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Jun 1, 2018 9:45 AM CST
Thread OP
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
So, this question may be a "none of your business" sort of query, as it may perhaps reveal too much information about your iris addiction. I will ask it anyway. I often order iris in groups of thee because I adhere to the groups of three rule for garden harmony. I also think one lone cultivar looks a little lonely. Additionally, I want back-ups. If the iris is really expensive, I order one. This year I dropped to two for some iris because I will not have enough prepared beds this fall. Despite my goats' enthusiastic production of compost, I fear the amount will be insufficient. Also I need to order other soil to build a stable berm. How may of a single cultivar do you usually order at one time?
Jun 1, 2018 10:20 AM CST
(Zone 9b)
Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
I only order one rhizome of a certain cultivar at a time, but it never travels alone. It becomes a singles box party by the time I close the shopping cart.
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Jun 1, 2018 11:03 AM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Beekeeper Region: Illinois Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jun 1, 2018 11:20 AM CST
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

Hydrangeas Peonies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level
For most plants I order one.

for bulbs, I usually prefer 3... noting that Iris are not bulbs
Jun 1, 2018 12:23 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
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
one, unless the vendor will only sell three of a kind SDB's for one price.
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Jun 1, 2018 3:08 PM CST
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Dog Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Usually one, but if I really love it it could be 2 or 3. Price of the rhizomes does factor in.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Jun 1, 2018 3:23 PM CST
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
I can't think of a time I've ever actually bought an iris. It seems they multiply pretty easily and all of my iris have come from gifts or swaps. I do agree that a little swath of iris looks much better than a solitary plant, but I just plug them into my mixed beds here and there where there is room. Sometimes I have to wait a season or two before I can split them out to expand the clump. I also think it is good to plant the same plant (iris or anything else) in 3 or more clumps within sight of each other - makes my eye roam from one to the other when they are in bloom, and brings some cohesiveness to the beds. I may just be out of touch, but I'm always rather astounded at the prices for specialty iris/daylily/dahlia/etc. But, I don't hybridize or sell, I just enjoy them for a pretty pop of color.
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Jun 1, 2018 6:21 PM CST
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Vegetable Grower Keeper of Poultry Irises Keeps Horses Dog Lover
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Wisconsin Celebrating Gardening: 2015
It depends. If it's one I want to use a lot in making crosses, I'll get more then one. At times I'll ask a vendor to give me multiples rather then bonuses of things I may not want, but usually I just order one of each so I can get lots of different ones.
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Jun 1, 2018 10:18 PM CST
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Seed Starter
I only order one of each hybrid to keep costs down, but like Rob, it rarely travels alone. I do the same with bulbs too and just wait for them to multiply to look nice.
Jun 1, 2018 10:30 PM CST
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Keeps Horses Irises Region: Oklahoma Keeper of Poultry Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Mmm I like the groups of threes but I'm too greedy and cheap. I usually purchase one of every variety I can get my hands on. With the exception of Low ho Silver I think he was $3 or $4 per. So he is planted all over the yard. Probably not the best garden planning. I just figure, white will work anywhere in my yard Sticking tongue out
Jun 1, 2018 11:17 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Usually just one rhizome of any particular cultivar, but if it is something that I am anxious to have, and I want a backup, then I will get two.

However, Doug Kanarowski only sells them 2 at a time - 2 of the same cultivar. So if you want that iris, you're getting 2 rhizomes, whether you want it or not.
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
Jun 2, 2018 12:12 AM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Hummingbirder Region: Ukraine Bee Lover Butterflies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan
I suppose that I am with the majority of people here in saying that I order one at a time. Over time they multiply, so that is when you can incorporate them into your garden design. I have had several for many years and they have grown into nice clumps. Most of them have been divided. What is nice about them as you can move them about as needed.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Jun 2, 2018 3:13 AM CST
Plants SuperMod
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10a)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Region: Australia Cat Lover Bookworm Hybridizer
Orchids Lilies Irises Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Photography
Depends on what cultivar it is. If it's really expensive, then only one. However, if it's one I really want or it is very cheap, I'll order two to ensure I have a backup.
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Jun 2, 2018 4:22 AM CST
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Rescue dogs: Angels with paws needi
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
One. I have a sink-or-swim gardening philosophy and any plant in my yard has to be tough. Figure if it makes it, I'll have more later naturally. And, if it doesn't, a second one would have fared just as poorly as the first, so why spend the extra money. Smiling
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Jun 2, 2018 6:36 AM CST
Name: Liz
East Dover, VT (Zone 5a)
Annuals Irises Lilies Region: Northeast US Organic Gardener Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder
I order one initially but after I see it bloom and decide I'm going to use it in hybridizing, I order a second the next year.
Jun 2, 2018 12:54 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Tri Cities, WA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Irises Region: Northeast US Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
order one at a time, multiples of reticulata bulbs.
Jun 2, 2018 1:49 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Forgot to mention that yes, while I have sometimes bought 2 of something in the past, it is never with new or recent intros - they are expensive enough as it is!

But I have learned (in general, not with irises in particular) the hard way that 1) if I want something, and think I might want another, to get it NOW because it may be gone (never to return) when I make up my mind, and 2) attrition happens (bloomed out, gophers, rot, whatever reason for whatever plant species). For these reasons, getting a second older one can be seen as "insurance".

Newer irises, however, are bound to be around for a while. If ever I need (attrition) or want another one, I'll probably be able to get it for some years after introduction, so only one of a cultivar is bought at a time.
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
Jun 22, 2018 11:25 PM CST
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Amaryllis Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Maryland Peonies Organic Gardener Irises
Herbs Hellebores Growing under artificial light Container Gardener Cat Lover Garden Photography
Just one. They do multiply like crazy, and within a couple years it will have formed a large clump. I odered one each of Beverly Sills and Absolute Treasure just two years ago, and this Spring the clumps were so huge that I will need to lift them and divide them this fall, or else risk having them rot out.

I pretty much stick with the Dykes and Wister award winners, and have found them to be quite vigorous growers. Others, of course may be less vigorous, so I guess you must take that into account if you are not ordering proven Dykes or Wister award-winners.
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
Jun 23, 2018 10:38 AM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Hummingbirder Region: Ukraine Bee Lover Butterflies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan
The only time that I have purchased more than one of a cultivar is when I want a positive identification of one that is in my garden.

Last year I wanted to verify my Harvest of Memories, so I purchased an extra rhizome of it. One really unique feature of this iris is the "snake dance" done in the spring as the stalks emerge. They are really quite wavy! Sure enough, the new one planted in a raised bed did the very same thing. Of course, the new one bloomed short and had smaller flowers, but in all other ways, they were identical.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Jun 24, 2018 9:31 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
Due to space and money I usually order one of a cultivar at a time. That doesn't mean that from time to time the vendor doesn't send more than one. Last year I got 4 of one of my iris. I have ordered a second one of a few after I have seen them bloom.
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