Irises forum: Experimenting with Arilbreds in New England

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Name: Liz
Concord, MA (Zone 6a)
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Dachsylady86
Oct 20, 2016 2:38 PM CST
I’ve taken the plunge into Arilbreds so I’m documenting my experiences growing them in New England as a way of deciding how successful they can be for me outside of an arid climate. I have chosen OGB (½) and OGB- (¼) cultivars to experiment with, the first being the more questionable of the two types for my climate. I also want to point out that I have these varieties planted in different beds with varying soil compositions, with most in the sandier soil, and the others in an aerated compost mix. I’m not sure how or if it will affect the outcome, but initially I feel that the sandier soil is more ideal for desireable arilbred conditions.
*Please excuse the little weeds in the pictures!*

In the sandier bed I have:

Genetic Artist (OGB) and Jewel of Omar (OGB-), which are next to each other. Jewel of Omar initially lost its central fan, but without any rot issues to the rhizome; both have put out increases. I got these as bonuses from Blue J Iris.
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Aztec Prince (OGB), Undue Influence (OGB) and Brash and Bold (OBG-); these came from Stout Gardens. All are putting out increases steadily. Undue Influence also lost the central fan.
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Sand Dancer (OGB) is one that I’m most excited to see. I was told by Rick Tasco that he would set the bud for me, and then I would have to keep it alive. So there’s a good chance it will bloom next spring, but the outcome is unknown after that. I am impressed with how well it is doing thus far. That one was a bonus to experiment with from Superstition Iris Gardens.
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A few others from Superstition Iris Gardens are Signal Butte (OGB-), Free as the Wind (OGB-) and Warrior Prince (OGB-). They are recent Arilmed intros that were mixed with SDBs. These three seem to be the most happy of the bunch; Signal Butte especially with 6 increases.
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Galaxina (OBG-), a 2015 intro and Eye to Eye came from Mid-America Gardens. These were both a little slow to start, and Eye to Eye had difficulty getting settled initially. I had to move it from a different bed into this one, adding some compost below the roots, which helped it finally root down. Now it seems quite happy. Galaxina has been a slow grower overall thus far.
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The last two are from the aerated compost mixed beds:

Red Ahead (OGB-) is a new Mid-America intro from this year and like Galaxina is a bit of a slow grower despite getting a little more sun during the day. Both Red Ahead and Galaxina share a sibling named Heart of Hearts, which I do not currently have.
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Another one from Stout Gardens which is in a different section of this bed is Desert Snow (OGB). I’ve had the most difficulty with this cultivar. It died way bad initially and I thought that I had lost it entirely, but it developed out a small section of healthy roots to grab onto the soil. Over the past few months it has put out a single increase with no central fan. I am hoping that it can pull through, but I’m skeptical. I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on this one, and probably give it some fertilizer in the spring.
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Lastly in yet another section of this bed is Cindy Rivera (OGB-) which was a new Baumunk intro that I got as a bonus From Stout Garden. It has been slow growing thus far, but probably not getting as much sun as it should right now. Only one increase so far, but more could appear in the spring. I’m excited to see the bloom on this one; from the pictures it is quite pretty.
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I want to point out that the climate was quite dry this summer in New England, particularly in Massachusetts and could be a contributing factor to the initial success of these Arilbreds. I did water them, but sparingly. Their rhizomes have remained quite dry and firm overall. This could change during years where it may be more wet, but I’m making a note of the excessive dryness to compare.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Oct 20, 2016 2:54 PM CST
I only have photos of a few seedlings. I have found that the OGBs will only bloom for a couple years but OGB- can do quite well. Try the RB (regalia breds). They are happier here, but have a different shape. If you join the Aril society, you can buy plants at their sale & have access to the seeds of arils. The late Fred Gadd grew them in a city lot in Connecticut. Our soil is 6.5 so if you can treat it to make it less acid you will have better luck. I stopped crossing them after the one cross, feeling at my age, it was better to take on any more projects. Seedling in the next post.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Oct 20, 2016 2:57 PM CST
My seedling photos.
registered as 'Ye Gadd' but not introduced. I need more stock.

Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Oct 20, 2016 2:58 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-10-20/irisarian/9fd85c


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This clump was taken in Colorado by a friend who was testing it for me. Grew better in his soil than in mine.
Name: Liz
Concord, MA (Zone 6a)
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Dachsylady86
Oct 20, 2016 3:03 PM CST
I absolutely love that seedling Lucy! Definitely a future must-have when it becomes available. Lovey dubby
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Oct 20, 2016 3:16 PM CST
The signal looks red there, but this year it looks lavender. Strange, I will see what happens next spring.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
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grannysgarden
Oct 20, 2016 3:48 PM CST
Beautiful, Lucy!!! A must have.
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Oct 20, 2016 4:11 PM CST
I agree
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
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crowrita1
Oct 20, 2016 4:25 PM CST
I've had mixed results with the AB's here in Illinois.......in fact, the record rainfall in August rotted out Warrior Prince which had just been planted. I have mine , now, in a raised bed (about 6") with a mostly sand base, and a "top coat" of pea gravel. Hopefully, that will help mitigate the "too much summer moisture" thing Shrug!
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
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Cuzz4short
Oct 20, 2016 5:20 PM CST
I hope I have one and it grows here, but my dirt is far from sandy enough. The Shady Spot may have added one or some in my noID pack, but I'd never know..

Good luck and hope we see some blooms Thumbs up
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
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Lestv
Oct 20, 2016 8:18 PM CST
Liz - what do you mean by "set the bud"? And how would that be done?

I have Eye To Eye and it has bloomed once. I got it from C& T Iris Patch that incorrectly lists it as a SDB. So I am impressed it bloomed at all considering it wasn't planted in a manor favorable to arils. I received a rhizome of Sand Dancer this year. I potted it with lots of sand in the top part of the pot and the rhizome set high. It is growing really well so far in this state.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Liz
Concord, MA (Zone 6a)
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Dachsylady86
Oct 20, 2016 8:24 PM CST
I think set the buds means sending a rhizome with increases so that theoretically it should bloom the first year.

I did notice Eye to Eye in the SDBs on the C &T website and found it a bit odd. The soil that Sand Dancer is in didn't get amended with any additional sand in my garden so I'm curious to see how it compares to how some of have done it with extra sand. It's fun to have one to compare around the country Smiling
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
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grannysgarden
Oct 21, 2016 1:23 AM CST
I think Eye To Eye is listed with the SDB's is because of its height. It would be an AB/SDB? I planted two of the smaller AB's last spring, Patriot's Gem and Chain Reaction, and they are hanging in there.
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
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IrisLilli
Oct 21, 2016 2:15 AM CST
I have been eyeing a few ABs, including 'Jewel of Omar', but I think I should go for the ones with SDB genes in them, as SDBs grow really well here... Hmmm... Think I'll wait and see how my pots with Iris dardanus (regeliocyclus hybrid) handle the winter here, before I go overboard with the ABs...
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
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IrisLilli
Oct 21, 2016 2:17 AM CST
I will be following your experiments with great interest, Liz. Your conditions should not be too far from mine, so I am sure I will learn something - regardless of the outcome. I hope they will do great! Crossing Fingers!

Lucy, that is a lovely seedling! Lovey dubby
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Liz
Concord, MA (Zone 6a)
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Dachsylady86
Oct 21, 2016 7:53 AM CST
Thanks Lilli! Hopefully I can steer you in a good direction when you're ready to go down the AB path based on what does well here. I bought a few when I first started ordering just for the heck of it not caring as much if they would make it. Now I'm rooting for them all and if they do well I'm definitely hooked on ABs.
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
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IrisLilli
Oct 21, 2016 1:17 PM CST
You? Hooked? On iris? Naaaaaaaaaaaah! Big Grin
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Oct 21, 2016 1:26 PM CST
Patriot's Gem doesn't have a strong signal but grows in many places as it is one of Fred Gadd's plants which was hybridized in CT. Rick Tasco's 'Free As the Wind' bloomed here last spring and had several branches. We will see how it does here next year as it was such a dry summer, but perhaps it likes that. Remember the fans will disappear over the summer & start to return in fall. Don't panic if they do so.
Name: Liz
Concord, MA (Zone 6a)
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Dachsylady86
Oct 21, 2016 1:45 PM CST
Ohh good to know Lucy! I probably would have panicked about the fans.
(Zone 7a)
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arilbred
Oct 23, 2016 6:54 AM CST
I suggest a 1/3 mix of compost sand and your native soil drainage is key I had 114 varieties just outside the great smokie mountains national park its considered a rain forest. Just remember drainage

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