Irises forum→Louisiana Irises 2021, Photos, care & advice

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Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Apr 17, 2021 5:36 PM CST
I just received a batch of 21 different Louisianas tubers a couple of weeks ago: Some of them are older American LAs like 'Shrimp Creole', 'Ann Chowning', 'Professor Paul' , even a species Iris I.fulva ( although by the looks in the vendors pics it seems to me a fulva hybrid). I'm absolutely new to LA's and was wondering how others are growing them. Of course, those that live within the original region in the deep south are not confronted with shorter season, colder winter etc.
My vendor is also an hybridizer and the couple has produced quite an assortment, all worthy to be known about widely. My hopes is that with adequate care and extra enticement perhaps I can share photos of all later during this year... Sighing! or perhaps very early 2022.
Meanwhile I'm sure others who are already growing them in their yards will want to show what they grow
Arturo
Name: Tienito
Rhode Island (Zone 6b)
Irises Amaryllis Native Plants and Wildflowers
Image
Tienito
Apr 17, 2021 7:53 PM CST
Here's my stand of Louisiana irises from a few years ago. (I've since stopped growing them, since my garden is pretty dry and I can't keep up with their water requirements.) I found that they're tough, hardy plants. Just make sure to water and water, and fertilize and fertilize. You almost can't overdo it with water and fertilizer!

Thumb of 2021-04-18/Tienito/4c8975

Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Apr 18, 2021 5:19 AM CST
@Tienito Thanks for your advice ! Could you grow them inside a 'muck' bed?. I've designated a new concept around a muck bed ( somewhere that is kept muddy all the time). Could you have added some sort of drip irrigation to keep the place wet? (this said beyond your option you chose) At least for most of the growing season, perhaps less during the cold season when the ground may freeze. I suppose in the latter case one could top dress with a thick dry leaf mulch so as to keep the mud free from freezing. Since I have many types of organic materials available in my property, I'm at present mixing in thirds, natural sandy soil plus well rotted leaf mould plus our sheep barn bedding : it is a mixture of sheep manure, shredded grass, wood shavings and left over alfalfa pellets, plus the regular urine that is mixed in. I'm assuming that this mixture ought to provide for their regular food requirements. Later, next summer, that is december here, I hope to keep adding as sidedressing the organic component.( barn bedding plus leaf mould)
Thank You! for your input!
Arturo
Name: Curtis
Oregon (Zone 8b)
CS_925
Apr 18, 2021 3:36 PM CST
Arturo, I don't know if you've seen this but here is a recording of a webinar the American Iris Society just did on Louisiana Iris.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Name: Tienito
Rhode Island (Zone 6b)
Irises Amaryllis Native Plants and Wildflowers
Image
Tienito
Apr 18, 2021 8:28 PM CST
Arturo, your "muck bed" idea sounds perfect. I would definitely let the soil dry out a bit during the cold season, as you suggested. Apparently Louisiana irises in the wild experience a period of winter drought before the water rises again for the growing season. From what I've read and experienced, I think they will be very happy for you! Please share pictures when your plan comes to fruition. I do miss them.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Apr 19, 2021 4:35 AM CST
CS_925 said:Arturo, I don't know if you've seen this but here is a recording of a webinar the American Iris Society just did on Louisiana Iris.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...



Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Group hug
I hadn't seen it so now it's been bookmarked to be watched!

Arturo
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Apr 24, 2021 10:51 AM CST
LA's are pretty easy to grow. They don't like to be left in water that freezes, so many people who have them in pools of water have them in pots so they can take them out of the water during the winter. You are zone 8a so probably have very few freezing days in the winter. But you don't want your muck too wet during the coldest months.

They are super easy to plant. I mix soil with manure and compost, Then you pop the rhizomes in so they are about two inches below the surface and cover them with soil. You then put about 3 inches or so of mulch over them to help retain the moisture. They are heavy feeders because of their love of water so fertilize them 3 times a year with a basic 8-8-8 fertilizer.

In warmer climates (like mine and yours) the LA's go dormant in the summer, then come out of dormancy in the fall (when they are usually shipped) and grow all winter and into spring bloom time. To help keep the beds neat you can cut down the foliage to about 6 inches during the summer dormant months (the foliage starts to look pretty ratty by then). You will see all the new shoots come up again in the fall.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Apr 24, 2021 11:32 AM CST
Thank you Leslie!, I more or less followed your sequence above. I've potted up my LA's and are placed inside a heated greenhouse this first( and only this) season. In spring I hope to plant them out in a muck bed and do exactly as you say. If I mulch heavily in fall with dry leaves, compost and manure then the root zone won't freeze. Only in extreme situations the winter frost can go as deep as 2". If my covering is thicker than that it won't reach the rhyzomes.

Arturo
mid-TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Amaryllis Bulbs Irises Peonies Clematis
Roses
Image
Amazindirt
May 20, 2021 10:56 AM CST
I love water irises of all types. I do NOT take them out of water over the winter -- I'm in zone 7a.

