I have been wanting to plant Dutch Iris now for afew years since I first learned about them on this forum. Believe it or not, before that I never heard of them. So last fall planted alround 700 of them in the garden. Nothing like going overboad, ha-ha. From nothing to lots and lots of them.
So I didn't know what to expect but I have them coming up all over. At least two inches of top growth on all and manny taller. So that is good and I should have lots of bloom this spring. Of course I am not sure exactly when they bloom but I will find out.
From what I have read the tricky thing is whether they will come back in future years but I just had to try.
Very exciting news...I am anticipating some wonderful photos of your gardens when they bloom. I planted some this year and am hovering over the sprouts waiting for the big splash of spring color I hope they'll give.
What with all the bulbs I planted in the fall of Dutch Iris, Tulips and Daffodils I am really looking forward to the spring show. And I planted hundreds of each. Plus I had had daffs around the yard but never added as many in one year as I did last fall.
I am planning to take lots of pictures when they bloom.
Newyorkrita, you go big or go home like I did last fall. My Dutch irises came up not long after they were planted last year, made it through our crazy Winter, and is doing fine now. The ones planted in Fall 2009 also came up last fall and has done fine as well. You should add up the number of bulbs you planted last fall, I do believe you are a member of the kilobulb club;0).
Actually, I did see that post about that kilobulb club and I know I definately qualify for the bulbs I put in last fall. I put in those Dutch iris and over 500 tulips and as many daffodils so I really went crazy last fall.
Funny thing is, even with all those bulbs there are spots in the yard could use bulbs but still don't have them yet. I hope to add more this fall.
The daffs do well and come up year after year but tulips usually get scarcer and scarcer around here. But I planted those tulips deep and will hope for the best. Usually after three springs I have to plant more tulips again, three year cycles with the third year being sparce is the cycle around here.
I am hoping for the best with the Dutch Iris. I know that this far north, some people do well with them while others have them die out after that first spring bloom. But I have wanted them for so long that I couldn't resist, I have to try. So I am planning to get some more this fall though not as many as I did and plant them more spots in the garden. Then if the originals don't come up next spring, I will at least have some. Plus I would then know they need to be replaced each year. But I am hoping not.
They really aren't that expensive but would be a pain to have to plant new ones to replace the old ones each fall. Time will tell. I do love, love, love the flowers of Dutch Iris so I guess I am not going to give up.
Please post lots of pictures when they're blooming. Looking forward to seeing them. I have tons of bulbs about to bloom this week, but I'm going on vacation tomorrow and may miss the show. We're also supposed to get frost tonight. Hope it doesn't affect the blooms. My neighbors will at least get to see the results of all my hard work from last fall.
In tulips the Darwin Hybrids are the most perennial for me. I have many clumps that are over 10 years old and are pretty each spring. They are planted in 2 roses gardens and bloom after I prune the roses but before the roses leaf out so they provide great spring color. The roses are watered with overhead sprinkling so the tulips probably receive more water through out the summer than they need but stilll do alright. So far the Deer have left them alone. Knock on wood. My Mother has clumps of dutch iris which are also over 10 years old and doing fine.
Most of the tulips I planted are the Darwin types. I did plant some early flowering tulips and some other kinds too that I just couldn't resist. I have tulips and daffodils (and lilies) in my rose beds also. They all work really well together.
Those Dutch Iris sure were in a hurray to get out of the ground this spring. Since then they have greened up and are a nice dark green but haven't grown. They look like they are just sitting there. I bet it needs to warm up before they do anything. Its cold this week. In fact we had a dusting of snow on the ground this morning.
Any of those round bulb planters I have tried have always been too short. Don't make a deep enough hole. But you don't need any bulb planters for Dutch Iris, they are small bulbs and easy to plant. Look like onion sets to me.
have you tried the bulb auger that attaches to a drill? just bought one for the tool and garden flag swap and myself...haven't tried it yet but it looks like it would do well in clay! It's pretty heavy duty...found it at Lowe's...less than $15. It would make about a 2" diameter hole.
