Iris watering
Sat, 13 Sep 2003 23:54:18 PDT
Nan, if you are talking about Bearded Iris Hybrids, yes, they can tolerate 
low water situations.  The bearded iris hybrids do not like to be soaking in 
water, they will rot. They do like a good deep soak, really deep and then 
excellent drainage, sound familiar?  The rhizome should also be planted with the top 
exposed to air if you are in a mild climate and I think you are.
If you are planting it now, dig a deeper hole than you think you need so the 
roots can grow deep fast.  If you have a slow release fertilizer add it at 
this time.  Water it often to get the roots established before whatever winter 
rains set in.  If you do not get winter rains you should water it 1-2 a week.  
The roots will grow fast and need to get deep enough to hold up the tall bloom 
stalks you get in spring.  It should send up new leaves quickly then It will 
rest some probably Nov until Feb.  It begins growing around the end of Feb and 
can be fertilized again at this time with something like 10 10 10 or whatever. 
 After it blooms, the iris can take very little water UNLESS it is a 
rebloomer, if so keep watering it to promote reblooming.  If it is not a rebloomer, 
and it's roots are  well established you do not need to water it much at all 
although it will look better if you do.
I have over 800 tall bearded hybrids, 100 Pacific Coast Hybrids, another 100 
plus Louisiana, Japanese, Siberian, Spuria and species.  My garden is open to 
the public April and May but after that, I know I am in a Mediterranean 
Climate and do let it get pretty dry.  It does look a bit brown and dry but at that 
time I prefer to spend my water realistically on the fruit trees and vegetable 
garden.  My husband and I have been amazed at how good our rose garden looks 
with not much water.  
Hope this has been helpful.
Carolyn Craft
Los Gatos, zone 9

More information about the pbs mailing list