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Re: CULT: borers

From: "Dan & Marilyn Mason" <dmason@rainyriver.Lakeheadu.Ca>

11/30 Anner Whitehead HIPSource@aol.com wrote:

<But one thing is certain, I surely would not be growing any
versicolor in my yard, were I you, and I would grow all my
irises in the very hottest, dryest and sunniest parts of the
yard I had, with no nearby evergreens, no overhanding
shrubs, no shade, no cool earth, and no debris whatsoever in
the beds, since the borer is shy and secretive and likes the
shady areas, likes cooler earth, likes evergreens, and likes
some shelter. Or so they tell us.>

First, thank you for your reply. I had a feeling I.
Versicolor was a host for Iris borers. I have been leaning
toward growing more I. Versicolor in the future, but I will
be sure to grow them in the farthest garden from my bearded
irises after reading your letter.

I try to follow the advice given above. I have seen it often
repeated, and it may probably be true. It's just that with
my experience with the first iris I grew, when I tried
growing it with clean cultivation, no debris, sunniest, best
drained position in the yard it was bothered immediately and
extremely by borers. This same iris when it had grown more
than ten years without cultivation, with mid-day shade, cool
earth, lots of debris never cleaned up, etc. flourished.

This first experience makes me skeptical that clean
cultivation discourages borers from bearded irises and
skeptical that bearded irises are best grown all together in
one patch. I wonder if mixing the bearded irises into other
perennials wouldn't make them not such an obvious or
attractive banquet to borers. I'll try several ways of
growing them next time I transplant my bearded iris.

Dan Mason   zone 3, NW Ontario

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