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CULT: Japanese Iris

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: CULT: Japanese Iris
  • From: Chris Hollinshead <cris@netcom.ca>
  • Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 12:09:36 -0600 (MDT)

To directly reply on the Iris List to the questions regarding growing JI
in water or not please check the following excerpt.  I had referred to
this source earlier referencing the available webpage on JI but am not
sure the message got across or not so here is the relevant segment
excerpted from:


JI require ample moisture, especially up to bloom time, and you will be
rewarded with much healthier plants and bloom next year if the plants
are kept watered all summer long. We want to say wet in spring and moist
the rest of the year. Never let the soil dry out; mulch the plantings.
Depending on your soil, 1-2 inches of water and or rain per week is
recommended; older clumps will need more water than new divisions. They
do very well near water or where the water table is a short distance
below the surface, as beside a stream or pond.

Probably the largest misconception that JI are bog or water plants comes
from photos of flooded fields of JI in bloom in Japan. The Japanese
flood the fields at bloom time for the esthetic setting and the beauty
of the blooms reflected in the water.

Japanese irises are not bog plants in northern zones (zones 3-6) mainly
due to the fact that if water freezes over the top of the crowns the
plants may suffocate and die. Artificial, plastic lined bogs have
produced mixed results with some becoming saturated with water and
souring and suffocating the roots. It is best to put some holes in the
bottom and allow the plastic lined bogs to retard drainage but not
prevent it. Some people do raise JI in pots in their ponds but the pots
should be lifted after frost, the foliage cut off and the pots buried in
the garden. The pots may be returned to the pond the next spring. Use
large enough pots and weight to keep the 3-4 foot plants from blowing
over in winds.

Info provided by Ensata Gardens
Christopher Hollinshead
Mississauga, Ontario  Canada  zone6b
AIS(Region 16), CIS, SSI
Director-Canadian Iris Society
Newsletter Editor-Canadian Iris Society
e-mail:  cris@netcom.ca
CIS website:  http://www.netcom.ca/~cris/CIS.html

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