Irises forum→Tough iris for humid areas

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DC (Zone 7a)
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cwwilson3
Sep 8, 2020 8:46 AM CST
The summer in the DC area has been rainy and hotter than usual, and I am sad to see my iris die every 4 years due to the unfavorable conditions. I have amended the clay soil with sharp sand and compost and grow iris in raised beds, but still the odd wet year takes its toll.

So, I'm looking for iris, new, older or historic, that can take the 90F plus July and August days when the rains come. Hot, humid, rainy every 4th year or so. Love rebloomers. What are your suggestions?

Thanks, iris friends!
Yes, I trade iris!
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
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lovemyhouse
Sep 8, 2020 7:28 PM CST
My yard is heavy clay for the most part. While our humidity is in no way comparable to your area and we tend more toward drought conditions, some months the rains are unending and humidity is consistently high (as opposed to a day here and there). Which means that I've lost a big chunk of Irises to rain rot over the years. But I do have Irises that shrug off ALL conditions, so maybe you could consider one or more of them. I posted a mix of classifications and colors, plus a middling number of them are listed as rebloomers. Thumbs up

Abbey Chant // Betsey Boo


Blaring Gale // Bonjour


Bottled Sunshine // Cat's Eye


Catwalk Queen // Constant Companion (reliable rebloom here)


Crooked Little Smile // Crystal Beauty


Crystalyn // Dracula's Shadow


Flo (reliable rebloom here) // Flower Shower


Frosted Velvet // Golden Apricot


Grand Canyon Gold // Highline Amethyst


Hollywood Lights (stalks tend to lean over here) // Intermediary


Joyce Terry (in top 5 for toughness) // Lest We Forget (I've had blooms on this one going into December)


Loon Lake // Love the Sun, front (in top 5)


Merchant Marine // Navajo Code, with Merchant Marine directly behind it.


Oklahoma Bandit // Platinum Jubilee


Quaker Lady (Leads the top 5--she is one tough cookie) // Sharp Dressed Man


Silverado // Smart Money (with more Merchant Marine in back)


Snow Maiden (only bloomed once in six years--think it needs more cold than we get) // Stairway to Heaven


Talisman // Terra Rosa (in top 5)


Victorian Charmer // What About Me


I.germanica (rounds out the top 5) // I.orientalis
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Sep 8, 2020 8:49 PM CST
Thanks for this list, Debra!
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
Sep 8, 2020 8:50 PM CST
Look like good suggestions to me, even though we are not horribly humid in New England. Check with Winterberry Iris Garden in VA. They would have more experience with your climate than some of the western gardens.
[Last edited by irisarian - Sep 8, 2020 8:51 PM (+)]
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DC (Zone 7a)
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cwwilson3
Mar 16, 2021 5:18 PM CST
Thanks so much, Debra! I've had a tough year with much sickness and 2 deaths in my family, so I'm just seeing this fabulous list now..
Thank You!
Yes, I trade iris!
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
Image
lovemyhouse
Mar 16, 2021 7:02 PM CST
You are welcome. Smiling
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Mar 19, 2021 12:31 PM CST
I live not too far from you in Maryland, and I, too, have noticed that for about the last ten years the springs and summers have been rainier than they used to be. And since that started, my peonies which had had no trace of powdery mildew for 20 years, suddenly developed it, and I have had to fight it with Cornell spray ever since.

My iris that have flourished the best during this have been:

Beverly Sills, Bubbling Over, Dusky Challenger, and Absolute Treasure. Though Champagne Elegance did not bloom its first year, 2020, it is forming a beautiful clump, and I expect it to put on quite a show this spring, with multiple bloom stalks.

Many of my others are just hanging in there, but I know it's partly because of our huge maple tree casting more and more shade. I need to dig a new iris garden in a sunnier area, but I just don't have the physical stamina to do it.
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Mar 19, 2021 1:19 PM CST
P. S. Queen's Circle is another one that has been doing well for me.
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Mar 19, 2021 1:30 PM CST
My siberians that have formed the biggest clumps include White Swirl (despite being largely in shade), Over in Gloryland, and Caesar's Brother. My LA irises that do best are Red Velvet Elvis and Dorothea K Williamson.
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Mar 19, 2021 1:57 PM CST
I should add that of all my irises the only one that survived almost 20 years of total neglect during the years 1997 -2015 when my autoimmune disease was the worst, was Bubbling Over. Jesse's Song, Dusky Challenger, Silverado, Mary Frances, and Beverly Sills all died during that period, but the one freebie, Bubbling Over, was the lone survivor.

With the help of my husband who retired in 2015, I have replanted all of these except forJesse's Song, plus many other ones, and all but Mary Frances are doing well with a modicum of care. Mary Frances is hanging in there, but barely. She needs more sun than she is getting.

The bottom line here is that I believe that Bubbling over is really by far my most durable iris. It's an older Ghio, but you wouldn't regret having it. It's wonderfully fragrant, too!
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams

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