My irises are HORRIBLE this year! It is always something with them, and I just don't know if I have the energy to fight a new battle with them every year. I suppose it is because of the trip I took at the end of winter - still snow on the ground - two weeks later I come home to 80 degree weather and don't have the time to cut back and clean up and "merit" my irises this year. I figure it is too late as I have missed the two consecutive days of 72 degrees when the borers will hatch. The leaves are all dead and horribly spotted; they were perfectly beautiful last fall. Is there a quick cure for this condition? I have started to individually cut off the dead leaves and spotty areas on individual plants, but I don't know if it will help or just be a wasted effort.
About to throw in the towel...
It will help. Just clean up what remains and next year will be better. Destroy any soft tubers. Cut down the foliage with the spots - I have gotten those before, forgot what it was, but pampering the irises will help. Pampering means removing all infected foliage, remove any leaves and mulch, soft tubers, and divide any overcrowded areas or move them into an area with move space/sunlight and air circulation and good drainage.
I trim foliage and divide whenever I need to; prefer flexibility to a rigorous schedule. I do make sure to trim all the foliage in the fall so that I will not have to do it in the spring. This also help prevents hiberators.
You sure do 'have a time' with your irises, don't you Sharon.
I always cut off all the leaves from last year. They always look crappy. They look fine in the fall, and then by spring~~~crappy. So, I cut them off and let new growth come up. My leaves are only up a few inches, so you should be having some new leaves coming up.
Slowly I am making my way through the iris patch, trimming off most the spotted leaves. It seems that the outside leaf on both sides of each fan is the most damaged, so it is tedious but not impossible. On the positive side, the rhizomes are looking pretty good, so they will probably survive.
All is well! It took a lot of trimming to get rid of that ugly look, but the bed looks much better now, and bloom is good this year!
Caitlinsgarden, I am upset with my iris' also as they have not bloomed!! I have tried moving them, I do not plant them deep, & still no blooms. I have had one set of iris for over 3 yrs & it's only bloomed once in all that time! What am I doing wrong? hahaha
Too much shade? Are you in sandy soil? If so, maybe not enough water and fertilizer?
I have quite a few that took several years to bloom. Not sure why. This year is turning out to be the best bloom year ever, after the horrible beginning!
Two years ago my iris were terrible; most didn't bloom. Couldn't find out what was wrong so couldn't do anything to help. Last year they were just fine and this year also. Couldn't merit them this year because we were still in Florida when the hot spell hung around Michigan for weeks; am hoping for the best but they are blooming fine. Seems like iris are really tough. Glad yours turned out good, Caitlin.
Were yours maybe not quite mature enough to bloom? It seems to take some of mine several years to get up and go.
TBs especially will need time to put up more than a single stalk.
No, they were mature. The two years ahead of that, they were nice and then that year was terrible. Last year and this, they are fine again. As an aside, I had an Immortality that I planted in '06 and apparently died out in '08. Last year, there she was! This is this year's picture. I guess Immortality is a good name for it!
In May I moved all my Iris' to a corner of my garden, it gets the morning sun & is shaded by a huge rose bush in the afternoon. I added some Epsom salts as I read that this would help nourish them, so I will see what happens next year!