Irises forum: Bloom 2yrs but hasn't bloom in over a year, pls help.

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Name: Beth
Greenwood, IN (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower Miniature Gardening
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BPadilla
May 13, 2017 1:52 PM CST
Hi everyone!

I'm new to gardening with iris'. A neighbor down the street was dividing their iris from the southside of their house. She said they were pact in pretty tightly when she divided them. They were on the southside of her house and she said the first 2 years after she planted them they bloomed but for the past year and half they haven't bloomed.

Does anyone know a reason why they would all stop blooming? I tried searching the forums and articles but haven't seen anything about this specific issue.

Thanks everyone for the help!
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
May 13, 2017 2:20 PM CST
So they bloomed for 2 years after she divided them? Or they haven't bloomed since she has divided them?

I'll list some of the possibilities of non blooming irises.

When irises become too crowded, they slow down the bloom production. That's why it's recommended to divided your irises every 3-5 years. That's depending upon how close they are planted next to each other. If they grow into each other in 2 years, then divide then every 2 years.

Also, too much shade can halt bloom production in bearded irises. Those rhizomes and leaves need at least 6 hours of sun a day to produce blooms. Some will tolerate less sun, but others will not.

Was the soil amended before replanting the rhizomes? Irises are heavy feeders and will drain the soil of the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
Name: Beth
Greenwood, IN (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower Miniature Gardening
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BPadilla
May 13, 2017 2:34 PM CST
Don't know if she did anything to the soil.

She planted them. They bloomed for two years. The past year and a half they didn't bloom. She just divided them today. She said they were packed pretty tightly.
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
May 13, 2017 2:59 PM CST
That's why they didn't bloom, they were too crowded. Once they are replanted and given room to grow, they'll bloom again. Since she just dug them up, this is a good time for her to replenish the nutrients in the soil.
Name: Beth
Greenwood, IN (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower Miniature Gardening
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BPadilla
May 13, 2017 4:02 PM CST
Thank you for the help. I will let her know. And it will help me in the future as I got a nice bag full for my own flower bed.
Name: Charlotte
Salt Lake City, Utah (Zone 6b)
genealogist specializing in French
Irises Region: Utah Hostas Bulbs Heucheras
cbunny41
May 13, 2017 5:39 PM CST
This was started earlier but not completed.

Your answer is right in your explanation. They were too crowded. Iris need to be thinned or dug and replanted every three to four years. She must have planted them fairly close to begin with and they ran out of space faster. I plant single rhizomes 18' apart in zigzag fashion with rows 16" apart.

But when I have a clump (3) to plant then I will space the clumps two feet apart (center to center) as they will get much larger in the same amount of time. Then I will plant the individual rhizomes in a triangle, all with the rhizome , the brown part, facing me, one in front and two in back. .
[Last edited by cbunny41 - May 13, 2017 5:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Beth
Greenwood, IN (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower Miniature Gardening
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BPadilla
May 13, 2017 5:58 PM CST
Thanks. This really helps.
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, 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 14, 2017 10:42 AM CST
Hi Beth! Welcome! to the iris forum and good luck with your new irises! Hurray!
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
May 14, 2017 10:58 AM CST
Welcome! from me too.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Beth
Greenwood, IN (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower Miniature Gardening
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BPadilla
May 14, 2017 11:21 AM CST
Thank you. I am a little confused about the fan of the iris and which way you plant it.
Name: Charlotte
Salt Lake City, Utah (Zone 6b)
genealogist specializing in French
Irises Region: Utah Hostas Bulbs Heucheras
cbunny41
May 14, 2017 12:59 PM CST
It doesn't really matter if you are planting single rhizomes with enough space around them, but I like to plant with the fan away from me and the rhizome toward me. It matters more if you are planting clumps because the growth is mainly from the fan back and to the side. So if you are planting three and cluster them in the center of the triangle, you cut down the places for the new rhizomes to grow. I do think it is easier to plant my way. Instructions usually say to prepare the ground, (dig in compost and or fertilizer), Then make a shallow depression with a small mound in the middle. The rhizome goes on the mound and the roots in the depression and then dig deeper if needed to make room for the roots. Some growers want the rhizome above the ground and only the roots in ground, but I don't think that is necessary unless in your area the water table is very high or you have a tendency to flooding. I do have good soil and I cover the rhizome with about 1/4-1/2 inch of dirt.

Google planting iris and you should find some You-Tube videos that demonstrate planting.
[Last edited by cbunny41 - May 14, 2017 1:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
May 15, 2017 10:10 AM CST
If you are planting three, the rule is toes in, fans out. The rhizome being the toe. You can point the toes in like spokes on a wheel. The fans, as Charlotte mentioned, are where the growth happens so they have more room along the outer edge.

Rhizomes need sun to produce the energy needed for growth. It is usually better to not cover the rhizome with any dirt. If you live in a very dry and hot climate they suggest a light covering, but in Indiana I think you will want to keep the rhizome exposed to soak up as much sun as possible since you have a shorter growing cycle.

Welcome! to the site. Hope you will stick around and show us your blooms next year!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
May 16, 2017 11:37 PM CST
Welcome Beth! It's always nice to see new iris gardeners stop by! Welcome!

Just to clarify the planting of rhizomes: the rhizome is the part that grows under or along the ground. It has two ends, the 'toe' which is bald and looks like a toe (go figure? Hilarious! ) and the fan which is the end where the leaves grow.

The rhizome will grow in the direction of the fan/leaves. When the rhizome begins to multiply you will see the babies (little nodules known as 'increases') form on the fan end and sides.

The recommendation is to plant so the most room for growth is on the fan end. In a triangle the toes would be in the center. In a pot the toe would be against one side of the pot so the fan is toward the center of the pot (with room to grow).

How you decide to plant depends on which direction you want your plants to grow. Don't plant the fan end facing a wall or where it would get entangled with another plant.

Good luck with your new irises! And stop by anytime you have questions or just want to see a lot of great iris photos!

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