Re: CULT: Iris Bloom in Shade
- Subject: Re: [iris-talk] CULT: Iris Bloom in Shade
- From: email@example.com
- Date: Fri, 17 May 2002 12:33:25 EDT
In a message dated 5/17/2002 8:37:17 AM Central Daylight Time,
> I have to agree with Vicki Craig that the amount of shade that bearded
> irises can tolerate and still continue to bloom depends on where you are.
> It is sunnier here than in Portland, Oregon, though the growing season is
> shorter, but bearded irises will cease to bloom completely if they are
> growing in half shade or more. BTW, there seems to be a contradiction in
> your statement above. How can irises continue to bloom if they cease to
> make increase?
> Jeff Walters in northern Utah
I apologize for not being more clear in my shade comments.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, most iris will grow and bloom in full to
near full shade. Increase is slow and sometimes not at all. Bloom stalks
typically are weaker and smaller in diameter, but grow somewhat taller.
Blooms are about the same size. Some time back I think I posted a picture of
Apricot Drops to iris-pictures that grows here in full shade (will check if
not will post). Several others grow in full shade here too. Plus one is
accidentally growing in a 1 gal plastic pot in full shade by accident. I
forgot about it last year. It has increased to 2 fans.
The stalk production is retarded but generally not eliminated. Posted Apricot
Drop picture to iris-pictures. Rhizome was planted as a single rhizome last
year. Three fans were produced. Canopy over location are eastern red cedar, a
full evergreen notorious for producing full shade (a misnomer perhaps since
most canopies admit some dappled light) and in addition produce a toxin to
defend their turf. Also in the PIC are a moss that grows only in the shade,
trillium notorious here for sun intolerance and bladder wort (wild oat).
Additionally their is a clump of variegated sweet flag (nurseries recommend
as a full sun plant).
I certainly would not dispute reduced/less bloom in the shade. Just as iris
also have reduced bloom in full sun if allowed to over crowd themselves. In
either location if you dig and replant bloom will appear, here anyway. If
given a choice I would give iris ideal conditions. I have several photos of
iris growing in various stages of shade and neglect here. Some of the single
rhizomes planted in shade 1995 are clumps of 20 or 30 fans now. No plant I
know of will grow without light. Some are more adept at using ambient and
filtered light. I continue to believe irises a remarkably adaptable plants.
Many plants are. The genetic program says live, bloom, reproduce. I gotta do
what I gotta do!
The short answer to the inconsistency you point out is usually, not always,
if a rhizome blooms and does not increase the plant dies. I suspect but do
not know for a certainty, the "not always" part is in a genetic response
whereby the axillary buds of the mother rhizome actually go dormant as a
survival mechanism and reemerge later when conditions are favorable. This
phenomena is best observed by digging a few rhizomes, storing a couple of
years, then replanting or by replanting all supposedly spent mother rhizomes.
Essentially my response was addressed to what I would do if I lived in a
Manhattan apartment. The options I see would be try to grow irises or not try
to grow irises. I'd try. If I failed I try some more. Some always die
regardless of where I plant. Guess that makes me part plant, huh?
Thanks for opportunity to clarify,
Bill Burleson 7a/b
Old South Iris Society I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get
to do them.- Pablo Picasso
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