Care of Siberian iris

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I have very many tall, medium and short bearded iris, along with some reticulata. This will be my first experience with Siberian Iris. It arrived packed in damp sphagnum moss, as opposed to the dry shipping of the German Iris. Should I plant or pot these up immediately, or can they stay in the moss for a while?

Do they need to go in a shady spot, or part sun and be kept moist during the summer? All of my other iris are in sun or mostly sun.

Thanks.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Interesting. I don't know how well Siberian iris would fare in California. You're a zone 8 so fairly hot. I would plant them as soon as possible but if they are in a cool place in damp moss, they are pretty hardy. I would definitely plant them in the shade near where you plant hosta or ferns. I suppose they could take a little sun say in the early morning when it is cooler. If hosta or ferns grow there then so will Siberians.
















Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Thank you, Mary. I will plant it in the shade. Maybe pot it up first?? My "shade garden" is not quite ready yet, but I can keep the iris in either cool sun, or when it gets hot, I can move it into the shade until I finish getting the new bed ready.

I do have a bed where I have ferns and hydrangeas, on the north side of the house, but it is still too hot in the summer for them, so I will be moving them over to the new bed when I finish getting it ready.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

They will do fine in pots until your garden is ready. I think there are lots of people who leave their iris in pots just so they can move them about the decks or yard. Good luck.

South Hamilton, MA

Keep the roots wet until planted. Siberians are not really shade plants, but I can see that direct sun in your climate would be a problem. Perhaps morning sun & shade in the afternoon?

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Evelyn, as Mary mentioned, they are hardy. I have them in a shade garden. They were here when I moved in. They continued to grow in a circle. In order to bloom, they had to be thinned, so we took out a chunk to dispose of them. Apparently my husband dumped them in a pile and forgot about them, and they grew where he left them (unplanted). They spread readily. and they have even appeared in a container where they were never planted. Except for the base, they are completely covered and seem to take care of themselves quite well until they become so dense that they have to be thinned. I don't know if they have to go through a cold season in order to bloom because we always have a cold season to some extent.

Marcia

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Good point on the cold season Marcia. I didn't think about that. And I don't know the answer as having a cold season has never been a problem here either.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

We have a cold season here every year. It snows here every winter and as well mostly a frost after the snow falls. We are in the Sierra foothills at about 3500' in elevation.

This was taken on March 31, 2012... The fencing here is to protect the veggies from deer. I do not, however have fencing to protect other areas of landscape. The new shade bed will be in here, as that shady space will grow flowers intead of veggies. I need both!!

Thumbnail by evelyn_inthegarden
Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

I have some customers in northern Cal, and the sibs do well for them. So, I think you may be OK with them.

I would plant them right away, soak them really well first. Mulch heavily. Keep well watered. A slightly shady area old be best for you, especially one that get hit with sun in the morning and shade in the PM

Feed them well, they are heavy feeders.

I am keeping track of the places they grow on Cubits. I would love it if you let me know how well they're doing for you.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Thanks, Polly! I'll let you know if I remember!! ^_^

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Being new to Irises, I'm reading all the Iris threads I can find, so I hope you don't mind me bringing back a semi-old one. Evelyn, how are your Sibs doing so far this Spring? =) (Just a friendly reminder). ;)

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

OK, they died! But I have not given up! I ordered more from Brent & Becky's. The others were from McClure and Zimmerman. I think that they were too dry when they arrived. And as we all know, once a plant dries out, there is no reviving it. The ones from B & B's are nice and moist with leaves on it as well. My shade garden does have morning sun as well as intermittent filtered sun throughout the day. I keep that bed moist...so far!

This message was edited May 3, 2013 6:18 PM

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Never say die!! I have switched to German bearded iris. I guess I thought my choice was Siberian or the kind you get from Schreiners. The German look just as nice as the fancy ones just shorter. I bought a purple and a blue batik today. Good luck with your Siberian.

South Hamilton, MA

There are no 'German' bearded irises unless you are thinking of species germanica. they and the newer ones are all the same family.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Yup. that would be them. One is Iris pumila 'Fireplace Embers'

This message was edited May 4, 2013 7:14 AM

South Hamilton, MA

I think that is a dward iris, which has pumila in the background . It still gives cold hardy genes.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

So as long as there is a 'pumila' in the 'woodpile' the iris should be hardy?

South Hamilton, MA

usually. the standard dwarfs were originally created in the 1950s by crossing tall bearded X pumila irises. Pollen was traded between TN & IN. Now of course the plants are crossed with each other. Cultivars vary, of course, but most are quite hardy. It is our (DH & I) favorite class of iris plant.

