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May 4, 2018 2:05 PM CST
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Can anyone offer me some advice growing these irises in PA? When do these irises start blooming in PA? Do they bloom the same time as mid season bearded irises or late season bearded irises? Can they tolerate some shade in the summer? I read that they go dormant in the summer so would it be beneficial for them to have some shade? What are the months that they go dormant in PA?
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May 4, 2018 2:37 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Here in NY they bloom after the bearded, right before the Japanese irises. Some shade in summer is fine. They do go dormant in summer but continue growing in the soil (preferably damp but that's not mandatory).

They go dormant anywhere/everywhere after they bloom.
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Is this your first time growing them? You should know (because you won't find it on LA sites) their roots expand to an unbelievable extent. If you're growing several keep them separated by 5 or 10' so they do not merge.

Their bloom period is brief.


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May 4, 2018 6:56 PM CST
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Arlene for your great advice. I did not realize that they spread so much. I may have to find another spot for them then.
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May 4, 2018 7:26 PM CST
Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
Bee Lover Peonies Native Plants and Wildflowers Irises Keeps Goats Dog Lover
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pirl said: You should know (because you won't find it on LA sites) their roots expand to an unbelievable extent. If you're growing several keep them separated by 5 or 10' so they do not merge.


Yes. I thought I was going to have to use dynamite to "weed" them out of one of my iris beds last year.
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May 4, 2018 7:53 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
You're welcome.

Dynamite would help and yet any piece left behind, by accident, will still grow. I've removed them from several areas but they keep returning.
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May 8, 2018 10:41 AM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I am starting to feel like mine are very well behaved. Maybe they don't like the soil outside of their bed?

Karen - because they start their growing cycle in the fall and continue on until bloom don't cut down the foliage in the winter. You can cut it back in the summer though when they go dormant. They prefer full sun, but will tolerate light shade.

They like to be kept moist. After you plant them at least 3 inches or so under the soil, water them well and cover them with mulch. The mulch will help keep them moist. Since they require more water, they are also heavy feeders so you will need to give them some fertilizer 3 to 4 times a year. I use 8-8-8 on mine. I also amend my soil before planting with manure and peat moss as well as garden mix. They like all the things that bearded iris hate basically. Except they do like slightly alkaline soil like the bearded.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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May 8, 2018 9:39 PM CST
Name: Tienito
Rhode Island (Zone 6b)
Amaryllis Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers
Karen, I also live in zone 6b. A couple of years ago I got 4 LAs to try and got 2 more as bonuses. They're in the sunniest spot of the yard, in an area that gets very wet when it rains. I keep the bed well fed and at least moist always.

Last year only 2 of the 6 varieties bloomed - one stalk each with three blooms that opened at the same time and didn't last more than a few days. I chalked the poor performance up to an exceptionally cold, cloudy, and long spring.

This year the clumps are showing much more growth and the weather is much nicer. I'm hoping that the bed puts on a good show. If the bloom is still disappointing, I'm going to cull heavily and keep just one or two. As far as LA irises are concerned, I'm very much on the fence. They clearly grow and survive the cold, but I have less and less patience for things that don't bloom.

Arlene is right, the rhizomes do get very long. I don't think they would make good garden companions. A bed just for LAs seems to be the way to go.
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May 9, 2018 5:45 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
A bed for themselves would be best or they will certainly mess up any perennial plans.

I've never fed mine, never given them any extra water, and yet they proliferate wildly.
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May 9, 2018 1:55 PM CST
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Thank you everyone for your advice. I really appreciate very much. If I did not post this question on here, I would have already make so many mistakes planting them where I had them planned for. Do you think they will do well in pots? I am thinking of putting each individual variety in a gallon pot and then put all the pots in a kiddie pool so that there would be water available to them. Do you think this may work? They sound rather invasive so I am not sure if I should plant them directly in the bed.
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May 9, 2018 2:32 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
It could work. Try it and let us know. While they are beautiful, it's the brief bloom time (and I have what is considered early, midseason and late - all within 10 days!) and the spreading of the roots that make me love them less.

I have one area where I do let them roam and spread happily - more sun than shade.

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May 10, 2018 7:04 PM CST
Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
Bee Lover Peonies Native Plants and Wildflowers Irises Keeps Goats Dog Lover
Daylilies Composter Cat Lover Bulbs Butterflies Keeper of Poultry
pirl said:It could work. Try it and let us know. While they are beautiful, it's the brief bloom time (and I have what is considered early, midseason and late - all within 10 days!) and the spreading of the roots that make me love them less.

I have one area where I do let them roam and spread happily - more sun than shade.

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I love the shots of your garden.
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May 10, 2018 7:21 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Thanks, Mary. I allow them to run wild back there so maybe in time they'll find their way to my neighbors!
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May 11, 2018 12:38 PM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Arlene - it amazes me how different the foliage is with your LA's and the ones of yours I have here in NC. Your leaves are fuller and so lush looking, while mine stay more slender. I wonder if it is heat related?
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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May 11, 2018 1:33 PM CST
Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
Bee Lover Peonies Native Plants and Wildflowers Irises Keeps Goats Dog Lover
Daylilies Composter Cat Lover Bulbs Butterflies Keeper of Poultry
Lestv said:Arlene - it amazes me how different the foliage is with your LA's and the ones of yours I have here in NC. Your leaves are fuller and so lush looking, while mine stay more slender. I wonder if it is heat related?


It may depend on the location where the LA's are planted in the garden. I have some planted in a perpetually wet area, where the grey water drains from my house. The foliage there is huge. I also have it planted in the desert section of my garden, and the foliage is much thinner there although the lack of water does not seem to dampen the LA's enthusiasm for blooming ... or spreading. I shudder to think what would happen if this iris were released into the wild here in Tennessee. I think it has the potential to be an invasive species if planted in the wetlands.
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May 11, 2018 2:35 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I'd never have known about the foliage unless you mentioned it, Leslie

Mary, I'm sure they could run amuck too easily in the wetlands. They also self-seed very rapidly.https://garden.org/plants/photo/354498/
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