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Re: Re: CULT: Bearded iris myths
  • Subject: Re: Re: CULT: Bearded iris myths
  • From: Eleanor Hutchison <eleanore@mymts.net>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 15:05:50 -0600

That's mainly why I didn't add my 2 cents in until now.

Over the years, I've tried many different iris cultivars, so I've learned which classes of iris do better than others. It also often depends on where I get the iris from and when. I've also learned to check further into the parents' backgrounds as well.

Iris from certain hybridizers do much better than others, but sometimes I try a variety up to 3 times before it will thrive here, not always making sense.

And while it also doesn't make sense to try to grow an iris in my environment, such as Louisianas or Pacific Coast Natives, over the years I have tried a few species iris, figuring they're more hardy and have had some good successes.

This year, I'm trying a wide range of seeds from various sources, to see how well they'll do.

We too have many gardens that have those very old stands of iris, whose names have been lost.

El, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Z3

From: "Kelly D. Norris" <kellydn@frontiernet.net>
Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2011 7:25 PM
To: <iris@hort.net>
Subject: RE: [iris] Re: CULT: Bearded iris myths

Hi Linda,

In response to your concern, I'm not being entirely fair here as I'm not
posting the dialogue in the chapters that follows each of these questions.
Certainly, I'm not trying to suggest that all bearded irises will do well in
all places (in fact quite the opposite--we too easily accept in the hort
industry that by default "all plants shall grow well in all places" by
decree).  What I am trying to do, encouragingly, is put aside the notion
that bearded irises are difficult plants to grow (for the majority of
gardeners in this country) while being completely honest about the facts you
address--regional selection and regional cultural information being

The fact that you and others in your part of the world, after careful
selection and good cultivation, can grow (and even hybridize!) bearded
irises supports the point I'm trying to make--gardening with bearded irises, just like any other plant, requires a sound knowledge of cultural facts and the cultivars you choose to grow. This 'myths' chapter comes just after the
introduction and sets the tone for how I write about the art, love, and
science of bearded irises in the rest of the book.



Kelly D. Norris
Farm Manager, Rainbow Iris Farm
Editor, Irises: The Bulletin of the American Iris Society
Bedford & Ames, IA
Zone 4b/5a
Read my blog at: http://www.kellydnorris.com


Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2011 06:39:19 -0500
From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
Subject: [iris] Re: CULT: Bearded iris myths

Kelly, I'd be careful putting this one in the myth category.  Depending
on climate (both macro and micro), soil & cultivar, this is not a myth
in certain locations, and will cause the rest of the list to lose
credibility for many readers.

For example, cultivar selection is a major issue the hotter and wetter
the climate (i.e., Florida), not to mention here in what Keith K calls
iris hell & Neil Mogensen named the Vale of Despair.

There are a lot of experienced gardeners in this area who have ordered
collections of irises from reputable sellers (i.e., Schreiners) only to
have 2/3 of them not bloom and/or die.  Our club orders collections of
fairly new introductions every year to grow for sale in subsequent years
so we can promote what we sell as being proven to do well in our general

The ones that survive definitely make this a myth, but there are many
more that make this one true.

3. Bearded irises have a lot of problems and are hard to grow.
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