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Re: Hot colour iris performance in UK

In a message dated 96-12-08 12:35:39 EST, Ellen Gallagher wrote:

<< At the risk of being lambasted (?) on the this subject, I must
 	butt in here *just* to say that USDA Zones 6 & 7 are not what
 	I would designate *cold* climates re hybridizing.
 	USDA Zones of 3, 4 and 5 are the *coldish* zones.
 	There is a great deal of difference between PA, VA and Maine or
 	even Northern New Hampshire where we had another 18" of heavy, new
 	snow last night and it is freezing cold out. :-(

I, for one, would never lambast you. Have no fear. Your comments are most
certainly factual.  However, when it comes to hardiness of tall bearded
irises, it would seem that the problem is not so much cold but "wet".   The
three most significant factors that lead to rot are, I have concluded, too
much moisture, poor drainage, and winter heaving which exposes roots to
freezing and turning to mush when it warms up.  Tall bearded irises which do
well in England or New England are likely to do well in Virginia....and vice
versa.  Acidic soils do not help either, and the use of lime will aid in
reducing...but by no means eliminating....rot in areas with acidic soils.
 Clarence Mahan in sunny, but chilly northern VA.  

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