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Re: Iris blooming. Fertilize?

  • To: iris-talk@onelist.com
  • Subject: Re: Iris blooming. Fertilize?
  • From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 08:47:14 -0400
  • References: <199901261443.GAA29237@mail-gw3.pacbell.net>

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

Well, here in Virginia we can't (yet) claim any blooming iris.  But
hellebores are up and running, with fully open blooms on some of the
orientalis hybrids, and strong buds on argutifolius and foetidus.

AND the buds of reticulatas 'George' and 'Springtime' are up about two inches.

AND the first wattii or confusa (it's very confusing) opened in the
greenhouse this morning.

We've had warm days, but so far the cold nights have prevented plants from
getting too far along for the season.  It also helps to have lots of deer
in your backyard--whenever something pops up unexpectedly, it gets eaten
down again.  Off to the garden center to buy a box of blood meal!

On the fertilization question--I don't know your conditions, but I would
limit my fertilizing to a moderate dose of rock phosphate, given when the
plants have shown signs of new growth for about two weeks.  Early
fertilization can have two bad effects: 1) forcing soft new growth too
soon, which can be damaged by late frosts and freezes, and 2) if the plants
aren't growing, the fertilizer just washes away.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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