Irises forum→Bloom irregularity

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Name: Teresa Cole
Bayfield, Colorado S.W. Rockie (Zone 4b)
8000 ft. Up
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ttkc4704
Dec 11, 2019 10:06 AM CST
Can someone tell me why an iris would bloom beautifully one year and then not at all the next?
Why do some iris I purchase bloom the very next season, and some have been in the ground for 3 years without blooming?

Immortality is one that surprised me blooming the first season but has not bloomed in the last two seasons.

Edith Wolford has grown and increased without blooming for 3 years now.

Clarence, Batik and a " no name". Bloom every year without fail......
Weed= A flower yet to be appreciated
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Dec 11, 2019 11:06 AM CST
Teresa ~ I don't have the answer. It may depend on a variety of circumstances. It could be the size of the individual rhizome, the variable weather, where they are planted... maybe someone else may have a more educated response.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Dec 11, 2019 11:56 AM CST
Every iris is an individual and has their own habits. Immortality is one that seems to like to be moved, and when left untouched, it doesn't bloom as much. (at least for me) Edith Wolford is a picky princess, and she blooms when she wants to. Rolling on the floor laughing . . . and that's not very often for me. Some take a year or so to settle in, and then bloom well, others bloom every other year in my zone. These are usually slower to produce increases. Of course here the growing season isn't as long as some people have. But mostly baring a lot of rot, Hale storms, or iris borers, Grumbling the majority of them do quite well, and bloom most years. Smiling
Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,"
[Last edited by tveguy3 - Dec 11, 2019 11:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Dec 11, 2019 12:19 PM CST
Tom ~ Which irises bloom every year for you?
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
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Lestv
Dec 11, 2019 3:01 PM CST
Teresa - Several sources say that newly planted iris may take until their second or third year to bloom. In my garden I get about 60 to 70% of them blooming in their first year. Most will then bloom by their second year. Those that take awhile for their first bloom in my garden tend to bloom every year after that. I do have a small handful that had never bloomed. I threatened to yank them out of the garden last year, so of course they all bloomed last spring!

Tom is right about individual habits, there are picky ones out there that only bloom every two years or so.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Dec 11, 2019 5:27 PM CST
evelyninthegarden said:Tom ~ Which irises bloom every year for you?


Some TB's that are prolific bloomers for me would be:
Juke Box Hero
Dorothy Devenport
Kiss Me Please
Gitano
Fancy Dress
Role Reversal
Day On The Bay
Picture Book
Gambling Man
One Step Beyond
Ginger Ice
Class Ring
Super Hero
Magical
Ready For My Closeup
Avenue of Dreams
High Desert
Reckless Abandon
Ring Tone
Pretty Kitty
Parisian Dawn
Mixed Signals
Montmartre
Summer Shadows
Cold Fushion
Wired
Sharp Edge
Material Girl
Drinks At Sunset
Fantasy In Pink
Poem Of Ecstasy
Competitive Edge
Strawberry Freeze
Decadence
Tying Yellow Ribbons
Going Dutch
My Lady's Manor
Mixed Signals
Miles Ahead
Broad Band
Mariposa Skies
Ink Patterns
Paul Black
Catwalk
Don't Stop Believing
Florentine Silk
Soul Mate
New Face
Down To The Wire
Style Traveler

OK, that's enough, these are just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are a lot more. Of course what does well here isn't necessarily what will do well in some other culture.
Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,"
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Dec 11, 2019 6:48 PM CST
Tom ~ Thank you. I suppose I will just have to wait a few years until they get established. I have several that you mentioned but only a few bloomed well right away.

Don't Stop Believing was an exceptional iris for its first year bloom. The others will probably have to get more established before really assessing their durability, as some bloomed short or not at all.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
[Last edited by evelyninthegarden - Dec 11, 2019 11:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Elsa
Las Cruces, New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: United States of America Irises Region: Southwest Gardening Dog Lover
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GreenIris
Dec 11, 2019 11:52 PM CST
My guess is 60% of my Irises bloom every year. I think it's in part; all about location, location, location. But some are just strong growers and can handle bad locations.
I also have a lot better results when I fertalize a few times a year, but I am not very good at being faithful with that chore.
I think the people who grow Irises are about as special as the flower itself!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Dec 13, 2019 6:21 AM CST
Thanks for the acorns you guys! Smiling
Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,"
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Dec 13, 2019 7:03 AM CST
"Can someone tell me why an iris would bloom beautifully one year and then not at all the next?
Why do some iris I purchase bloom the very next season, and some have been in the ground for 3 years without blooming?"

