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Re: BULB: I have I reticulata bulbs to plant?

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: BULB: I have I reticulata bulbs to plant?
  • From: Rick Tasco/Roger Duncan <randrcv@sierratel.com>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 21:30:57 -0600 (MDT)

William M. Groth wrote:
> Hello Irisarians,
> I am beginning the adventure with Dwarf Irises (I. reticulata) and I have 10
> bulbs that I just got from the nursery.  We are in Houston, TX (zone 9a Texas
> Gulf Coast)  And my plan is to plant them in our front bed or in a back raised
> bed a the edges where I plan to plant a Allium gigantea (??).  Anyway the
> question is typical for a newbie.  Are these likely to do well here in
> Houston,
> in a bed which gets morning sun (virtually until noon or after) then is shaded
> by the house through most of the afternoon?  Or should I plant these with the
> Allium which is in a raised bed which gets sun almost all day including the
> hot
> noon/afternoon sun we have in Houston plus HUMIDITY?  Are there any hints
> as to
> when to plant them?  Both beds are actually pretty well drained.
> Any hints and encouragement will be most welcome.


I. Reticulata is native to habitats with arid summers.  In the presense
of excess moisture they may suffer from a fatal fungus called "ink spot"
found in all soils.  For bulb health, the site should be sunny and have
good drainage.  Soaking the bulbs in one percent Benomyl solution before
planting or transplanting into fresh soil helps prevent ink spot.

When planting mix a little granular chemical fertilizer designed for
perennials or bulbs (such as 5-10-5) in the soil below but not touching
the bulb.  Pack approximately double the length of the bulb in soil over
its top.  The soil should not have excess acid, humus or manure in it. 
Diluted soluble fertilizer sprinkled as the foliage rises and again as
it lengthens promotes vigor.

Rick Tasco
Superstition Iris Gardens
Central California
Zone 8

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