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Re: Japanese iris in pots


I grow Japanese Irises in pots...as well as in the garden bed/borders.  As
I write I have a huge clump (in a 3 gal. pot) of STRUT & FLOURISH blooming
beautifully in my garden.  The pot is setting in my fish pond...and the pot
is right in front of a nice golden barberry growing in the ground beside
the pond.  Imagine the scene as I walk out my back door and glance toward
the pond:  a full set of 7 or 8 stalks of the glorious blue JI contrasting
beautifully with the barberry.

I garden in the South (zone 7B)...and I leave my potted JIs setting in
trays of water all year round.  (This should not be done in the North--from
what I've read.)  When the JIs get ready to bloom, I move them from their
regular site in an out-of-the-way part of the garden into choice sites
throughout the garden.  Then, after they finish blooming, it's back into
their secluded quarters.  I also glow garden lilies (not daylilies, but
bulbous lilies of the lilium genus) the same way and move them into the
borders when bloom is imminent.

I don't have any great secret to successfully growing JIs in pots.  I've
read that the Japanese grow them that way all the time...and even bring
them insides their homes for display when they are in flower.  I grow mine
in large pots (3 to 5 gals.).  I got a heating/airconditioner contractor to
make me  metal trays about 4 x 4 feet...and about 5 inches high.  I put
potted JIs into these trays--and add water.

I feed the potted JIs quite a lot.  In the very early spring I put some
cotton seed meal into the pot.  This adds a good spurt of nitrogen...plus
it acidifies the soil nicely.  Throughout the summer I feed the potted JIs
with Miracid liquid food.  I'm careful to keep all lime or other alkaline
agents away from
the pots and the water.

Here's a list of the JIs I grow in pots:  STRUT & FLOURISH, PEACOCK DANCE
(my favorite JI as far as flower is concerned), CAPRICIAN BUTTERFLY (which
is vigorous for me), CENTER OF ATTENTION, and PRAIRIE SUNBURST.  I also
have one of my seedlings in pots...not that its a cultivar to register...I
just grow it for cut flowers.  The folks at my office always fall over with
amazement when I bring JIs to the offie.


Tom Dillard
Little Rock, Arkansas
Zone 7B

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