Reblooming iris according to Charlie Brown
Iris-l's own Charlie Brown spoke last evening to the Fort Worth Iris
Society on Growing Rebloomers in North Central Texas. As you may
remember from his posts Charlie grows about 250 rebloomers and a
total of about 2000 irises near Denison, Texas (close to the Texas
Charlie's presentation was both informative and entertaining. I
thought some points he made would be of interest to the list.
First, he stressed that the rebloomers need to stay moist (but not
wet) ALL summer. That is quite a challenge here. Charlie manages by
watering each evening using soaker hoses. The soaker hoses wet the
beds without getting the fans wet. He stressed that even a small
amount of water in the fan can heat up enough to cook the plant.
In the South the rebloomers can be quite aggressive growers and may
need to be divided more often than the every three years recommended
for once a year bloomers. He sited more than one cultivar that had
taken over a five foot wide bed.
Perhaps the most interesting thing was that he grows all of his iris
in raised beds using river sand as the medium with a thin layer of
peat (or was that peat moss?) in the bottom. The beds are
constructed of 2 x 12, treated lumber and lined with 6 mil.
construction grade plastic sheeting with two drain holes on the lower
end. According to Charlie the peat absorbs the water and serves as a
reservoir for the roots while the sand allows the top the bed to stay
relatively dry. The sand also makes working the beds easy but
provides plenty of support for the plants. The plastic helps hold in
the moisture and the sand in addition to keeping out weeds and tree
It sounds like Charlie comes as closes as possible to haves bearded
iris blooming year 'round, getting rebloom from July to December from
Charlie, thanks again for a pleasant evening and, hopefully, many
future fall blooms.
Rodney Barton, growing a bit of everything in
Hickory Creek, (North Central) Texas, USA
Zone 7/8, typical temp range 15 - 105 F (-9 - 41 C)
AIS, SIGNA, SPCNI, SLI, FWIS, Iris-L