CAT: Sources for iris
> Dear Queda, welcome to the Iris World. Also, not wanting to step on
> garden shop's feet, that is not the best - nor least expensive - way to
> buy irises of any kind. Get them from iris people who are more reliable
> - there are many that put out catalogues and there are also local sales
> put on by iris people. Rosalie nr Baltimore zone 7 (it is always
> desirable to add your zone to your email) email@example.com
A (very) few decent iris may be found at garden shops (I have seen Persian
Berry and Batik); dried out specimens usually cost about $3. Iris catalogs
usuually have much better selections including many superior varieties
starting at around $2.50; they are generally much fresher plants and usually
send generous "extras". Also, iris people will give you better feedback on
which varieties will grow well. Many garden shops sell rhizomes which will
not grow well in your climate, and they honestly don't know any better.
Louisiana iris are particularly rare in garden shops, in truth so are any
iris except TB's and dutch iris. Louisianas are even easier to grow for me
than TB's; the foliage stays healthier year 'round and (given water and
humus) the increase is dependably heavy. Iris catalogs sell many wonderful
varieties of louisianas for $3.50 to $8; the only ones I have seen at local
nurseries are sold as aquatic plants for around $20 and are usually
identified as "yellow" (although I may have seen Black Gamecock once).
Now if only a consistently reblooming strain of louisianas were to
develop!!! Would you be as thrilled as I would, Rosalie?
Current rebloom in my garden: Progressive Attitude and Stingray (almost
continuous), CeeCee (trying to bloom out), Double Agent (always on the verge
of bloomout), Plum Wine, Busy Butterfly, and Eggnog. Rock Star seems to be
taking the winter off this year (for some reason), and Mabel Andrews is
recovering from near bloomout. Reincarnation is resting since December.
Notice how half of these are Byers intros?
John Reeds, zone 9b (Sunset 23) in southern Calif.
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