Irises forum: Advice Needed!

Views: 317, Replies: 8 » Jump to the end
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
touchofsky
May 25, 2017 7:17 AM CST
I am very good at growing iris foliage, but not so good at getting blooms. Even when they are getting lots of sun, they still just grow foliage. The soil here is very sandy, and very well drained. I think that is my main issue. I am planning on digging a new area for iris, and want to amend the soil. What are the best amendments for sandy soil in an iris bed?

I have more luck with the smaller ones, it is the tall bearded that give me trouble!
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
Image
IrisLilli
May 25, 2017 8:04 AM CST
Are your smaller ones in the same beds as your tall ones?
In my experience, the talls will tolerate dry soil better than the smaller ones, which is why I am curious...
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
May 25, 2017 9:01 AM CST
Are the talls crowded in any way? Do they get enough sun? They love well drained soil, and your smalls are doing well, so I wonder if it is something other than the soil.

Also, what do you feed them? Some fertilizers increase foliage growth to an extent that it decreases bloom.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
touchofsky
May 25, 2017 9:27 AM CST
The small ones are not in the same bed as the talls. I did not feed the tall bearded this year, but did last year, and had the same problem. I used a "bulb booster" fertilizer last year. They are not crowded and they get lots of sun.

I have had some trees removed and now have an area with even more sun, and this is where I am going to put the new iris bed. I was wondering if I should amend the soil with compost, composted manure or the like?
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
Image
UndertheSun
May 25, 2017 9:34 AM CST
How long have they been planted without being divided?
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
touchofsky
May 25, 2017 11:15 AM CST
I remade the bed a few years ago, but they are not crowded because they really have not spread much.
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
Image
UndertheSun
May 25, 2017 1:14 PM CST
It's recommended to divide irises every 3-5 years, or bloom production will decrease.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
touchofsky
May 25, 2017 2:22 PM CST
They never bloomed even after being divided. I am going to try this new location and see if that helps. I think the soil is better there and there is more sun.
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
Image
Moiris
May 25, 2017 3:16 PM CST
If you add mature compost to your soil it will not only help the soil retain moisture but it will provide a source of nutrition as the composted material futher decomposes and it will improve the overall quality of your soil. Be sure you don't use immature compost as it can cause rot problems.

My soil is sandy too. It drains so well I have to water more often than people with other soil types.

Also sandy soil is low in nutrition so it's important to fertilize frequently with a fertilizer that has low nitrogen. The fertilizer I use is 10-10-10 in composition. The most important number is the first one. It represents the ratio of nitrogen in the mix and ideally should be about the same as the second two numbers.

Edited to correct an odd paste from another message.
[Last edited by Moiris - May 26, 2017 4:28 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1454213 (9)

« 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:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Sparkly"