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Re: CULT: Special care

  • Subject: Re: CULT: Special care
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@icx.net>
  • Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 13:43:37 -0400

Mike Sutton, hybridizer, commercial grower, and generous supplier makes
many good points:
<...It is extremely hard to consistently hybridize plants that are prone
to rot or are weak growers.[at least in the climate/soil where the
hybridizer gardens]....  They just don't survive and so are not around
to work on......Only vigorous (for us) plants
are introduced. ....All of Grandma's iris are still around because they
....were the
vigorous ones from her day.  ..... Any plant performance will vary from
climate to climate ....[but], ..some of the recent Dykes winners,
....are ...widely and successfully grown .... Stairway to Heaven
....Thornbird.  ....I do appreciate historics, heck I even like the old
yellow and purple flags.>

We do talk a lot about the special care needed for irises in some parts
of the country, but over the years on this list, I have come to realize
how cultivar specific that need for care really is.  So many irises
'born' in California are prone to rot here that it never occurred to me
that some of the irises that thrive for me would rot elsewhere.  But
CELEBRATION SONG does.  So now I have a lot of children from CELEBRATION
SONG that grow like weeds for me, that I would certainly describe as
carefree to grow, disease free, rot proof, etc, but for all I know they
would turn to mush in Arizona (I think that's where we've seen several
posts about CS consistently rotting).

I don't know if the situation is similar for daylilies or not, but
because different cultivars behave so differently in different climates
and soils, selection for carefree cultivars of irises isn't all that
easy and depends entirely on what climate and what growing conditions
(mulch or not, shade or not, gravel underlay or raised beds, mixed beds,
plowed rows, dug every year or every 10 yrs, etc etc).

I never treat for rot - other than occasionally pulling loose, rotted
foliage away to improve air circulation.  Looking at the list of what I
am growing, Walter Moores has commented that I have an interesting and
eclectic collection <g>.  Thanks mostly to all the helpful folks on this
list who send both irises and information, local club members who freely
give me starts of their toughest, and helpful commercial growers who do
their best to send me the toughest of their wares, or at least the ones
they think/hope will be toughest in my growing conditions.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8

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