I wish the auger would work in our red clay soil, I planted over 3000 bulbs last fall by hand, 1 by 1. I did try it last year, attached to the drill as instructed, what a joke. I'm sure it will work well for for y'all with better soil. Annette
how do the bulbs perform in that kind of hard clay soil? I planted some daffs in poor soil, hard, clay, rooty from a dead tree we cut down. And a propane tank. They came up every year, never bloomed, always looked scrawny. Finally moved them last fall, waiting to see if they bloom this year, I doubt, because they were so small and scrawny, probably take a couple years to recoup. They were nice fat bulbs when I planted them.
I have planted dutch iris several times and they usually don't even come up. Maybe I am planting them too shallow? I just assumed they weren't very cold hardy.
The step-on bulb planter with the 3-foot handle is strictly mediocre. It did not do the job of the hand held planter with a serrated-type base. The hand-held one is also larger diameter with a better angle. You can feel if you've hit a stone or root, etc. It worked so great and was used with such enthusiasm that I can attribute arthritis in my right hand to the beautiful bulb planter.
The new 2-foot augur has been a wonderful asset to the garden tools. Works well with the electric plug-in drill. It's easy enough to make the hole bigger with a second pass of the augur.
Rita, these dutch irises (as well as the dark ensatas nearby) are from May 21, 2010. Since you're probably across the sound from me, I'd expect yours to come up around the same time, give or take 1-2 weeks. Don't remember when I put in the dutch iris bulbs, but last summer was their first bloom. They were probably planted fall of 2009. I'm counting on a profusion of blooms this spring. (The ensatas were not bulbs; they were plants.)
Hi Cathy- I figgure I am about accross the sound from you. I am in Nassau Country and right up on the North Shore. In fact I can see the water from my front picture window. Not that my property is on the water, just near it.
I am glad to read reports of Dutch Iris sucess, that is them coming back year after year. That is what I am hoping for. That means I can add more, not have to replace ones that died out. So Cathy, that means your Dutch Iris are up already too?
I think so. This picture is from yesterday. They grow a bit differently from the tall bearded plants where the fans are much more pronounced early on. If it were not for dated photos, I'd never remember anything, so I keep taking pictures.
Rita, you're referring to the new growth this year? You may be right. Just cannot always remember. It's definitely not the TBs. They're from rhizomes and come up flat in "fans."
In Costco this afternoon I picked up 100 DI bulbs and according to the bag, they are for spring planting. You can see that they have already started sprouting, so they need to go in soon. You're right, they're easy, small bulbs. Do you have any in containers?
No, I don't put them in containers, only in the ground. I have always had bad luck with Spring planted Dutch Iris, that is many of them just never came up and even if they did then no bloom. But then I planted those spring ones much later than now. So I gave up on that and will be planting in the fall from now on.
I know what Tall Bearded Iris look like because I have those also. I could see that your fans were bearded iris. I do believe the Dutch Iris should be up for you by now. If not, they may not have returned this spring.
If it wasn't such a miserable rainey day, I would take closeup pictures of the Dutch Iris folliage. I will as soon as the weather clears although that might not be by tomorrow.
Mine were up early, as soon as our snow cover melted here, there they were having started growing under the snow. It has been cool so they are growing very slowely but nice and green now with the sunlight reaching them.
I've got so many different types of iris and add more when possible. In that garden other than the bee balm and peonies, it's all lilies and irises once the spring bulbs/blooms die off. At the back of it (furthest from the street) in a heavily composted area, we add yellow cherry tomatoes hidden behind trellises.
Right now besides the dwarf irises in bloom and some iris growth, We've got lots of tulip leaves but so far no buds. Containers can be funny. We've got 35-gallon containers on our back deck, an area that gets a fine amount of sun. The crocus plants are up just like in the front garden, but unlike the front garden where the crocus blooms open every day, nothing has opened so far (but I did not check today because of the nasty weather).
However, the container with the lily bulbs just takes off, and most of those bulbs have multiplied. There are other window boxes spread around where I add lilies and provide them as gifts. Those lilies never disappoint unless they can't drain.