What I use is a kiddie wading pool, and then I pot the iris in tall pots so the rhizomes themselves are above the water line. I leave them there all year -- no problems. I grow LA, Siberian, Japanese, and species like versicolor all in the same way. I do the same with hardy hibiscus and many other bog-tolerant plants. I don't make an effort to keep the wading pool full all winter, but our winters here are usually pretty wet. I don't mulch either. I do plant my rhizomes at the soil surface, just like bearded iris, so they are never sunk in the soil.
[Last edited by Amazindirt - May 20, 2021 11:52 AM (+)]
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mid-TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Amaryllis Bulbs Irises Peonies Clematis
Roses
Image
Amazindirt
May 20, 2021 11:07 AM CST
This is what's currently blooming on my property in my little pools:

Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/f5a9c4
Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/59126d
Siberian Iris Miss Apple

Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/09873d
Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/7ee04d
This one was labeled Ann Chowning, but it's the wrong color. NoID.

Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/43a5b6
Iris pseudacorus hybrid Roy Davidson

Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/e9b309
LA iris Wow Factor

Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/3124db
Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/ae863b
Siberian iris Contrast in Styles

Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/aa571a
LA iris Peaches in Wine

Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/d2f0bd
LA iris Red Velvet Elvis

Thumb of 2021-05-20/Amazindirt/e75567
I've lost the label on this one. I'm pretty sure that it's Iris versicolor, but it may be virginica instead.

One warning: all the LA irises I treat this way try to take over the world. You will have plenty of plant material for swaps!

[Last edited by Amazindirt - May 20, 2021 11:14 AM (+)]
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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
May 20, 2021 11:47 AM CST
Amazindirt ~ Welcome! to the Iris Forum! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

And thank you for sharing your lovely photos!
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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
May 20, 2021 11:52 AM CST
I got siberian Miss Apple last summer. Have Red Velvet Elvis, too. Have been thinking about getting Peaches in Wine, but Wow Factor is really special, too! So many pretties. Too little space!
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
mid-TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Amaryllis Bulbs Irises Peonies Clematis
Roses
Image
Amazindirt
May 20, 2021 12:07 PM CST
I killed a lot of Siberian irises before I started throwing them in the pools with the Louisianas and Japanese. I guess I'm just slow on the uptake!

This spring I bought Siberians Cherry Fling and Solar Energy. I'm sure I've got a pic of Solar Energy around here somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment or I'd post it -- very pretty!
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
Image
DaisyDo
May 20, 2021 12:18 PM CST
I have a dozen siberians that have lived and bloomed up to 30 years very well in dry semi-shade, under a maple tree that tends to suck all the moisture out of the soil. They can tolerate more dryness than I would have thought possible.

Here is White Swirl just starting up:

Thumb of 2021-05-20/DaisyDo/05029d

That clump is, yes, about 30 years old or more.

-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
mid-TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Amaryllis Bulbs Irises Peonies Clematis
Roses
Image
Amazindirt
May 20, 2021 12:20 PM CST
Yeah, I could never figure out why I was killing them. They just didn't like me!
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
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IrisLilli
May 20, 2021 12:31 PM CST
I'm growing mine dry too - but good to know they will tolerate that much moisture, because that means I might just be hatching a new, sneaky garden plan. Hmmm...

Thank You! Amazin'! I tip my hat to you.
Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice!
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
May 20, 2021 1:03 PM CST
Sibs in general do very well in normal garden conditions because they are more drought tolerant than other beardless iris. I have also found that my Spuria like to be in moist soil, but flounder in too much moisture.

I have never read a single planting guide from a LA hybridizer or grower that doesn't say to cover the rhizomes with soil. When exposed they are susceptible to sun scald that will damage them. Our hot summers would really dry out the rhizomes too if they weren't covered.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
May 20, 2021 2:58 PM CST
Lestv said: I have also found that my Spuria like to be in moist soil, but flounder in too much moisture.
.


@Lestv From what I've read Spurias being a slightly different type of sword leaf iris, they actually do better in drier soil than the rest mentioned here. Also the AIS webinar suggests that they do better with slightly alkaline ph, whilst the others prefer acidic. My soil here moves between 5.5 anf 6. So for my first 5 spuria seedlings that are still now in pots will get some lime added. The webinar speaker, Jody Noll, suggested to place spurias the higher side of the hill while the others down in the lower valley. Also spurias seem to resent being moved about so she strongly recommended to choose a place where it will stay forever.
Thank you Leslie for your comment which is consistent with the AIS suggestions.
Thank You!

Arturo
[Last edited by hampartsum - May 20, 2021 2:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
May 20, 2021 3:16 PM CST
Lestv said:
I have never read a single planting guide from a LA hybridizer or grower that doesn't say to cover the rhizomes with soil. When exposed they are susceptible to sun scald that will damage them. Our hot summers would really dry out the rhizomes too if they weren't covered.


I was wondering what harm could befall by mulching on top of the rhyzomes. I see many advantages, perhaps the only risk is that mulch could harbour bugs that could affect it. My soil is so sandy that a fine layer of sandy soil shoudn't be any problem either.Since I'm just starting out with LA's I can' give any personal comments of it fares here. Although direct sun can get hot here, I've yet to see sunscald. I suppose that it is because our highs hardly ever jump beyond the 90ºF.

Arturo
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
May 20, 2021 3:22 PM CST
IrisLilli said:I'm growing mine dry too - but good to know they will tolerate that much moisture, because that means I might just be hatching a new, sneaky garden plan. Hmmm...

Thank You! Amazin'! I tip my hat to you.

I agree I agree I agree
@IrisLilli Hmmm. ( I'm planning here n' there clumps).... Green Grin!
With my left over greenhouse lining I'm planning sunken muck beds that require just occasional watering... Whistling

Seen from a distance they are just so elegant, even when with just the foliage... Perhaps a little bit of understanding bloom sequence will help.

Arturo

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