Owosso, MI(Zone 5b)

I have Siberian Iris Sparkling rose and previous years it has bloomed out of control.
But for some reason this year my good sized clump has only had about 2 blooms on it this is weird it is usually full.
We have had a lot of rain this year in Michigan and my clump is about an 8 year old clump which one of these factors would most likely be the reason for my lack of blooms.
Last year it was so dry and hot and this year we have had an abundance of rain and my plants have just been growing like weeds and my daylilies are putting out scapes galore. So this rain has been just great this year the only thing I've noticed is that my Siberian has only had about 2 blooms this is weird.
Any information you could give me would be appreciated.
Thanks
Jan

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I have SI also. I noticed that after a few years they sort of petered out on the blooms also. I am pretty sure they need to be dug up and split up every few years to continue to bloom.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Mary's got it.

I divide about every three years. More than that it gets really hard to handle he clumps. Leave about 6 fans per division.

Owosso, MI(Zone 5b)

Does that also pertain to the regular iris such as the tall bearded and such.
Should those also be thinned out to keep them blooming too or do they just naturally thin themselves since they get real thick with toes as my Mom used to call them.
That was always the reason I didn't like regular iris;s is because they always got such thick toes and force them up above the ground where as the siberian stay down below the ground but they do stay quite close together.
A DG friend told me that his Iris didn't bloom well this year and he felt it was because of so much rain down in Illinois.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Rhizomatous irises are not nearly as prolific as the Siberians. They seem to be happy as long as their knees get sun. My biggest problem with the tall bearded iris is that the stems need support or the weight drags them down. This year many had 5 blooms per stem and a lot of rain. The tall bearded iris were left here by the former owner. Before I moved them, they never bloomed. They have now taken off.

This message was edited Jun 22, 2013 12:04 PM

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Hmmm. I wouldn't think that would hurt them. Polly is the expert on iris though.

Owosso, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the info I will tell him then that it most likely isn't the rain that is keeping his Bearded iris from blooming maybe he should divide them also.

South Hamilton, MA

Check rhizomes of bearded irises & see if they have dug themselves too deep & soil is covering the rhizomes. Siberian can be left longer but still need dividing. Cut stems after bloom--bearded irises can have rot down the stems. In the East Siberians may be attacked by a fly which lays eggs on the stems. Bearded can be divided in July. Siberian irises either Aug or Sept. Polly says Sept. Joe Pye Weed garden prefers Aug.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

I agree that August is probably a great time to divide siberians Lucy, but it's just too dang hot here then to mess with those tough suckers, LOL.

Owosso, MI(Zone 5b)

Well August may be the best time to divide the Siberian but I agree it will be too hot hopefully this year won't be as bad as last year and I can get my Sparkling rose divided. Actually I have taken divisions off of it before but never actually dug it out and made it noticeably smaller or broke up the root ball I think I need to do that.
Jan

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I guess I will have to reorder some of the Siberians....they have not done very much here at all. Maybe it is the climate. I have kept them in mostly shade and moist, well-drained soil. If they are in sun they would get too dry, I think.

South Hamilton, MA

I don't think that they are too happy in some CA climates. You might find a local iris club through AIS www.irises.org & ask there for information.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I don't think they mind wet too much. But they won't tolerate dry at all.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

My tall, medium and short bearded irises do quite well. Also the little reticulatas and danfordiis do great in the spring. I just need to put them in a better place so I don't miss them as they bloom so early.

I am hoping to do well with other iris. I. tectorum, and I. unguicularis are on my list as well. E.A. Bowles speaks highly of I. unguicularis many times in his book My Garden in Spring as well as My Garden in Autumn and Winter.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Evelyn, I have seen reticulated irises in clumps in containers.
Marcia

South Hamilton, MA

Superstition Iris Gardens has unguiclaris. Not for this climate.

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Does anyone have any tips on growing Spuria irises?

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Dana says full to partial sun, wet the first year until settled in, and then just let them be.

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Thank you, Polly.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Quote from cathy166 :
Evelyn, I have seen reticulated irises in clumps in containers.
Marcia


Marcia ~ That is a wonderful idea! Thank you. I seem to just see them briefly as there is usually snow on the ground that time of year.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Quote from irisMA :
Keep the roots wet until planted. Siberians are not really shade plants, but I can see that direct sun in your climate would be a problem. Perhaps morning sun & shade in the afternoon?


Actually, my shade garden does get morning sun. I will try them again in the fall...they may have dried out while waiting to be planted,,,not sure.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Most of my Siberians are below a tree, but they get lots of sun before the leaves fill in, and they still get partial light.

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