When the spring bulbs die down, we cover the bulbs well and plant tomatoes and cucumbers on top just for fun.
It will be interesting to see which Dutch Irises bloom. Only photos keep the best records.
I think what I assumed were dwarf iris are probably the DIs. The foliage is similar to the spent iris reticulata. All of a sudden, everything is turning green. I think we've got frittilaria coming up that I assumed died last year. It is possible that they are hyacinths, but I distinctly remember planting frits there in fall of 2009. They were destroyed by lily beetles and my lack of experience.
I don't know what the folliage of iris reticulata looks like because I never had any. But I don't see how Dutch Iris folliage could look like any bearded iris folliage as those fans are flat and coming out of a rhizome. The Dutch Iris just come straight up out of the bulb in the ground.
My iris reticulata foliage gets taller and taller and taller! I had 2 clumps this year that did not bloom. They were so pretty last year and I was looking so forward to the blooms and fullness. And nothing!
Well, I have lots that are no were near ready to bloom but these yellow ones did start. That's ok, makes the bloom season last longer if all don't start at the same time. I just love them and am planning on ordering more to plant this fall.
I've got these wonderful yellow irises blooming now, and I think it is their first year blooming. For reasons unknown they did not bloom last year. There are now so many different irises, and even though I take lots of photos, I can't always remember which are which. I can see the ensatas growing well and hope the dutch irises bloom this year.
Rita, they look like they all be open soon. Do they have more than one bud per stalk? Boy, now that it got so warm, everything is getting ready to pop. I have some more irises in the making, but I'm not sure if they Dutch iris or ensatas. So far, that bulbs of Dutch iris I planted this year are still only about 3 inches high. You may be right about planting in the fall even though I bought them in the spring.
I actually ordered mine year before last. When they started coming up I couldn't remember what they were. Then they started blooming and the lightbulb turned on! But I have no idea where I ordered them! hahaha!
Yes, you have a good eye. There is a strip running along in back of the dutch iris and in front of the bearded iris. In March I sowed it with annual Lupine seeds. They took awhile to get going but little bloom spikes are just, just starting to show up. All still green yet.
I was so pleased to see this smiling at me this morning. Also have a dark blue one open. I know there were a bunch last year, so I'm not certain what happened to the rest. It will be a wait-and-see thing.
I hope I'm not intruding. I just had to make a few comments. First of all, I love, love, love your beautiful Dutch Irises, all of them. So, so lovely. Cathy, I especially love your rather dreamy closeup in post #8461717, Mar 30. Very nice. Rita, I love your last few photos, the ones showing a large patch of dk blue Dutch Iris interspersed with a few TB iris, which brings me to one of the other comments I wanted to make, that being the very obvious effect of climate/zone.
Here, my Dutch Iris bloom very early in 'spring', actually in late Feb. They bloom with the daffodils here, starting when the daffodils are perhaps about 1/2 way over. Thus I have my Dutch iris planted with my daffodils. The colors contrast nicely; however, I really like seeing your Dutch irises blooming with the TB's. That's not an option here where the Dutch varieties stop blooming well before the TB's begin.
Lastly, my Dutch Irises also increased quite noticeably the 1st several years. During that time they made a very nice statement within the swaths of spring daffodils along a path in my backyard cottage garden. They are still out there blooming each spring even now, some 10yrs later, but are probably not as pronounced as they were the 1st few years.
In recent years I've suffered back and knee issues and have been unable to work in my garden like I used to. The lack of TLC and the proliferation of weeds in my absence are probably partly to blame for the decrease in their performance. I have read that Dutch iris start to decline over time. I've also read that the bulbs will rot if the soil is too wet. With 52in of rain annually, it tends to be wet here as we are slightly below sea level and very near the water table. All in all, I'm actually surprised at how well mine have done especially considering that I've not cared for them in years. They don't seem to be increasing at the rate they once did, but I haven't planted any in 10yrs, and I still have Dutch iris blooming each year, and there are still far more of them out there than what I originally planted.