lot's of good info has already been given...but don't overlook the obvious! For "good' , consistent bloom, irises need plenty of sun exposure, and correct soil fertility and ph. Irises that "tend" to need lots of division, in order to bloom (Immortality is a prime example) are "telling you" that they may have used up the "food" they need! As was stated, iris cultivars are all "individuals"....some make way more growth, in way less time...than others, and "more", or "faster" take more nutrients. And NOT just the usual "N, P, K" that is in most fertilizers ! There are lots of "micro nutrients" involved, as well. That's why "new dirt" (or compost)makes such a difference , when they are moved / reset.
I read , once, that an iris rhizome has to "grow" a certain number of leaves, before it will make a bloom stalk (Being old...I don't remember WHERE I read it *Blush* , and I'm not sure HOW many leaves ....I think it was 11), so they need to make pretty, rapid growth to do that.
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
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janwax
Dec 24, 2019 12:42 PM CST
Thanks Arlyn - also for the reminder to spread more compost!
Life is a Gift !
Name: Kathy
Nocona,Tx zn.7 (Zone 7a)
My garden..my "Peaceful Haven"
FAIRYROSE
Jan 22, 2020 12:35 PM CST
Theresa, my sister lives outside of Bayfield&complained how summer came early for you folks this past Spring. I know the weather plays a huge part in blooming, not always a "personal" garden problem! I had a great iris show 2019..2 hrs east, they were hit with incredible rains&the iris suffered. Sadly, it's the hardiest thing to ever control.
Wishing you great blooms this upcoming seaon (I planted 40+ new ones for her, hoping some put on a show for her Smiling
God's in his Heaven, all's right in my World
Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
Keeps Goats Composter Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Cat Lover Butterflies
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urania1
Jan 28, 2020 3:04 PM CST
And some iris never bloom. Edith Wolford bloomed one year and never again. In this case, it has nothing to do with location. Plenty of sun and all the other iris there are happy as clams. After ten years, I gave up, dug her up, and tossed her.
NE Oregon (Zone 7b)
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TBManOR
Jan 29, 2020 6:24 PM CST
..... another factor on certain varieties lack of bloom reliability COULD .......
( posing a theory based on my experience only)
.......be their sensitivity to certain climactic factors. In winters here in NE Oregon that have had a wild variability in temp swings, especially in the fall, ive had cultivars that historically bloomed well, ghost on me as far as bloom goes the following year. The embryonic bloom points deep within certain varieties rhizomes could be more sensitive to sharp or extreme environment changes. Same goes for excessive heat, followed by cold, drought followed excess moisure, etc. Proto cellular leaf structures seem to be hardier within the rhizomes, but bloom points may be expendable.
The varieties region of origin seem to run the gamut for this phenomenon, but the originating regions for cultivars most apt to ghost on me as far as bloom goes seem to be most often the Aussie, California, or varieties originating west of the Cascades in the PNW
Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Jan 29, 2020 8:13 PM CST
urania1 said:And some iris never bloom. Edith Wolford bloomed one year and never again. In this case, it has nothing to do with location. Plenty of sun and all the other iris there are happy as clams. After ten years, I gave up, dug her up, and tossed her.


And Edith won the Dykes in 93. I wonder if she had been grown all over the country prior to winning the award?
Name: Teresa Cole
Bayfield, Colorado S.W. Rockie (Zone 4b)
8000 ft. Up
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ttkc4704
Mar 22, 2020 10:45 AM CST
Hate to hear the bad report on Edith Wolford. I first saw her in Oklahoma City by a mailbox and had to stop. Left a note in the mailbox asking the name. I thought it was the prettiest Iris I had ever seen. Maybe I will dig her up and try another location if she doesn't bloom this year. I fertilized exactly as instructed last year, so we will see if it helps.
Weed= A flower yet to be appreciated
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
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evelyninthegarden
Mar 22, 2020 12:55 PM CST
Teresa ~ Edith Wolford has been slow for me too. I did also move her to a sunnier spot, so...we'll see!

Good luck! :I hope she blooms for you, Be sure to take pictures to share with us! Smiling Crossing Fingers!
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Teresa Cole
Bayfield, Colorado S.W. Rockie (Zone 4b)
8000 ft. Up
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ttkc4704
Mar 26, 2020 9:16 AM CST
I'm going to be broken hearted if Edith Wolford never blooms for me, since it was the first iris that started my quest into the iris world. Is there a similar color and form that I could investigate?
Weed= A flower yet to be appreciated
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Mar 26, 2020 10:49 AM CST

Moderator

Keith Keppel has introduced several irises over the past decade or so that are generally similar in color to Edith Wolford. They are all, from what I've seen, also superior plants to Edith Wolford. That's not surprising, Keith wouldn't have introduced them if they weren't.

In my garden, Silk Road has been the best of the bunch, it's absolutely bullet proof. I'm always a little sad to see it bloom, though. It's one of the last to open so when I see those flowers I know the iris season is almost over.











Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
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irisarian
Mar 28, 2020 5:45 AM CST
That should be very helpful information as Edith Wolford is a poor grower in this area.

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