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Re: BULB: Bulbous iris

Hi Dennis and Talkers:

I agree that the Dutch and English irises are quite easy to grow.  However,
the Junos are a different matter.  I know the British grow lots of Junos,
using bulb frames and other arrangements to replicate their native growing
conditions.  I have not mastered that technique.

I have tried I. bucharia twice, and neither time was I able to establish a
stand.  They bloomed the first year, then "stole away to Jesus," as garden
writer Allen Lacy puts it.

Regarding Dutch Iris:  I made an interesting discovery last spring when the
Dutch irises bloomed.  I have many clumps scattered about here and there,
and they always bloom well for me...despite the fact that I have never
fertilized them.

Last Fall I made a special attempt to fertilize (using "Superbloom," a
liquid fertilizer with a high middle number) my Iris unguicularis
(winterblooming iris, or Algerian iris)...forgetting that Dutch iris bulbs
were planting in and amongst the I. unguicularis.  This spring I was amazed
to discover that the Dutch irises in that particular clump bloomed far, far
more vigorously than the other Dutch irises (not fertilized).  The only
conclusion I could reach is that I should be fertilizing my Dutch irises
regularly.  This year I am going to follow the same procedure with all my
Dutch irises (keeping maybe one or two clumps to use as a "control" group).
Simply because the Dutch iris bloom reliably and beautifully does not mean
they would not benefit from good fertilization.  This old gardening dog can
still learn a new trick!


Tom W. Dillard, Curator
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Central Arkansas Library System
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas  72201
(501) 918-3054

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