Irises really will grow anywhere

Spring City, TN

In the spring, I dug up my grandmother's overgrown white bearded iris bed this spring, amended the soil, divided, replanted, and carted the leftovers home. Planted plenty and had plenty of little ones left over in the cardboard box I carried them in.... Put the box under a tree and planned to come back to it.... now I have baby white irises with teeny little leaves sprouting. LOL. I'm potting them up to overwinter and will build a bed for them before spring. Hardy little devils. Guess they want to stay!

South Hamilton, MA

Good for them.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

that is amazing.

Lyndon, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi,! When my folks moved from Il. to arkansas, years and years ago, Mom ,of course, took her iris. She scratched away the biggest rocks, and dumped a bucket of soil(leaf mold she had gotten back in the woods) on top, and the iris loved it! She had some that she didn't plant that summer, just let them lay on top of a ridge of rock (the rocks she had scratched away, and just piled in a kind of "berm" along the edge of the drive) The next year, when she was ging to move them, she was surprised to find that they had sent down roots 16"-18" thru the big stones to the "ground". Those plants lived, and bloomed in that spot for nearly 30 years.When they moved back here, she brought them along. They stayed in a pile, undera tree, from November, til the following june(some had bloomed, right in the pile) when she finally got them "planted".They prospered! She is gone to the big garden in the sky, and I have them now,still blooming, afer all these years!..Arlyn

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Also amazing. I have seen tulips do that where they inadvertently fell on the lawn and were not found. then in spring, lying sideways, they sent roots out and down and were growing. With no protection from the winter but the snow cover. I though Iris were far more delicate and susceptible to weather. Heaven knows I have a challenger trying to get them to grow here, much less bloom.

Lyndon, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi,! I have found that alot of the "older" cultivars seem to do better than the new ones, as far as rough conditions. Breeding for more "prettiness" seems to take out some of the hardiness. I,m in zone5a here in Northern Il.,and have only found a few iris that give me fits! I've found that planting the "tender"ones next to the house, on the south side, does the trick, usually. The biggest problem I have is rebloomers that don't! I'm just too short-seasoned for most of them....Arlyn

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I had one shorty called Autumn Jester (a deep blue purple) that actually rebloomed for me up here. Amazing.

South Hamilton, MA

The ruffles & lace come from using I. mesoptamica which is a less hardy species. The trick is to get that flower on the hardier plant. It can be done, but takes many crosses to do it.

Vandalia, IL

my Immortality and city lights are reblooming now :)

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I have daylilies that are reblooming. And a first bloom on Last Flight Out. But the iris are long done such as they did this year. Next year I will fertilize early on. I think for sure I starved them.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Bearded irises were the only flowers that bloomed reliably for me when I lived in the Nevada high desert. Hot, cold, sand with barely a hint of organic matter, wind, snow - nothing seemed to stop them. And yet, they look so delicate :-) Wind did shred the blooms, though (we're talking 50+ mph gusts). Love 'em - they survive even ME!

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Good to know. I can relax about my newbies now.

Lyndon, IL(Zone 5a)

They'll be fine, JoAnn, They're just resting now for the big spring show!...Arlyn

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Only 5 months to go.
I am already looking at Border iris for a new spot I just found.
I'm not even waiting for new catalogues,just combining with plants in that area.
Does anyone plant iris among asiatic and oriental lilies? The bare areas where ther is most of the sun ,are almost gone.

This message was edited Nov 30, 2012 10:39 AM

Lyndon, IL(Zone 5a)

Rita has a few lilies planted in our
"first" iris bed,I think "Star Gazer" is one variety. Lilies are her favorite, and she sticks them in everywhere when I'm not looking! Arlyn

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I already have many lily beds.I was wondering if anyone plants iris in their midst.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I don't plant the irises in the same area as lilies because the irises travel as they grow and can easily crowd out the lilies. I've had it happen.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Thanks,Pirl thats right. I am looking for more space to plant iris.
I am beyond being able to dig new beds.

I wouldnt have been surprised if someone said lilies make too much shade .

This message was edited Nov 30, 2012 12:30 PM

South Hamilton, MA

Lillies produce too many red beetles so we won't plant them again.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Lilies make too much shade for bearded iris, LOL.

Arlyn, good for Rita! A gal after my own heart. If there's a space pop in a lily bulb. And Stargazer is a beauty, always. And if Rita likes cut lilies, you should make her a dedicated bed, so she can have bouquets all summer long. That's what I did for my granddaughter.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Thanks Polly.That pretty much closes the question for me.

Waxahachie, TX(Zone 8a)

I love stories like this!

I just salvaged a bunch of white cemetary irises (iris albicans) from the site of 3 old houses that were torn down.

Some of them were growing "up a tree";
as the mother plants produced offsets, they ran out of room, & the babies rooted into the exposed tree roots & the little bit of soil that had accumulated at the base of the trees.

I hit concrete a couple of times, too, as I was digging;
there were a couple of the old-style, 2-strips-of-concrete driveways, & some irises had grown & rooted into the soil on top of the concrete.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

What a fantastic story.As a newbie to iris its nicer to know I cant kill them.

South Hamilton, MA

great that you rescued them.

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