Irises forum→Planting Bearded Irises in Antigua Guatemala

Views: 224, Replies: 8 » Jump to the end
MD
lheise
Nov 18, 2021 7:20 PM CST
Dear all,

Bearded Irises are my absolute favorite and I have just purchased a home in Antigua Guatemala -- a small colonial town that is mild all year.

In Antigua Guatemala, the wet season (May 15 - Oct 30) is overcast, the dry season (Nov - May) is mostly clear, and it is comfortable year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 53°F to 78°F and is rarely below 49°F or above 82°F.

How does one determine the best time to plant Iris rhizomes in this climate?

More detailed information about the growing season and weather is available on the website called "weatherspark" under Average-Weather-in-Antigua-Guatemala-Guatemala-Year-Round

Sincerely,
Lori Heise
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Nov 18, 2021 7:29 PM CST
Welcome!

Antigua Guatemala is a truly tropical area. I'm not sure a bearded iris will be happy there. Maybe you should embrace the Guatemalan natives and leave the iris in MD. Sometimes you can't take home with you. Sighing!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Irises Amaryllis Bromeliad Brugmansias Master Gardener: Florida
Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Birds Orchids Herbs Region: Florida
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Nov 18, 2021 9:05 PM CST
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Nov 18, 2021 9:10 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2627939 (3)
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Irises Amaryllis Bromeliad Brugmansias Master Gardener: Florida
Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Birds Orchids Herbs Region: Florida
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Nov 18, 2021 9:06 PM CST
I agree with what Daisy said. Bearded iris need a good, cold dormant period of at least a month or preferably two, in order to re-generate the rhizomes and bloom the next year.

I'd anticipate that unless you can simulate "winter" for your iris, they might bloom the first year after you plant them, but thereafter, they'll just go downhill and peter out for lack of a winter rest.

Planting in large pots, moving them to the coolest shady spot in your garden, and 'watering' them with ice cubes every night for a month or two *might* get them enough dormancy to carry on. I'm in Florida and here, only people in the farthest north portions of the state have any success with bearded iris.

There are other iris that will succeed for you, though. Try some Louisiana Iris, or Apostle Iris for a nice show of spring blooms. Iris domestica aka the Blackberry Lily also will probably do well for you. Giant Apostles' Iris (Neomarica coerulea 'Regina')
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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
Image
evelyninthegarden
Nov 18, 2021 9:20 PM CST
You might try the Califonia irises too.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
MD
lheise
Nov 19, 2021 2:55 PM CST
Thanks to everyone for the advice. So helpful. I was afraid that the bearded variety might need "winter" so to speak. I have seen some iris in Antigua, so I'll check out what variety they are.

Cheers,
Lori

JosephGhio
Nov 19, 2021 4:10 PM CST
Yes, tropical climates aren't suited for irises. I have seen them in bloom in Quito Equador but it is in the 5.000 Ft. level of the Andes. Even Australia they don't perform north of Sydney. In the USA there was a line That ran From line San Antonio,TX, to Shreveport, LA, to Burmingham, AL, Atlanta, GA, south of which beardeds wouldn't perform well. That line has probably moved more north now.
Jack Craig (the artist of the SPCNI logo) married a native of Indonesia and moved to Java. Jack lived originally in Cupertino. Some years ago while visiting family in Los Gatos came over the hill to visit me. (BTW, Jack is responsible for getting in to developing the Pacificas by giving me seed.) The purpose of the visit was to buy all types to irises to bring back to Java. I said but you're in the tropics, they won't "do" there. He said we live at the 3,000 ft. level and apples flower and produce there and I think irises will too.
A couple years later he dropped by again to report on the results. The TB's bloomed all the time until they were spent out. The LA also bloomed just about anytime and still had some growth left. The Pacifica grew just fine and had tall foliage close to what Siberians had, but the catch was that they grew lushly but did not produce a bloom! The spurias proformed more normal as they would here. Anyway, I thot this interesting and others might also find it of interest. jjg
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Irises Amaryllis Bromeliad Brugmansias Master Gardener: Florida
Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Birds Orchids Herbs Region: Florida
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Nov 19, 2021 5:17 PM CST
May I also advise you to embrace the many wonderful new plants in Guatamala, rather than trying to bring unsuitable plants from Maryland. Find a local nursery, and fall in love with some more tropical plants. You'll be rewarded with long, and repeat bloom seasons, and beautiful new flowers and fragrances. Cannas and gingers have gorgeous flowers that bloom in cycles, from April right through November here for me.

The iris will take a lot of fuss and effort, and bloom for a few weeks at most, IF they bloom at all. Plan to go back to MD for a visit in May, so you can enjoy them but not worry about growing them.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Elsa
Las Cruces, New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: United States of America Irises Region: Southwest Gardening Dog Lover
Image
GreenIris
Nov 20, 2021 9:00 PM CST
I agree about embracing what can grow in the tropics. When there, I am always amazed at how many of our small houseplants can be large bushes and even trees in their tropical settings.
I just returned from the Cancun area, and we visited Isla Contoy, which is an environmentally protected reserve, and I saw these beautiful white flowers blooming everywhere with lush green leaves. I asked the guide what it was and he said it was a Spider Lily and it was native to the Island..So Lilies maybe? And I am not very knowledgeable about Orchids but love their exoticness. I am guessing you could have a great orchid collection.
Anyway, your move sounds really exciting and I hope you drop in down the road and tell us what ended up growing for you!!!
I think the people who grow Irises are about as special as the flower itself!

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Irises forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by skopjecollection and is called "Eringynum"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.