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RE: Iris growing north of Parry Sound

  • Subject: RE: [iris-talk] Iris growing north of Parry Sound
  • From: "Mark, Maureen" <markm@tc.gc.ca>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 16:07:38 -0400

Hi Susan,

I think that you are in zone 4.  Not to worry about the lack of bloom first
year.  I think in our first year less than a third bloomed.  Just leave them
alone.  Although we did purchase some Remay cloth last year to protect the
expensive new ones.  If the rhizomes go through a an early thaw and freeze
again, they are susceptible to rot.  One easy way to mulch is to grab all
the neighbours' bags of leaves.  One year, I collected them up and down the
street and put the whole bag unopened on top of a new bed.  In the spring, I
put them out for collection.

If you'd like to try some medians, I can send you some next year.  Have you
joined the Canadian Iris Society?

You might also want to consider making a trek down to Chuck Chapman near
Guelph to see his gardens.  He has some wonderful medians that he has
hybridized and introduced.  He usually has an open house around the end of
May too.

Maureen Mark
Ottawa, Ontario (zone 4)  -- chance of frost in the suburbs tonight

> Beginner here.  Living north of Parry Sound.  Sometimes gets as low 
> as -25.  Last summer (2000) bought and planted 8 varieties of iris. 
> Soil light sandy with leaves and compost started to be mixed in .. 
> its better with more leaf matter mixed in this year.   I think they 
> are what you term TB (tall bearded iris).   Last winter was very very 
> cold.  This summer I only had one bloom between all 8 plants.  
> Obviously I am doing something very wrong.  I followed the directions 
> to plant the iris with the rhizomes exposed.  I did NOT put anything 
> on top of the iris for winter protection and this may be why no 
> blooms in summer 2001.  I had gardened in Barrie previously and had 
> no problems with my iris, but I think it is warmer there.
> As fall is coming, does anyone have suggestions?  Should I plant the 
> rhizome deeper? Or do I still leave the rhizome exposed ... I feel 
> badly (but thats just an emotional thing) leaving the rhizome so 
> exposed ... won't it freeze right through?   Or should I just cover 
> the plant with something?  What is good "cover" for winter 
> protection?  We have lots of leaves ... would that do?
> I have seen some lovely iris blooms up here so I know they CAN grow 
> well even in this cold climate.  Any help is appreciated.
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