Do any of you have a good internet source for purchasing Dutch iris - and will you share it with us? I would like to buy more, but the only sources I see are places like Dutch Gardens and Springhill. Anyone know of an online source that specializes in Dutch Iris?
DreamofSpring, I think I have zone envy, and you are always welcome to comment.
I am a thrifty son of a gun, and I purchase almost all my bulbs from Costco. The bags are always the same price. The more expensive the bulb, the fewer the number in the bag. I think they are about $12 for their regular bags. For calla lilies (zantedeschias) there are usually 6 in a bag; for oriental and asiatic lilies there are usually 18 and for dutch irises there 100, of which I promptly gave away about half due to the compromises knees and back problems. I think the globemaster alliums wer 3 to a bag (and well worth it). My experience with Costco is that you need to purchase them when you see them on the shelf.
If you have any experience with Costco, you will see that the favorites are gone very quickly: fritillaria last about 2 days. In early to mid-February, I scoop up all the bags of bulbs and leave them in the car or garage till the ground can be worked. Then I look at all the bulbs that have to go in and try to have a plan to get everything in. The fall bulbs usually appear end of August to mid-September. They might be different in your zone.
This year I have used an inordinate number of containers so that I can sit on the steps and do the plantings. In addition there always have some containers I hate parting with but make good gifts to good friends. I am anxious to see if the dutch iris in containers will perform for me.
Rita often indicates where she orders from, so take a look at her posts on iris shoots. Schreiners sticks in my memory. She is a good shopper and a very patient person.
Schreiners has Tall Bearded Iris. I bought all those dutch iris as bulbs from Scheepers. Along with my tulips and daffodils. Scheepers is very well known and has a great reputation. The Dutch Iris are quite reasonably priced.
Well, last fall was the first. I do intend to buy more for other spots to plant this fall. Then we will see if these that I have now come up again or not. Just have to wait and see. But I really do love those blooms!
LOL RE zone envy. I'm the one with zone envy. I'll bet your zone envy would instantly dissipate if I pointed out that, while we do enjoy flowers year round here, and it's true that the annual spring bulb show gets started in early to mid Feb, but it's 95F now and the temp (and humidity) will be heading up steadily until we reach a balmy 105F and up by late July and Aug with a 'feels like' temp (adjusted for effects of humidity) of up to 118F. Some days in July and Aug our 'feels like' temp actually exceeds that of Death Valley. Bet that's just the medicine you needed to appreciate your own zone, huh? I'm envious of you folks. I would like to be out there in your yard right now enjoying spring bulbs in cool weather.
Roses, hydrangeas, daylilies, and others are still blooming strong here right now, but it is getting almost too hot now to really enjoy time in the garden. By the hottest parts of July/Aug most plants will take a temp dormancy to conserve resources but will resume blooming again in September. Roses stop blooming in July/Aug in the most punishing heat but once they resume in Sept, they bloom right up until Christmas. Thus we have pluses and minuses like anywhere. Once the mercury spikes triple digits in July/Aug, I tell the garden it's on its own, watching it only through glass from the safety of my house. Weeds, btw, seem almost supercharged by heat, and thus keep growing strong while I'm stuck indoors unable to go outside w/o bursting into flames.
Thanks very much for the info on Costco. There is a Costco just a few miles from me, and although I've gone a time or two with a friend, I've never joined. Your words are making me rethink that decision. I was just remembering that my company has a deal w/Costco so that we get in either free of nearly so. I'll have to look that up and get over there. It's too late now for bulbs here. I'll have to start checking for those next Jan/Feb, but at least now I know where to look. Thanks again.
I have a number of large tubs here with plants in them, but I doubt I will add anymore other than for very short term housing. The summer heat here makes it very hard work keeping even large pots hydrated. Pots here dry out (to cement) daily in summer w/o major precautions. I have to line the pots with baby diapers (unused, of course) before adding soil and then mix copious quantities of those water holding crystals in with the soil to even begin to keep pots hydrated. Oh, and only really large pots will hold enough water even then. Lastly, I've added those 2lt bottles with cone shaped watering spouts on them into each pot so I can fill the bottles to add additional water sources. Now you can probably see why I'm not likely to try anymore potted plants outdoors.
