Irises forum: Can white spots on dark irises be prevented?

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Name: Lyndylu
Oregon's high desert (Zone 5b)
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LynnDel
May 29, 2018 10:04 AM CST
I love the rich, velvety look of dark purple and dark blue irises, but mine tend to get a few little white speckles on the falls. What causes that? Can it be prevented?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
May 29, 2018 10:25 AM CST
Usually, I suspect drops of dew...or rain.
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
May 29, 2018 2:59 PM CST
I've been having a lot of problems with white marks on the dark velvety falls this year, too. It is really irritating. I'm not sure it is rain, because we haven't gotten that much rain, but I guess it might be dew. It's not just speckles, either, but streaks as well, and it is not all the dark irises, just some of them. Grumbling I would sure like to figure out how to prevent it, but Confused Shrug!
Name: Lyndylu
Oregon's high desert (Zone 5b)
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LynnDel
May 29, 2018 3:27 PM CST
Mine don't appear to be water marks; I was just wondering if it might be scarring from bits of sand that are blown against the falls. I will need to be more attentive and see if the irises that are not exposed to the wind (we are in a windy area) get the same little white specks where they're not supposed to be.

Sometimes I get white strings on them that I am pretty sure are spider webs that have gotten blown against them. I haven't figured out how to get them off, but at least they don't cause any damage.
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
May 29, 2018 4:09 PM CST
Lynn, I think you may be onto something. My worst problems are on the dark iris that I have in my front yard, which is on a very busy street. I've wondered if the marks are from tiny bits of debris thrown up by the passing cars. I've thought about moving my
dark iris to the back.
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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KentPfeiffer
May 30, 2018 8:51 PM CST

Moderator

Freezing, or near freezing, temperatures at late stages of bud development can create white marks on the falls. It can happen to the standards, too, but they are less vulnerable to damage being tucked more deeply into the bud.
Name: Lyndylu
Oregon's high desert (Zone 5b)
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LynnDel
May 30, 2018 9:16 PM CST
Interesting info, Kent. I had not known that before. Thanks!
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
May 30, 2018 10:22 PM CST
Thank you, Kent! Let's hope for some warm weather in March and April next year!

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