Irises forum→Irises blooming for only brief period

Views: 1456, Replies: 10 » Jump to the end
Name: Melissa
Bainbridge Island, WA (Zone 8b)
Apr 7, 2018 9:48 AM CST
I have three (smallish) pots of tall bearded irises. This is only the second year I've had them. Last year, I got a few flowers; they lasted only a week or two, and I didn't get any more for the rest of the summer and fall. This year the stems are about 8" tall and continuing to grow. But from what I've read, they should start flowering in early spring and last all summer.

Am I doing something wrong? They're in full sun. Is it because they're in pots (actually in three pots - should I plant them together in one large pot)? I didn't plant them as bulbs; they were given to me with short stems. I am using a good soil sold by my local nursery. Do the irises require a certain soil.?

I searched the iris database for this topic and didn't get any results. I hope I'm not posting a question that appears in a different thread.

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Apr 7, 2018 10:00 AM CST
In my experience, Bearded Iris bloom for only about 2 weeks. To bloom all summer, you would need iris that bloom early, mid-season and late.
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
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 7, 2018 11:23 AM CST
Was your iris supposed to be one of the repeat bloomers?
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
Apr 7, 2018 12:22 PM CST
Hello Melissa. Welcome to the iris forum. Any questions here are always welcome. Smiling

Re-blooming irises bloom in the spring and fall and repeat bloomers bloom in the spring and can bloom sporadically throughout the summer/fall several times. Different classes of irises bloom in different weeks during the spring bloom period. The smaller classes usually bloom before the taller classes.

I hope this helps. If you are new to bearded irises this may just be muddying the waters. I would recommend going to the library and checking out a book on growing bearded irises.

Once again welcome and once again any questions here are always welcome. Smiling Thumbs up
Thro' all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing?
Name: Melissa
Bainbridge Island, WA (Zone 8b)
Apr 7, 2018 1:32 PM CST
Thank you all! I guess I need to learn more about bearded irises, and you've all given me good idea on what I should look for.

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
Apr 7, 2018 5:02 PM CST
Melissa ~ Welcome! to the Iris Forum! Hurray!
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
Apr 7, 2018 5:39 PM CST
Welcome! Melissa,

One contributing factor may be overcrowding. A single iris rhizome will grow into a clump of iris rhizomes over a few years and once your rhizomes reach the edge of your pot they will start growing over each other. This makes it difficult for the roots to reach the soil and may diminish flowering. Several iris vendors offer advice on their websites. This is the link to Schreiners' growing tips and it contains a section on "Why won't my iris bloom?"

There is an example of what a very overcrowded iris clump looks like here

Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Apr 7, 2018 5:51 PM CST
Welcome! melissa.

each single blossom may last a day or three. but if you had a whole clump with many stalks, then your blooming irises (as a whole clump) would give you a flower show for many weeks depending on how many rhizomes and their growing conditions. each flower only lasts a few days.

if they are crowded as robin mentioned the flowers will diminish in size and production.

hope this helps a little, and didn't confuse you more?
Name: Melissa
Bainbridge Island, WA (Zone 8b)
Apr 7, 2018 8:22 PM CST
Robin, thanks for the links. They were very helpful. As you and Daphne pointed out, I think it's likely that they're overcrowded. In one of the articles your links took me to, the author said this is a good time of year to divide and re-pot the rhizomes, so I think I'll get a large pot and combine the plants in my three small pots in it.

I was totally surprised by their watering needs. Summers here have temps always in the high 90's and often over 100 deg. I'm used to watering every morning. Letting the irises go a week or two before a deep watering just seems wrong to me. I may have to research that some more! Crossing Fingers! Thank You!
Name: Lilli
Lundby, 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
Apr 8, 2018 7:19 AM CST
Welcome! Melissa and good luck with your irises!
Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice!
Name: Melissa
Bainbridge Island, WA (Zone 8b)
Apr 8, 2018 9:43 AM CST
Thank You! Rolling my eyes.

« 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 dirtdorphins and is called "Thalia"

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