Thank you very much for that link and the info. I do buy TB iris from Schrieners among a number of other places. They ship very nice quality rhizomes. I've just not been able to find a good source for the Dutch varieties, so I really appreciate that info.
Love your newly added pics, too. I'm with Irisluvr on this. I especially love those light blue and white/yellow ones. Very, very lovely.
Thanks again. Too hot here now for bulbs. I'm enjoying them vicariously through you guys.
Just scratching my head trying to think of how I'd live in that hot weather. We had one day so far that was up to 90 degrees. However, last summer was one of our hottest on record. My husband was out every morning to make sure the tomatoes were watered, so we ended up with a bumper crop.
On the other hand, nothing else got done. Plants never got divided and planted. It was a disaster. All the lilies that bloom in August were just about gone by the end of July. I neglected to plant dahlias, which are late bloomers and go till the frost, but made up for it this year.
In general Costco sells what will grow in your area. Every fall I try to get what I see can be planted timely, and sometimes I screw up. The fall plantings are always bulbs here in CT. The spring selections are different. They have bulbs as well as little starter plants which are really small. They also carry bags of combinations which I never buy (any more). I stick with bulbs. All our peony plants that I planted from bare root came from Costco. They took about 2 years to have good blooms (3rd spring).
Our winters can be from mild to severe, and I spend a lot of time inside. Can't wait to work the soil. I tend to forget how extreme southern summers can be.
You just described my summer gardening dilemma. Anything I can't do before the end of May isn't going to happen. Much of my garden goes untended, neglected once it gets hot. At the worst of summer here, the heat is such that one can water the garden heavily in the AM and find it bone dry again by noon. Luckily, I have a good automatic, underground sprinkler system; however, the cost of water to use it is pricey as I'm in the city of Charleston so on city water/sewer.
Winter here is just the opposite. I have a large split leaf philodendron (house plant) in a huge tub outside where it has lived year round for 10yrs. Winter is when I do my best gardening. That's when I try to do all of my maintenance - and I'm usually out there in a tank top even in Jan. We have a few cold nights but it's usually warmish again by the next day. Most winter days get up to the 60's and even 70's. Camellias and Japanese Flowering Quince (among others) bloom right through the winter here, so the garden is never without flowers.
If only we could combine your summers with our winter - but still keep the gorgeous fall color you guys have. That would be great.
I used to shop bulbs and such at Lowe's and Home Depot in spring/fall, so I'm familiar with the timing and things they sell. Sounds like Costco is doing something quite similar except for the price and package size. I have a good idea as to when to start looking for them and the kinds of things they sell here. They do sell Dutch iris at the home center stores here, but colors are ultra limited.
Tomatoes? Absolutely. An industrious person can grow several crops of tomatoes here. Mid March is the END of the advised planting time for most garden veggies here (so, yes, we are enjoying fresh, local tomatoes now), although I have planted as late as May and still enjoyed a boutiful crop. We have a very long growing season which allows for some 3 or more crops of corn, all the cukes, summer squash, okra, peppers, eggplant, you name it one can eat and give away from around May through September or later.
The weather here is sufficiently mild that one can actually have a vegetable garden 365/yr, although one must tailor the veggies to the season. In fall and winter here we grow broccoli, collards (and other 'greens'), things like that. Green peas, onions, garlic, etc must be planted in Jan. Lettuce, spinach, etc in Jan/Feb.
Like I said, pros and cons. Summers here can be punishing, but winters are quite mild. We usually only see a light dusting of snow once every decade, and it's always gone by mid morning of the next day. One can easily have truly enless flowers and vegetables here 365/yr. Some people in the area even have a small citrus tree (lemon, lime, or orange) or a banana tree in their yards from which they actually get fruit. On the down side, there are a few flowers/trees which will not bloom reliably (if at all) here either due to the lack of chill days in winter or due to bud drop from high summer temps or both.
