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Re: CULT: current status of irises - long

  • Subject: Re: CULT: current status of irises - long
  • From: "Donald Eaves" <donald@eastland.net>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 20:43:15 -0800

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

Hello Folks,

I evaluated the current status of the irises today:

Both danfordiae (sp) and reticulata are currently blooming,
both better than last year.  It was my understanding that
these usually did not repeat bloom for several years after
the initial planting and thus needed to be replanted annually.
This is the second year after planting.  ??????

The I. unguicularis has bloomed constantly since the early
part of January.  The fragrance is much more pronounced this
year which I think may be due to the warmer weather.  The
unseasonable warmth also decreases the life of the blooms.

Most all the TBs are in active growth now.  Most look pretty
good.  They have continued to put on increases all winter -
not at all usual.  I now have only four rhizomes acquired last
year which have not put on increase.

The medians look miserable as they have since planting with
the only exception being Zurbrigg's CHIMERA and it tried to
bloom too late this fall and got frozen, so there will be no
spring bloom.  Did I just manage to select the wrong varieties
or are medians (IBs, SDBs, and esp MTBs) not well suited
here, I wonder?

The LAs have all done extremely well, in spite of the lack of
rain and only sporadic supplemental watering.  Are they really
as dependent on the supply of water as I thought?  That does not
seem to be the case for me, at least so far.  Also, an interesting
observation on these is the cattle which entered the yard ate those
off, but some of BLACK GAMECOCK which I planted in a pit which
holds water most of the time and to which my own cattle have free
access have not been touched.  Stepped on, but not eaten.  They
are thriving at this point.  The grass is greener maybe?

The spurias are also beginning to grow actively and look good.

The arilbreds, as usual, are not as consistant as a group.  For the
most part, tho, they look to be in the growth stage where buds
start emerging.  Unfortunately, BIONIC FLASH, which was the most
vigorous grower from the rhizome last fall, is now beginning to wither
as if from extreme dessication.  It's not rotting, just drying up.  Too
bad and I don't know why.  Any guesses?  Damaged by freezes?
Not enough moisture?  Disease?  It's a disappointment after the
initial start.  Hope more don't begin the same process.

Some of the SIBs which went completely dormant (not all of them did
this year) are beginning to put out their spring growth, but there is no
sign of growth on the one JI.  The pseuds are also not growing much,
but never went completely dormant, either.

In general, I'm at a loss as to whether to water or not.  It is and has
been very dry and usually we would have had more rain, so my instinct
is to provide some water.  I hesitate because of the growth already ahead
of where is normally is at this time and I don't want to jeopardize the
health and chance of bloom by encouraging growth too soon.  I am
particularly in a quandary re the arilbreds.  Any suggestions would be
appreciated and any experience from growers with similar conditions
would be very welcome.

Donald Eaves
Texas Zone 7 and needing rain even more than usual.

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