Irises forum: Companion planting

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Name: Traci Rowlett
Western Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Irises Region: Minnesota
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IdyllicIris
Jul 5, 2017 1:30 PM CST
I have my new 18' x 72' area tilled and getting ready for my new iris garden. I will be planting some companion plants along with about 130 irises. I'm interesting in finding out what perennials others like to use and why? Photos are always welcome Drooling

Thank You! Thank You!
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
Jul 5, 2017 1:39 PM CST
Unfortunately all my companion plants look very much like weeds...... Hilarious!

Lupine looks great with iris. And there are many on this forum who are great at companion plants so you came to the right place. Smiling
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Jul 5, 2017 2:00 PM CST
Lestv said:Unfortunately all my companion plants look very much like weeds...... Hilarious!

Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.... and everyone else if you throw it hard enough.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Jul 5, 2017 2:25 PM CST
Have you tried verbena bonariensis? Around here we call it verbena on a stick. It makes a very small ground plant and then tall stalks with little or no leaves grow 4 - 6 foot with tufts of purple flowers on the ends. It is airy and does not block the sun from irises and it self seeds. It is easy to pull up and not invasive. This is not a very good photo but it shows you its height a bit. The other companion plants I purposefully grow are alliums.

Thumb of 2017-07-05/grannysgarden/2460b1

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.... and everyone else if you throw it hard enough.
Name: Bea Kimball
Little Rock, Arkansas; (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Buzzbea424
Jul 5, 2017 8:06 PM CST
I have a small garden so I put my irises all along the back of the bed. Other plants fill in front of them blooming throughout the spring and summer. These range from daffodils and lilies to echinacea and rudbeckia. I always try to have something blooming.
Thumb of 2017-07-06/Buzzbea424/ac3e96


Thumb of 2017-07-06/Buzzbea424/87c521

The mulch does not extend as far back as the irises.







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
Jul 6, 2017 5:51 AM CST
Alliums (they have very little foliage), Pincushion Flower (small, well-behaved mounts, will self seed), ornamental grasses (small cultivars), Columbines (because they self seed whether I like them to or not Big Grin ), roses (behind the irises, unless they are small cultivars), Sibs, Daylilies, Moss Phlox, creeping Sedums, Hens and Chickens, creeping Thyme, Dianthus (creeping and others), poppies (not orientals, they grow too big here) and more.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Jul 6, 2017 5:55 AM CST
All good choices Lilli. I love the creeping phlox although it only blooms in the spring. It does not grow fast and overtake the irises and gives a waterfall of color on slopes and terraced iris beds. Smiling
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.... and everyone else if you throw it hard enough.
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Jul 6, 2017 10:27 AM CST
Delphiniums look good with iris.

Lilli, I agree with you about columbines. I planted a few, they self-seeded, and then I had a hard time getting rid of them. They have a long tap root. They are pretty with iris though.

Schreiner's plants meadow rue (thalictrum) in their display gardens. Things that are light and feathery contrast nicely with the spiky iris foliage.
[Last edited by AndreaD - Jul 6, 2017 1:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Darcy
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
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djinnevada
Jul 6, 2017 10:48 AM CST
How do you not overwater your iris while still getting enough water to the other plants? Even though they are close, I had a box with daylily and iris together, and if the daylily got enough, the iris got too much.
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography
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Totally_Amazing
Jul 7, 2017 12:02 AM CST
I like to use kangaroo paw in my iris beds because I like the look of them together and I also have a few succulents to provide winter interest. The smaller kangaroo paws flower almost year round and also provide winter interest. There is one negative to having kangaroo paw and irises close together because the kangaroo paw attracts birds which climb the stems to feed on the flowers which causes them to flop over. Sometimes the birds push the iris stems over too.

This photo shows what the large kangaroo paws look like in the landscape. I have planted irises in all of the gaps.

A more recent photo with some small kangaroo paws too (on the left "Hint of Danger")
Thumb of 2017-07-07/Totally_Amazing/c9f89a

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
Jul 7, 2017 9:37 AM CST
I never see Kangaroo Paw for sale around here except as cut flowers. It is really pretty with your iris.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
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Zencat
Jul 7, 2017 10:41 AM CST
Daylilies, penstemon and agastache go well with mine. A couple of shorter ornamental grasses, too. Geraniums, sedums, wine cups(the plant)...
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography
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Totally_Amazing
Jul 7, 2017 6:06 PM CST
Thanks Leslie. It's a shame you can't buy it for your garden. I get excited when I see a new variety of kangaroo paw just like I do with new irises Smiling

I recently discovered a couple of purple ones Lovey dubby
(this website is a bit broken, but you can still the images)
http://www.gardeningwithangus....
http://www.gardeningwithangus....

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
Jul 10, 2017 5:48 AM CST
djinnevada said:How do you not overwater your iris while still getting enough water to the other plants? Even though they are close, I had a box with daylily and iris together, and if the daylily got enough, the iris got too much.


I plant plants such as roses, which have very different water and fertiliser needs from irises, in large pockets of moisture retaining soil and try to make sure they are planted lower than the irises, so water (and fertiliser) will run from the irises to the roses and not the other way around. I have clay-based soil, so my irises are planted on small mounts with grit mixed in.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Jul 10, 2017 6:40 AM CST
[quote="Lestv"]Unfortunately all my companion plants look very much like weeds...... Hilarious!

I am a bit surprised that can't definitively tell they are weeds; just that they, "......look very much like weeds.......:lol:...."

Seems like that "royal dark blue" is rubbing off on you. Too bad. Rolling on the floor laughing Whistling Angel

Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Jul 10, 2017 6:42 AM CST
Everyone...

Just so you know; the previous message is COMPLETELY in jest. Just have fun at LESTV expense.

Thumbs up
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
Jul 10, 2017 7:45 AM CST
Hilarious!

Maybe they just 'look like weeds' because they are veeeeery prolific? Big Grin
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
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Lestv
Jul 20, 2017 1:37 PM CST
IrisLilli said: Hilarious!

Maybe they just 'look like weeds' because they are veeeeery prolific? Big Grin


That would be my Quaker Lady!!

No, sadly they are just plain weeds, though my weeds may be some exotic species to someone else. Who knows!

I really need to find some Kangaroo Paws. The link said they could grow in my conditions.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Deb
PNW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Fruit Growers Ferns Dragonflies
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Bonehead
Jul 20, 2017 1:47 PM CST
I get volunteer yellow corydalis among my iris, which I think looks nice together.
Thumb of 2017-07-20/Bonehead/fe19a6

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Jul 20, 2017 1:57 PM CST
Me too Leslie on Kangaroo Paws. Wonder why they don't sell it here?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.... and everyone else if you throw it hard enough.

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