The other day I saw a gorgeous pink peony photo (peony forum). It was 'to die for', so perfect that I had to stop to note the 'owner'. If I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure it was you. It was a Cathyxxx from CT. I have to bite the back of my hand when I see those gorgeous, full, pink peonies. I can't grow them here, and they are one of my favorite flowers. I have roses galore here from about Mar through Christmas, usually pick my last big arangement as a hostess gift when going to a Christmas dinner, but I would trade all of my roses for just one of those double,light pink peonies.
Peonies will grow here. I have several which I can't force myself to remove even though they rarely bloom at all, and when they do it's a lackluster show at best. This summer I managed to coax 2 blooms on one plant due to an especially 'cold' (for us) winter. Here we rarely have enough cold in winter to get peony buds and even when we do the early high temps almost always cause them to blast while still tiny nibs. The bush that bore the 2 blooms this spring had dozens more buds all of which succumbed to the heat.
Other plants on my 'loves' list which won't live or bloom here include: lilac, certain types of large poppies, golden chain tree, delphiums and other tall 'spike' type flowers. I'm sure I'm forgetting some favorites, but those are enough to make one weep. Pros and cons. It seems that no one, except maybe CA gets it all.
Oops. sorry for going off on a tangent. I can be wordy, to say the least, but I do very much enjoy learning about other areas from people who live there and also sharing info about my own region. I find this to be a much better way to learn 'geography' than the usual, dry, classroom approach.
The ones in the back were I have them massed are done with one or two still blooming here or there. I had new light blue ones open in another area of the yard that I just took pictures of and will be posting later.
Wow, what a lot of wonderful photos in this thread! Rita, I bet 700 Dutch iris didn't seem like too many when they were all blooming... must have been stunning! Welcome to the "kilobulb club." I do like those smaller bulbs that don't need deep holes. :-)
One of my favorite "color echo" combos out front is Dutch Iris 'Eye of the Tiger' and Salvia 'Caradonna'. At least for me in MD, they bloom together! LOL
I think those bulb augers work best in lighter soils, but I also made the mistake of trying one with a battery-operated drill... use a corded electric drill (that plugs in) if you try one; I think they have more torque.
Check the Garden Watchdog as well as threads/posts in the bulb forum... you'll find some favorite companies, although I'm not sure I know fo any that specialize in Dutch Iris the way some nurseries specialize in TB's. Somebody mentioned Scheepers, and they're great, although remember if you are interested in larger quantities you might want to order from their sister company, Van Engelen. Brent & Becky's is another great source that usually has a good variety of Dutch Iris, and their end of season sale (usually a week or so after Thanksgiving) has some great deals. I've also bought wonderful fat bulbs at good prices from eFlowerGarden (from our own "Bleek") and from BloomingBulb (I was about to direct y'all to their pre-season sale, but I just checked and they have sold out of dutch irises for now! I'm sure they'll have more before fall. And they do have nice pre-season prices on larger quantities of Iris reticulata, the little dwarf ones.)
What a lovely little garden, Rita. Nasturtium is liking it as well as that tall lily. The irises are very pretty.
Dream, our first harbingers of spring come in our shade garden with native flowers , ferns epimedium and a few others. We have lady's slippers, jack in the pulpit plants, trout lilies and other goodies. As soon as it warms up considerably, they are gone, and the weeks begin their trek.
Wow! I know they are small, but even so I didn't plant anywhere near that. However, neither do I have such a dense and lovely display as yours. I probably planted a hundred or less. Now I see why yours make such a spectacular statement. I can only imagine how awesome they will be after several years of multiplication. Super wow.
I need to add to mine. Think I will check Sheeper and some of the other vendor's mentioned here. Ok, just checked Sheeper's site. Their price is considerably better than what I was paying, plus the have a better selection. I will definitely be getting some of those. Thanks again for the info. I may even plant some in my TB beds. Even though they won't bloom together here, they will extend the bloom time in those beds.