RE: TB: Irises surviving extreme conditions
Francelle Edwards Glendale, AZ Zone 9
I've been reading all the "Good Iris" comments. It's an interesting
I think my growing conditions are as challenging as Linda's though in
opposite ways. Mine have to survive five months where the high
temperatures will be above 105 degrees. In July, we had 12 consecutive
days of 110 degrees or above. I hope to find out how many such days
occurred this year. As of July there were well over 30, and they are
not through coming yet.
I have been very frustrated by my inability to grow the Dykes Medal
winners. I have tried each one since 1990, and I have only three
survivors, Mesmerizer, Conjuration and Yaquina Blue. M and YB are
certainly not good growers and have barely made it, Mesmerizer suffers
from bloomout. Yaquina Blue just fails to thrive. Stairway to Heaven
did well for four years, but last year I lost both clumps to bloomout
and balding. I babied Splashacata for two years in our Region 15 guest
garden, kept a thumbnail sized rhizome which died the next year. On the
whole, plicatas don't do as well for me as non plicatas.
On the other had some irises do very well in my over baked garden.
Penny Lane, Lady Jane, Pink Champagne, Alaskan Moon, Wearing Rubies,
Ring Around Rosie, Barbara My Love, and Elegant Girl are growing as fast
as the weeds. Other favorites such as Happenstance and Pond Lily are
I have my own test garden on a mountain at 6,500 ft. elevation, were
summer highs are seldom over 100 and winter lows can drop to 10 degrees,
with or without snow. I plant selected seedlings in both places and
also take up exceptionally beautiful irises that won't do well here. It
didn't help Yaquina Blue though. The one I planted last summer bloomed
out this spring. I have a gorgeous rose-pink seedling, almost red, that
sadly doesn't grow well at either place. I'm going to have to destroy
it if it doesn't manage to do it itself. My 54-56 A that I call my faux
Yaquina Blue had a rebloom stalk about eight inches high three weeks
ago. It should be blooming when I go back tomorrow. If it is, I'll put
its picture on Iris-Photos. My 16-31, Conjuration X Purple Pirouette
seedling is a trouble free weed, there. Here it's occasionally
afflicted by rot.
I note that most of my very best growers here are hybridized by Lauer's.
From other hybridizers, I only sporadically get excellent results.
Well that's my report on "Good Irises" here in a very hot place.
Francelle Edwards, Glendale, AZ
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