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Re: LA: SPEC: Popularizing non-TB iris

From: "Donald Eaves" <donald@eastland.net>

Mark writes:

>Iris setosa <snip> >  Iris tridentata, <snip> some of the Louisiana Iris
species and Iris

>     With few exceptions, all of these Irises have to be grown in some sort
>of containers to help keep the root zone moist.  This is an area of low
>rolling hills which are subject to drought, especially in the fall and

I'm not sure the above statement may be a bit misleading into the
amount of drought that at least the LAs can handle.  I've been growing
some for more than 4 years and the surprise to me has been the amount
of dry weather they can handle.  I try (really!) to provide extra water, but
the truth is these have dried out and done without water for more than
several weeks.  I do water when the growth really gets active in the
spring, but after bloom it has been hit or miss with some periods of
water starvation lasting a good while.  They seem much more able to
handle the lack of sufficient moisture than many other garden plants.
I grow several named cultivars and I. fulva and all have done very well,
increasing and blooming.  I'm sure my growing conditions are not ideal
and they surely don't match the above description of cultivation and
still have been rewarded with bloom.  I was frightened off trying them
for several years because I thought the first time they hit a dry spell,
inevitable here, they would perish.  That has not been the case.  I
think more folks should try them.  I'm betting, based on my experiences,
they will be rewarded.

Now keeping them in one spot without confining them to a container is
another question entirely.  LAs move!  Anywhere and any which way.
Even with lots of space, they can quickly move into the neighbors
territory.  If they move together, it can quickly become hard to tell
which is which.

Donald Eaves
Texas Zone 7 - still in the midst of an awful drought.

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