Bearded Irises

(Zone 8b)

Does anyone grow bearded irises with success? If so any tips?
We have just planted a few named varieties, but I have them in light shade. In the UK they would have had to be in full sun for the rhizome to 'ripen' in the summer or they would not have rebloomed. Other things have taught us that full sun in the UK and light shade here are semi similar, but I could be wrong with the iris.

Toadsuck, TX(Zone 7a)

okus, I have a large iris bead around a tree next to a 6 ft. privacy fence in my back yard, and they do wonderfully. They do get about 3 hours of morning sun from the east and south though. They will need to be lifted and cleaned every couple of years. The heel of the rhizome has to face the sun for them to bloom, and should be up from the ground just a tad.

"eyes"

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh my gosh, Eyes! I have never heard that before and I planted several iris just a couple of weeks ago. Guess if they don't bloom in the spring, I'll have to dig them up and turn them around!!
Terrie

McKinney, TX(Zone 8a)

I had no idea either. Maybe that's why the ones at the old house would not bloom much. I don't really care for them now, but I will keep that in mind. The way I have been going, I'll probably love them before long. LOL

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

I didn't see the beauty of them until I joined DG. :-)

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Meiyu grows them in San Antonio and they flower for her. I haven't seen any down this far though.

(Zone 8b)

Well mine should be OK then. They are on the side of the house that faces north but on the west carner so they get the sun from around 3-4 in the afternoon. The thing about the rhizomes is probably because they need to be warm and dry to ripen properly - in the UK we had to plant them with the whole of it above ground and just the roots in the soil, and as I said in full sun, so it wouldn't matter which way they faced cos the sun was allround them anyway. I just love bearded iris and look forward to the spring, the only problem is they bloom for such a short period .They are certainly growing well and looking healthy at the moment.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Okus, there some varieties that are fairly dependable as rebloomers - often but not always putting on a second show in Septemer/October. It is important that the top portion of the rhizome be exposed to light and air to keep it dry and firm - otherwise rot will likely set in. They do rather well for me here in 8b, but I really think they would be happier with a little longer period of winter chill. Yuska

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

I've had a few for several years but they haven't bloomed the last couple of years because the winters have been too mild. Unless we get a really cold winters, like eyes said, you have to lift them every couple of years and chill them for a while artificially.

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, now I'm really worried about the ones I planted because they are in my perennial beds that have to be watered almost daily during the major heat of the summer. I really don't have any place that doesn't get watered by the sprinkler system.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8b)

i have mine planted in full sun. have had them for a few yrs now. they get watered all summer with everything else and put on a beautiful show every spring,

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, that makes me feel better.

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Okus,

I grow tons of them in Ft Worth, and we're neighbors almost. The key is to 1) make sure they're in soil that drains well and stays fairly DRY, and keep the tops of the rhizomes even with the soil, exposed to the sun. If the rhizomes are even an inch or so too deep, they won't flower well or at all.

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

Would leaves and dead vegetation factor into the soil depth?

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

imway,

I would say yes. I have read that if you're going to put mulch over bulbs or peonies, it should be included as part of the soil depth. I would assume the same would apply to irises.

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

Makes sense and I must do some cleanup asap! Explains the decline in blooms. Thank you!!!

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Imway...

You're welcome. Also, bearded iris need to be divided every 3-4 years, or when they become overcrowded, as this will also result in diminished bloom, so that's something else to consider if they've been in the ground for a few years.

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

I am so way too dumb! This is only one example. There are others.

(Zone 8b)

Thanks Steve, glad to know this isn't an Iris black spot!! We grew them very succesfully back in the UK and they are one of my favourites even though the blooming season is so short. The leaves are very architectural, and they can provide an interesting contrast to more conventional foliage even when not in bloom.
My real query was whether they needed full sun here, as in the UK, or would prefer not to be scortched in summer by the Texas sun?

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

Carol,

I think you will find that they will bloom earlier here, so they will be done blooming by the time it gets really hot. Some shade I think would be fine but full sun is ok too.

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Thanks Okus :-) Yes, go ahead and put them in full sun...bearded iris are TOUGH and can take lots of extremes of both heat and cold. Another reason to keep them in sun is that it keeps them dry, which they like. Soggy soil will destroy bearded iris...they'll rot like bulbs will. And I agree with you that the leaves make a great counterpoint to those of other plants. Mine bloomed from the beginning to end of April here, depending on variety. The leaves may yellow slightly towards late summer and into fall.

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

Are the winter months a good time to move them? Mine are getting too much shade nowadays.

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

I think you can move them pretty much any time other than when they are actually in bloom so now would be fine. Winter is probably ok to as long as it's not on a day where a sudden temp shift is expected. You don't want the soil to be heaving right after you transplant.

(Zone 8b)

Steve, If its North Fort Worth it could be next door. Our postal address is Keller but we are actually North FW almost alongside 35W and 5miles North of 820 - Heritage.

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Okus - we live 4 miles apart :-) Nice meeting you! I am north of 820 and just west of 35W...between Saginaw and Watauga

(Zone 8b)

Nice meeting you too Steve :>)

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

Hey Steve!

John

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Howdy imway!

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