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Re: Classifications of Iris

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Classifications of Iris
  • From: storey@aristotle.net (J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey)
  • Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 08:23:21 -0700 (MST)

Lynn writes:

>I am considering putting in iris in my oriental lily bed to add some early
>season color.  This is a very sunny area with quick draining soil and an
>underlying clay hardpan (about 2 ft down).
>Would iris do well in this area?

Like Donald I hesitate to offer advice because I am such a novice, but the
bed you describe sounds good to me. Your topsoil goes down two feet before
you hit hardpan? Wow, that's a lot of topsoil. The roots of TB iris
especially run very shallow. Mine don't seem to insinuate themselves much
deeper into their bed than 8 inches, although their roots can spread as
wide as two feet horizontally.
My concern would be your having relatively water-hungry lilies in the same
bed. I don't grow oriental lilies, just daylilies, so what do I know? Not
much. But my daylilies need far, far more water than TB irises like. And my
daylilies benefit from mulching, which TB iris do not, at least not around

I work around the watering differential by segregating my lilies in one
part of the bed and surrounding them with buried soaker hoses. The TB stand
higher on the land, where they can be as dry as they need to be.
But then I am not famous for either my design sense or garden savvy.

storey@aristotle.net  USDA Zone 7b
Little Rock, Arkansas
49+ inches average annual rainfall
average relative humidity at 6 a.m. year-round 84%
more than 200 frost-free growing days
about 2 feet of clay loam atop solid rock

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