Irises forum: How Many of a Cultivar Do You Order?

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Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
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urania1
Jun 1, 2018 9:45 AM CST
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?
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Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jun 1, 2018 10:20 AM CST
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.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
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crowrita1
Jun 1, 2018 11:03 AM CST
one
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

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frankrichards16
Jun 1, 2018 11:20 AM CST
For most plants I order one.

for bulbs, I usually prefer 3... noting that Iris are not bulbs
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
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grannysgarden
Jun 1, 2018 12:23 PM CST
one, unless the vendor will only sell three of a kind SDB's for one price.
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Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
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iciris
Jun 1, 2018 3:08 PM CST
Usually one, but if I really love it it could be 2 or 3. Price of the rhizomes does factor in.
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Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jun 1, 2018 3:23 PM CST
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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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jun 1, 2018 6:21 PM CST
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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Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Totally_Amazing
Jun 1, 2018 10:18 PM CST
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.
WA (Zone 8b)
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Rebekah
Jun 1, 2018 10:30 PM CST
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
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Jun 1, 2018 11:17 PM CST
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.
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Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 2, 2018 12:12 AM CST
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.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Jun 2, 2018 3:13 AM CST

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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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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Jun 2, 2018 4:22 AM CST
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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Name: Liz
East Dover, VT (Zone 5a)
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Dachsylady86
Jun 2, 2018 6:36 AM CST
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.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Jun 2, 2018 12:54 PM CST
order one at a time, multiples of reticulata bulbs.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Jun 2, 2018 1:49 PM CST
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.
A 'Premonition of Spring' - PCI time already?!
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
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DaisyDo
Jun 22, 2018 11:25 PM CST
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.
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 23, 2018 10:38 AM CST
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.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 24, 2018 9:31 AM CST
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.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield

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