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Re: Re: HYB:Borers

Annette in Kentucky wrote: "Let us know which irises
are borer resistant. I also had a wasteland this

Sorry about your wasteland. I wish I knew and could
just give you a list (I'd like one too)... it would be
a whole lot easier to list the ones that borers seem
to love. I'm sure you could name a few. ;0)

But if someone wanted to grow irises...

1) without any sprays 
2) without meticulous grooming (of dead leaves etc.)
3) beside a hedge 
4) in the heart of borer country 

I do have some recommendations. 

No guarantees -- but I would try older historics (in
general) and some of the time-tested (usually diploid)
MTB's. So far, I haven't noticed any of these to be
immune, but they seem to get by for much longer
without being completely devoured.
Of the irises that I've hybridized I've noticed
definite differences in borer preference. My CLOWN
PANTS (Iris variegata X suaveolens var. mellita) has
only suffered an occassional nibble, while FLYING
DRAGON (bearded X Iris tectorum), unfortunately, is a
borer magnet. The similar bearded X Iris tectorum,
PALTEC (Denis 1928) doesn't seem to be nearly as
attractive to the borers as mine. Both of these
wide-cross hybrids were growing in pots side by side.
Some other tasty snacks for the borers: Iris pallida X
suaveolens var. rubromarginata, Iris pallida X
variegata, and (surprisingly) some of my Iris aphylla
It's probably too early to say for sure, but it seems
like the offspring of CLOWN PANTS and the offspring of
ROSEMARY'S DREAM (MTB) aren't being bothered nearly as
much as the average iris. 
Neil, if you're reading this... and you get a chance
to see how CLOWN PANTS fared in your wasteland, I'd
love to know how it and any other irises did in your
"trial by borers".

Zone 6/7 Maryland

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