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Re: Uncloaking....Now! (with questions)

Howard asks

:When exactly do Iris (TB) store energy for bloom?

The iris rhizomes (where the energy for bloom is stored) do most of their
growing during the spring and fall; they go semi-dormant during the winter
and summer, depending to some degree on climate. During the spring, the
non-blooming rhizomes do grow larger, store energy, and produce an
embryonic bloomstalk within the fan. However, this period of growth is
not adequate to produce a full, healthy bloom. The fall growing period
adds strength to the rhizome, and the period in the spring immediately
before bloom is also necessary to make a good stalk. If a rhizome is
fully developed by transplant time in the summer, but deprived of good
fall or spring growth (by being moved, say), it may try to produce a
stalk, but the stalk is likely to be small or misshapen.

The short answer then is irises have a growth cycle like that of many
other perennials, except for the semi-dormant period in midsummer, when
many other plants are actively growing.

:The rear yard which faces south would be ideal for Iris save for a HUGE tree
:in the yard of the home behind mine. I have been watching the sun and the
:leaves to see where the patches of sun are and how they move. The best I can
:do is dappled sun for 5 hours on good days. Are there any Iris that will
:tolerate these conditions?

That's not good for most irises. There's a pretty little species called
Iris cristata that likes those kinds of conditions, but it is not big
and showy--more of a wildflower look.

:Failing that, I noticed on the back page of the
:new "Schreiners" catalog an invitation to try growing Iris indoors. As

I saw that material in the catalog. I think the main thrust was irises
in pots for use on a patio or balcony, but they seemed to be encouraging
even people with less "outdoors" than that to try pot culture. I know
others who have done this. It does work, but it is important to have
lots of light (somehow), and to give them some time outside if at all

I think the idea would be to let them grow outside and bloom inside,
rather than the other way around.  :)

Happy irising, Tom.


Tom Tadfor Little         tlittle@lanl.gov  -or-  telp@Rt66.com
technical writer/editor   Los Alamos National Laboratory
Telperion Productions     http://www.rt66.com/~telp/

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