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Re: Re: CULT: How I plan to grow Japanese Irises in hot Texas

>Do ya'll think this will work?  Will I still need to put up a sun screen over

Tom, it might help.  Here in central VA, the heat is such when the JIs
bloom that the flowers only last about a day and a half.  I suspect the
same situation might obtain in your area.  JIs can take some shade.  I
would recommend using a light shade cloth, perhaps 35%, or a lath structure
to provide dappled shade.

I would also suggest annual repotting, especially if your tap water is
alkaline.  The Japanese JI growers repot annually in pure rotted sawdust,
which is often boiled first.   You will also need to feed heavily--I used
fish emulsion with some success when I was growing JIs in pots.  Commercial
plantfood may cause a salt buildup.  Fish emulsion does contains some
calcium but it did not seem to hurt my plants.

Do you have Currier McEwen's book, THE JAPANESE IRIS?  If not, it would be
a valuable asset.  You can order it from Amazon or B&N.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374
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