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Re: Iris Chrysographes, and Spuria Seeds

Barb Johnson wrote:
>BTW, the Siberian SPIRIT OF YORK which I got free from Calvin 9/15, has
>7 new shoots!  And it is just in an ordinary topsoil-compost mix which
>registers neutral on my PH meter.  I want to get some Miracid, but it's
>hard to find now at the end of the season.  Has anyone ever added a few
>drops of apple-cider vinegar to their water in a pinch?

Apple cider vinegar? Everybody I've talked to says regular white vinegar is
what you use.

You might be interested in my Life with Gardenia (I know it's not an iris,
but it is VERY relevant - now pay attention)

I was given the gardenia by my sister-in-law who was moving to Florida and
didn't want to move her plants. At the time we were living outside
Philadelphia where normal soil pH is around 5 and the water probably isn't
much higher. Taking care of the gardenia simply meant watering it and
bringing it in during the winter. About five years ago we moved to ?state
New York (downstate to the upstaters and upstate to the downstaters) where
there is a lot of lime. Here our water and soil are pretty much neutral,
and keeping the gardenia happy became an adventure. The first few years I
just hit it with some iron sulphate whenever it started looking unhappy.
However I didn't really like that solution because I could never find any
instructions about how much to use. The bags just give numbers for square
footage for in-ground plants like azaleas. The last few winters I was using
Miracid, but ended up frying the poor thing with too much fertilizer. I
think it probably would have met its end it we didn't have a mild spring so
it could go out early and get lots of nice acid rain. After that I asked
for advice from a local horticulturalist and was told about regular white
vinegar. Unfortunately in order to use it you need to find some litmus
paper. That only took a few months. Supposedly pharmacies carry it, but not
around here. I ended up getting an ancient roll from a friend of my
husband's. I have no idea where he got it from. Since the gardenia has been
out all summer, I haven't yet figured out how much vinegar I need to add to
bring the pH down to 4.5 in a half-gallon watering can. I suspect it's
going to be at least 1/4 cup.

Anyway, to be back on topic, substitute the words 'Siberian Iris' for the
word 'Gardenia' in the above, and I think it will still make sense. Then
people will just have to figure out what a hardy iris is doing inside in a

Kay Cangemi
USDA zone 5, New York

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