understanding Plant Files

Manning, SC(Zone 8a)

I've wanted to ask this for a long time but I feel like a dummy, that I should be able to figure it out by myself! But I haven't yet, so please: when I'm looking up a plant, such as Iris, and I choose the specific type, and the list includes such info as:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

What does this mean? Wny doesn't it show height as 24-48 in., or spacing as 12-24 in.? I don't understand why there are two or three (or more) choices when you're trying to figure out what height and spacing (and zone info) you should go by. Please help me to interpret, I can't find the key elsewhere on DG. Thanks....

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You are not alone!

It would be nice if those posting information there could give the height a plant attains in their garden instead of the generalities you mentioned.

I find it even more difficult when it comes to colors.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

1. Plants attain different heights depending on climate and soil conditions. The checklist on plantfiles gives heoights in increments, Often the heights possible for the plants will cover several of those increments. Example; I grow a big determinate tomato, which for me averages about 3 ft in height. There are several folks that grow the same tomato, but give it copious water and large amounts of nitrogen. They get 5 ft plants.

2. Spacing is also quite ambivalent. Since I grow on rainfall and modest fertilization, I use larger spacing. Those with irrigation and using large amounts of nitrogen use close spacings. I am not into flowers but, spacing there could be determined by whether you want a mass of color or specimen plants.

3. Colors are difficult to select from a list. and different people see them different. Some plants change colors depending on conditions or exhibit several colors.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Don't feel bad I have been a DG member for several years and still have problems using Plant Files. I usually just do a google search for the plant I want and quite often that will take me to a DG Plants Files site.
Example if I do a DG PF search for Ditch Lilies it doesn't take me there and it doesn't even ask if I want anything close. But if I google Ditch Lilies about the fifth link down is a DG PF link to Ditch Lilies. Go figure????

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