Irises forum→How to prolong iris blooming season?

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Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Sep 26, 2020 7:03 AM CST
What is the best way to prolong the iris blooming season? Maybe planting several varieties? My growing season (zone 8-9) is so long that they spend a very long time looking miserable.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
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LysmachiaMoon
Sep 26, 2020 7:22 AM CST
I don't know of any way to prolong the bloom of individual iris plants, but yes, planting varieties with various bloom times would be a good way to overall extend bloom. As for the plants looking miserable, I know what you mean. One thing that I do to keep iris looking a bit better is to cut back the foliage when it begins to fade and droop (which usually happens a few weeks after bloom ends). The trimmed leaves (I take them down to about 3-4 inches tall) look neater and later new growth starts up that looks fresh. An added benefit of this trimming is that it can help deter iris borers, which lay eggs on the older foliage. Always compost or discard the trimmed stuff away from any iris plants; don't let the trimmed leaves stay on the ground.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Sep 26, 2020 8:55 AM CST
In my delusional world of reality, I'd have a garden in the Southern part of the US, and another one in the Northern part of the US so I could start my iris fix early and end later. Somewhere in the south so the re-bloomers have enough season to bloom. Then I'd have another garden in the Southern Hemisphere where I could get yet another season of irises during the US winter. Rolling on the floor laughing Unfortunately, I'm not a millionaire so that's not going to happen. What I have done, and it helps a little bit, is I have a nice micro climate near on the South side of the house. I plant a mix of Early, Mid season, and Late bloomers there. Some Medians as well that always start the season for me. They start blooming about 10 days to 2 weeks earlier then the plants away from the house. I have one bed that's mostly ML and L bloomers. I also have a bed that gets a half day of shade, and I try to have that mostly with late bloomers. It seems to be the last bed to bloom, and looks good late in the season when the other beds are ending their bloom. I think I might get a couple weeks longer bloom season using these strategies. Then I'm left to enjoying the virtual bloom season that's starting now by viewing the pictures of the folks on here from Australia. Smiling Sighing!
Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,"
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Sep 26, 2020 4:40 PM CST
I love Tom's idea of multiple gardens around the world Thumbs up . There may be some irises that rebloom in your region at other times during the year.
[Last edited by Totally_Amazing - Sep 26, 2020 4:41 PM (+)]
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Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Sep 27, 2020 9:12 AM CST
Thanks Tom and Annie. Let's all work to make the world an even more beautiful place.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Name: Teresa Cole
Bayfield, Colorado S.W. Rockie (Zone 4b)
8000 ft. Up
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ttkc4704
Sep 28, 2020 7:53 PM CST
I have read that the border iris and the miniature bearded, the standards etc. bloom earlier than the tall bearded iris. Then, within these categories, plant the early, mid and late ones. I think that might be the best you can do. If your area is zone 6 or higher, you could plant rebloomers ( they require different care), but would give you later fall blooms to look forward to. I haven't done this myself, but I'm thinking about it.
Weed= A flower yet to be appreciated
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 28, 2020 9:00 PM CST
in CO check with Long's Gardens & see what they do.

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