants, so they will need water from time to time...

...and good drainage! Hilarious!
You don't know if it will grow until you try!

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Sep 21, 2016 9:53 AM CST
Hi Mary,
Its very hot where I live so I pot up my Iris before I get them in the ground. I used potting soil mixed with perlite so they have good 'drainage' in the pots. I don't see any reason you can't mix compost or a potting soil with your native dirt to impove your growing area.
Edit to say welcome too.
[Last edited by iciris - Sep 21, 2016 9:53 AM (+)]
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Region: California
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UndertheSun
Sep 21, 2016 11:04 AM CST
Welcome! Mary!
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
Sep 21, 2016 2:36 PM CST
I think inspecting the soil around the irises presently growing at your home may provide insight. If they're healthy, then the soil is working well for them, but digging around them will give you an idea if the previous owners amended the soil.

Welcome! Glad you've joined us!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Mary Hughes
Hill Country New Braunfels (Zone 9a)
Life long Reg.Nurse
mesquite664
Sep 22, 2016 9:42 AM CST
Thank you Everyone! Gosh it's soo nice to know the many of you that love the beautiful Iris. I've always loved them. I've haven't told yall the joke on me. "My mother could stick a dead branch that broke off a tree years ago into the ground. Two days later, it started to sprout. Slight over reach. Seriously, she grew the most beautiful Irises. We lived in Texas over 70 years ago. Dirt main road and all that. She planted her thirty Irises in native rock and dirt and fed them with cow manure mixed into the dirt. People actually came out to our home to take pictures of them. Yes she ordered alot of them but not all . The big problem, I never paid any attention to what she was doing. To learn from her! Why oh why did I get smart so late? Thanks again Mary H.

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Sep 22, 2016 12:50 PM CST
Mary, I feel the same way about my dads cooking. He made the best soups and stews and of course nothing was written down.
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
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shizen
Sep 22, 2016 4:36 PM CST
Welcome! mary
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
Sep 23, 2016 12:34 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome!
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
Sep 23, 2016 12:44 PM CST
Welcome!
Name: Mary Hughes
Hill Country New Braunfels (Zone 9a)
Life long Reg.Nurse
mesquite664
Sep 24, 2016 3:46 PM CST
iciris said:Hi Mary,
Its very hot where I live so I pot up my Iris before I get them in the ground. I used potting soil mixed with perlite so they have good 'drainage' in the pots. I don't see any reason you can't mix compost or a potting soil with your native dirt to impove your growing area.
Edit to say welcome too.


South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Sep 25, 2016 2:27 PM CST
Welcome Mary.
Lots of advice on this site when asking. If your soil is sandy add some organic matter to help hold a little moisture; if it is a lot of clay add some organic matter to help loosen it up, but this type will tend to hold water and slow drainage. In the latter case just plant rhizomes high and even on slight hills like corn.
Name: Mary Hughes
Hill Country New Braunfels (Zone 9a)
Life long Reg.Nurse
mesquite664
Oct 20, 2016 7:49 PM CST
Dear Irises lovers,

Gosh I had no idea that there are sooo many experts about Irises . I am anxious to see how my new plants will do. I've tried to follow all of your advice. Thank you. I've planted my new irises. They are planted as directed. It's been two weeks since I put them into the ground and watered them twice. Their green leaves are starting to turn yellow. Is this good, bad, indifferent? The temperature here is about 69 degrees at night and 88 during the day. A couple of the plants are starting to put out small green leaves. Any comments are greatly appreciated. Here's to all of your beautiful Irises this spring. Thanks Mary Hughes
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Winter Sowing Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Oct 21, 2016 1:49 AM CST
Don't worry about the yellow leaves. The rhizomes will be putting their energy towards growing new roots and the old foliage will be replaced by fresh green leaves, now or when the growing season begins again, depending on which zone you are in.
Don't worry, irises are tough plants!
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
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 21, 2016 1:29 PM CST
Welcome! I agree with Lilli. Without the new, firm roots, there will be no plants.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Oct 21, 2016 4:06 PM CST
Welcome! Mary! I'm new to the iris world, too. Don't feel like the only one! The experts around are wonderful and will answer any question you might come up with!

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