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Apr 7, 2018 9:48 AM CST
Name: Melissa
Bainbridge Island, WA (Zone 8b)
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.

Apr 7, 2018 10:00 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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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.
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Apr 7, 2018 11:23 AM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
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Was your iris supposed to be one of the repeat bloomers?
Apr 7, 2018 12:22 PM CST
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
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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?
Apr 7, 2018 1:32 PM CST
Name: Melissa
Bainbridge Island, WA (Zone 8b)
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.

Apr 7, 2018 5:02 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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Melissa ~ Welcome! to the Iris Forum! Hurray!
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Apr 7, 2018 5:39 PM CST
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Seed Starter
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
Apr 7, 2018 5:51 PM CST
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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?
Apr 7, 2018 8:22 PM CST
Name: Melissa
Bainbridge Island, WA (Zone 8b)
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!
Apr 8, 2018 7:19 AM CST
Name: Lilli
Lundby, Denmark, EU
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Welcome! Melissa and good luck with your irises!
Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice!
Apr 8, 2018 9:43 AM CST
Name: Melissa
Bainbridge Island, WA (Zone 8b)
Thank You! Rolling my eyes.
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