Irises forum→The Best for Less

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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
Dec 27, 2018 8:02 PM CST
These irises may be obvious, or this topic meaningless (because irises come down in price so quickly, and one can easily search the AIS or databases for the various winners), but because I am bored, but also think this may be of some use to newbies, especially those with limited garden budgets...

Many years ago, shortly after I joined the AHS (now the ADS Glare ), there were one or two articles in the Daylily Journal that were titled "The Best for Less". At a time when new tetraploid introductions were going for $100, these articles showcased a few older but still very good daylilies, which could be had for a relative pittance, at $15 or less. The daylilies all had to have something good about them that made them still garden worthy, as compared to the newest (and supposedly latest-and-greatest) daylily introductions.

On the basis of those articles, I bought a few plants for my daylily garden. After more than 20 years, I still have one of them, MARY'S GOLD, because of the garden impact of its large eye-zorching gold blooms. (Indeed, MARY'S GOLD is still widely grown for just that reason, although honestly I would love to seem some improvements in it. It is still available at a few nurseries; 2018 prices ran from $9 to $16 for a double fan.)

In that vein, what, comparably, would be the iris world's equivalents of "The Best for Less"? With new bearded intros typically going for $50, I would put the price at $7.00 or less. These must be garden do-ers performance-wise, and in terms of bloom beauty (color, form, patterns, substance - the whole bloom package) they should be competitive (or nearly so) with the latest bearded intros.

I'll throw out a few:

Space-Ager and 2002 Dykes Medal Winner; At that time (two seasons ago, mid-season), this was the only iris in my garden which held its own against THAT'S ALL FOLKS. 2018 price at Iris4u: $6.50

2010 Dykes Medal Winner; tall grower, purple blue self with beautifully contrasting orange beard, to-die-for carnation-like fragrance. 2018 price at Iris4u: $7.00

Bill Maryott's last iris registration and the 2013 Dykes Medal Winner; This one simply demands your attention. 2018 price at Suttons: $6.00

Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
[Last edited by Polymerous - Dec 27, 2018 8:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Lilli
Lundby, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
Dec 28, 2018 5:25 AM CST
Thornbird [M. Byers 1989] is an all time favorite of mine (I might have mentioned this before? Big Grin ). It's a Wister and Dykes winner and a great grower, so I expect it can be found at a reasonable price somewhere.

Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice!
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
Dec 28, 2018 3:24 PM CST
In Australia, dwarfs and intermediates are generally cheaper than the talls. Neon Blue and Devil May Care are two of my favourites.

Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
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Dec 28, 2018 3:30 PM CST
Oh Robin ~ I LOVE Neon Blue! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
Dec 30, 2018 1:55 PM CST
Since I am fairly new at iris growing, Ihave purchased no introductions. I need to refine my technique to growing quality rhizomes. At the moment, my garden is full. I do have a small space available for seedlings, should any of them live and grow.

Quite a few have mold on them. I will be finishing treating them today, and then spraying them with a fungicide. So actually I want to investigate the ones that I currently have and see which ones do the best. A small notebook is going out in the garden with me today, as it is sunny and cool. Tomorrow it is predicted to be colder and partly cloudy.

The "best" will be mold-resistant, among other good qualities. Of course, other parts of the country may have diffferent strains of mold, but I can only deal with what is here. Otherwise, many of them, even if small, have increases. So everything will be monitored.

Does everyone get mold on their rhizomes? Shrug!
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
[Last edited by evelyninthegarden - Dec 30, 2018 3:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Liz
East Dover, VT (Zone 5a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Organic Gardener Peonies Vegetable Grower Annuals Composter
Dragonflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Farmer Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Dec 30, 2018 9:52 PM CST
I've gotten black mold in the past. I just scrape the surface off and it doesn't seem to come back.
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
Dec 30, 2018 11:55 PM CST
Liz ~ Thank You!

I have been busy, out in the cold air (for me)...applying 10% bleach solution to every rhizome. Most have it, some do not. I don't want to lose my whole crop, or even most of it. Sad
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Forum moderator Garden Photography Irises Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover
Hellebores Deer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Jan 1, 2019 2:45 AM CST
Evelyn, I do get similar molds here in the damp forest. I just have a little this year, but last year was very rainy and I had a lot. There is no mold at all on the potted irises in the cold greenhouse which are protected from rain.

It seemed to me that if it did any harm, it was only because it kept the surfaces of the rhizomes a bit extra damp. Shrug! It didn't seem to directly cause decay in the rhizomes as such, but I thought it was potentially harmful to wounds on the rhizomes, as I would prefer to keep wounds especially dry. I do the same bleach treatment that you do, but only if the black mold grows really thick or when it affects wounds.
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
Jan 1, 2019 3:05 AM CST
I wish ya luck with the mold issue, Evelyn.

I have not yet had enough time to decipher whether the irises I have will grow well or not - in fact, the only answers I could give are from noids.

There's a tan noid in our yard that has proliferated so very much. Whatever cultivar it is, it is fast growing, strong(stalked) and strong regardless. It's tan, so you'd think it would not be pretty, but I still don't know why I find myself constantly checking the progress on them all in the spring. Whistling
SDB Stop and Stare
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
Jan 1, 2019 11:41 PM CST
William ~ Thank You!

As much as I would like to have a greenhouse, I don't want to be growing all of my irises in there. The iris growers manage to grow them in the ground. I would like to do that as well. Even though we don't have rain in the summer, we do get rain in late fall off and on through late spring, as well as snow in April, just to mess everything up.
Aren't irises supposed to be adaptable? If I cannot grow them well, then I probably shouldn't be thinking of hybridizing them. Crying
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
Jan 2, 2019 2:46 AM CST
Prove the naysayers wrong Evelyn. Gardeners have always stretched the boundaries. Thumbs up
Thro' all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jan 2, 2019 6:49 AM CST
I wouldn't worry too much about the "black mold' on the rhizomes. I agree with William's take on it....unless it gets thick enough to hold a mot of moisture, it won't be an issue. I'd skip the bleach, and spray abroad spectrum the whole plant good coverage (the "run off' from the leaves should give you "extra coverage" at the rhizome). As soon as some sun....and drier conditions....arrive, the mildew will just dry up.
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
Jan 2, 2019 10:27 AM CST
At Sisters Iris Farm for $8.00: .
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Jane H.
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Irises Birds Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Clematis
Jan 2, 2019 1:39 PM CST
I have Bolshoi but it has not increased too much. It is beautiful and I hope it will put up some increases when spring comes. Beautiful picture and a good price!
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jan 2, 2019 3:45 PM CST
i agree with jane on its growth. i got my rhizome from keith keppel as a bonus. it bloomed for the first time last year; bloomed deep in foliage. i am looking forward to its bloom this year!

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