Irises forum→Iris on Steep Hillside

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Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
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SonoveShakespeare
Jul 15, 2021 4:23 PM CST
Hey all,

One of my neighbors has a steep hill side with daylilies I gave her last year. This year she asked me if bearded iris can be planted on that steep hill. Told her I wasn't sure.

I was worried that the hill would be too steep for the iris rhizomes to stay in place. The hill side is about a 45 degree angle. I thought about using bricks to hold the rhizomes in place if the hill is too steep. Shrug!

What do you guys think???

Thank you. Smiling
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Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lauriemorningglory
Jul 15, 2021 7:37 PM CST
Might have problems with soil erosion. Not enough vegetation to hold soil since iris don't like competition. But maybe some older varieties could be mixed with other plants and still do fine.
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Totally_Amazing
Jul 16, 2021 7:27 PM CST
If I plant my rhizomes crooked the foliage emerges on an angle and grows OK. I think it is worth a try but that is just a guess.
Name: Lilli
Lundby, Denmark, EU
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IrisLilli
Jul 19, 2021 4:53 AM CST
I have irises growing on sandy slopes and the only problem I have had is that they are a bit tricky to water, because the water tends to just run off. I'm experimenting with digging a little hollow above each clump and filling that with water repeatedly. This is mostly a problem when first planting, once they are established they don't need a lot of extra water unless we have a(nother) drought.
I would try some historic TBs first and if they make it, maybe some of the more vigorous medians or modern TBs. A good indicator of what might grow well there would probably be whatever grows well for you without too much TLC.
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jul 20, 2021 9:01 AM CST
It depends on how steep it is. One could make some terraces for planting, that would hold things from eroding.
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Name: Pam
Pennsylvania
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Snork
Jul 20, 2021 12:06 PM CST
I have two gardens on slopes. The iris do well, they just need some extra care. If the slopes face south, so much the better!

The smaller garden is on a very steep and rocky slope along an access road to a barn. The rocks give the plants plenty of stability. Topsoil and aged manure and mulch was used as fill around the rocks. The iris love it there and take little care. Weeding is tricky because of the slope, but the rocks and mulch keep it to a minimum.

There have been problems with the larger garden due to erosion. Terracing with any variety of material will help to fix this. I use old fence rails and rocks and landscaping timbers. It also can be difficult to work in, weeding and tilling due to the slope....and old age!

A hillside iris garden can be a little extra work, but turn out to be beautiful!
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Jul 20, 2021 6:03 PM CST
Miniatures and dwarfs do well in some pretty tricky and steep-slop-y situations in my rock gardens.
It's hard to thin and divide them though...
Name: Curtis
Oregon (Zone 8b)
CS_925
Jul 20, 2021 8:53 PM CST
A lot of bearded species are found in the mountains of Europe -
https://commons.wikimedia.org/...
https://www.floraitaliae.actap...

So, they "should" be ok. Smiling I'd still experiment a bit with it before fully committing to anything. As several here have mentioned, a terrace might be a good idea.
Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Try Naturalizing perennials! :)
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Enjoys or suffers hot summers Foliage Fan Lilies Daylilies Irises Region: Nebraska
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SonoveShakespeare
Jul 27, 2021 1:07 AM CST
Thank you guys for your replies.

Dirt @dirtdorphins , I was planning on giving her a few dwarfs. I have two huge clumps of 'Lime Smoothie' that have been in the ground for a little over 5 years that need division.

Pam @Snork , I'm just imagining what your iris along the barn pathway you shared with us looks like. I pictured a few trees maybe 10-20 ft. behind the iris along one side of the pathway giving the iris all day partial shade.

Lilli @IrisLilli , My neighbor really likes bearded iris and she wanted some on a hillside because they reminded her of the yucca plants she saw when she used to live in a sandier part of Nebraska. She also thought they both looked similar, I couldn't agree more.

Here's a picture of iris clumps compared to the yucca plants. I think they both look similar somehow. These are not my photos, sources are below pictures.


Thumb of 2021-07-27/SonoveShakespeare/f9df4a
Thumb of 2021-07-27/SonoveShakespeare/438dd2

https://www.istockphoto.com/ph...

https://www.alamy.com/stock-ph...
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Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
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LynNY
Jul 30, 2021 9:43 AM CST
Another thing to consider is wind/rain. Depending on the wind direction, it could encourage tall iris to fall over and uproot themselves, but staking would help manage that though I consider staking a pain. Since you have a choice of what to give her, maybe avoid the real tall ones.


SonoveShakespeare said:Hey all,


I was worried that the hill would be too steep for the iris rhizomes to stay in place. The hill side is about a 45 degree angle. I thought about using bricks to hold the rhizomes in place if the hill is too steep. Shrug!

What do you guys think???

Thank you. Smiling


Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Try Naturalizing perennials! :)
Amaryllis Hostas Garden Photography Butterflies Bulbs Bee Lover
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Foliage Fan Lilies Daylilies Irises Region: Nebraska
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SonoveShakespeare
Jul 30, 2021 10:48 AM CST
Lyn, Thank You! for your suggestion. Yes, I plan on giving my neighbor dwarf bearded iris.
Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.

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