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Re: CULT: Special care

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] CULT: Special care
  • From: "Mike Sutton" <suttons@lightspeed.net>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 09:45:42 -0700

I know this subject has been hit on before but I would like to toss in my
two cents worth.  It is extremely hard to consistently hybridize plants that
are prone to rot or are weak growers.  They just don't survive and so are
not around to work on.  We don't spray anything on our iris for disease
other than an occasional leaf spot spray in early spring.  All rhizomes are
treated before they are shipped but that is after they are dug.  If an iris
doesn't grow well for us it is chucked, even if it is a very nice plant we
just don't have the time to baby anything.  Only vigorous (for us) plants
are introduced.  I think some of the problem is perception.  All of Grandmas
iris are still around because they are still around, meaning they were the
vigorous ones from her day.  We have a tendency to forget that thousands
upon thousands of iris from Grandmas day no longer grace this earth....they
died, rotted out or weren't vigorous enough to continue on.  Some where
tossed to make room for newer and, in the gardener's opinion, prettier iris.
It takes at least 5 years to build up enough stock of a vigorous iris to
introduce, a less then hardy plant would take at least double that time.
Too long and too expensive to wait.  Any plant performance will vary from
climate to climate that just makes sense.  In contrast, think about some of
the recent Dykes winners, (not all) there are some widely and successfully
grown plants in the mix.  Stairway to Heaven seems to do well just about
anywhere while I hear that Thornbird is a pretty good performer too.  I hope
this hasn't come across too strong, I do appreciate historics, heck I even
like the old yellow and purple flags.  I have even have done some
hybridizing on diploids.
Just food for thought.
Mike Sutton
p.s. Daylilies have problems too,  the daylily rot in our neighborhood this
year totaled more than a 50% loss, appeared to be some sort of soft rot that
didn't affect the iris at all.

----- Original Message -----
From: Glenn Grigg <gggrigg@bellsouth.net>
To: <iris-talk@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:07 AM
Subject: [iris-talk] CULT: Special care

> The following is a copy of a posting that appeared on the Daylily Robin
> I think it should be "food for thought" to all of us who grow iris. The
daylily world
>  may be following us down the yellow brick road:
> "My personal view is that if we need to spray daylilies, even with a
>  beneficial agent, it will need to be done on a regular basis. The common
>  gardener won't or can't do that. That is also why iris and roses have
>  so much favor. Ironically, I started growing iris and roses, as I thought
>  they were very pretty. After only a little while I found them to be
>  temperamental, hard to grow well, and very prone to various problems like
>  black spot in roses, and rot in iris. I wanted, and needed, something
>  did not require that kind of maintenance, as I didn't have the time, or
>  discipline, to maintain them as was required for them to be disease free.
>  If we collectively start down the path of requiring various sprays,
>  treatments, or special maintenance, to control various problems like rot
>  and rust, it won't take long for new daylilies to not have a place in
>  commerce, as the average gardener, and some serious collectors, like
>  myself, will not be willing to maintain them. Even worse, if the path is
>  taken to treat and spray as the long term direction, increased
>  susceptibility will be the result. My thought is the best direction may
>  to determine which cultavars are very susceptible, and simply discard
>  those. Then, with the slightly affected or unaffected, carry on. If we
>  create, grow, and distribute a plant as temperamental and hard to grow as
>  the modern hybrid tea rose, daylily popularity will take a major drop.
>  You are welcome to forward this, as I think it is something daylily
>  and especially hybridizers should give serious thought.
>  Thanks,
>  Raymond Quinn"
> Only the hybridizers can improve the toughness of iris so they can grow
like the plants
> that grandmother grew without special treatment.
> Glenn Grigg, Raleigh, NC Zone 7
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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