Irises forum: A million iris questions in Texas

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pokopoko
Jun 28, 2018 10:17 AM CST
To preface, I live in Austin, TX -- zone 8b.

Ok so this was probably stupid to do in June, but I've been needing to move a few things around the yard that I didn't get to in the spring. We had a rainy week so I took advantage and moved some irises to a sunnier bed. Now it's back to hot and dry again, and I still have a few plants left to move.

Is it ok to temporarily mulch around the irises I moved to help them get established/lessen the shock (avoiding top of the rhizomes)? Since it's super hot and dry here most of the summer should I consider mulching like this after they bloom generally? Everything I've read says Never Mulch and to expose the rhizomes, but is this still true in the heat of Central Texas? Also I've been watering them a lot to help them re-establish in their new spots, but now I fear I'm doing them a disservice. Alternatively, should I forgo mulching and just figure out a way to shade them for a while until they get more established?

Relatedly, is there any ground cover that I could plant in these beds or is that also always a no-no? I was thinking maybe creeping jenny or phlox or a sedum? I saw portulaca suggested somewhere but that's too tall, right?

Also, should I fertilize them after their move or would that harm rather than help?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance!
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 28, 2018 1:14 PM CST
I would say......mulching AROUND the rhizomes...not directly over them, would be ok.', both at planting, and later, as well.

Shading them, until established, is a good idea...mulch, or not.....consider something on the "west side".....give them the morning light, and not the hot, afternoon sun.


IMHO, don' plant a "ground cover"


"Everybody has to eat !", so , yes, I would fertilize....generally, when I set new plants, I "water them in" the first time, with a 1/2 strength, Miracle Grow(or something similar)solution, and apply "granular" fertilizer around them, before the *next* watering Shrug! …..I'd only use about 1/2 the amount that you would use on one that's been established.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
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
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lovemyhouse
Jun 28, 2018 9:26 PM CST
I'm in the Dallas area and second what Arlyn said. My front yard is shaded from Noon or so until roughly 4:40pm. I use mulch as summer protection and--unlike in more northern locations--I don't cover the rhizome with the mulch, but do initially plant them with about an inch of soil over the rhizomes. Because we don't get a lot of summer rain, and I rarely give supplemental water, the soil helps retain moisture without keeping in so much that the Iris rot. If you are planting in shallow soil on top of limestone (a common condition in Central Texas, isn't it?), there should be good drainage to keep any water from pooling.

My beds are mixed and I don't place groundcovers in sections with a lot of Iris--mainly because I share increases and it is easier to dig that way.
It’s okay to not know all the answers.

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pokopoko
Jun 29, 2018 10:40 AM CST
Oh good call about future digging and groundcover. I 100% planted them probably too close together so I will likely face digging again sooner rather than later.

Thanks for the help! This bed is on the southern side of my yard but there is a lemon tree on the west side of it, so it gets shade in the afternoon. I'll need to check tomorrow around precisely what time that happens.

Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Region: Texas Bulbs Cactus and Succulents
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SALL20
Jun 29, 2018 11:23 AM CST
I grew Iris when I lived in Austin. The reblooming ones do well there. I did not cover the rhizomes and I did not mulch. Unless you have very rocky soil, your biggest problem will be rot. I kept mine as dry as possible and still had some rot. There is also a pest that causes them to rot. You'll know it by the smell! Don't mean to be a downer though, because I did have some really good seasons, with lots of blooms. I had a yellow one named 'Luminosity' that always rebloomed in the fall.
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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shizen
Jun 29, 2018 2:46 PM CST
Welcome! pokopoko! there are lots of enablers here, so you won't be without people to trade with, buy from, or find more reliable places to buy irises than you knew.

pokopoko, you may be inflicted with the iris virus soon without knowing you've been bitten. 😁
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Jun 29, 2018 5:15 PM CST
Welcome! pokopoko Smiling

I live in zone 10b in Australia and I plant my rhizomes so they are just covered with soil. Occasionally some rhizomes are exposed and it doesn't seem to affect the iris at all. I water my rhizomes at night on very hot days. Otherwise I water them every second day.

I have used mulch eucalyptus mulch in the past and my irises stopped flowering.

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pokopoko
Jul 1, 2018 9:22 PM CST
Thank you for the warm welcome! I got all these irises from my mom's plants in Indiana, so it'll be a big surprise when they bloom as they were all unlabeled (except for one, simply marked, "Gorgeous") I hope I can do them justice and keep them all alive :)
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
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
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lovemyhouse
Jul 1, 2018 10:34 PM CST
That's funny--I'm originally from Indiana and got my interest in Iris because of my grandmother's and great-grandmother's Iris gardens. Smiling Lovey dubby
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Region: Texas Bulbs Cactus and Succulents
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SALL20
Jul 2, 2018 7:30 AM CST
Well, I'm originally from SE Missouri and I remember my grandmother's patch of 'flags', as she called them. They were nothing fancy, like today's, but I thought they were beautiful. I also remember their fragrance. Such good memories!
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jul 2, 2018 8:48 AM CST
lovemyhouse said:That's funny--I'm originally from Indiana and got my interest in Iris because of my grandmother's and great-grandmother's Iris gardens. Smiling Lovey dubby


Deb ~ I was born in El Paso, but was raised in Los Angeles. My mother and grandmother always had gardens. And of course, there were irises. They had fragrance!

Today, my mother would have been 100 years old had she made it this far.
"June is busting out all over!"🎼🎶🎵🦋🌹🌸🌾

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