Pacific Coast Iris - best time to transplant?

Michael Mace
Sun, 03 Feb 2013 20:47:31 PST
Lee wrote:


>>So what should one do (in So. Calif.) if he is tempted beyond the ability
to resist into purchasing them in mid-spring at the Rancho Santa Ana
Botanical Garden (RSABG) plant sale? I cannot get them to survive in their
pots until the autumn.


I suspect there's a difference between planting them out from pots and
digging them up to transplant them.  There's much less disruption of their
roots if you're planting out from a pot.


I went through a several-year period when I was wildly enthusiastic about
PCIs and bought them mail order in large quantities.  When you buy via mail
order, the plants are shipped to you in the autumn bare root, and it's VERY
difficult to get them established.  Some cultivars do fine, but many of them
either do not establish at all, or last only a couple of years before dying


The usual rule of plant perversity applied: the more beautiful the cultivar,
the faster it died.


I asked a very experienced PCI breeder about this once, and he said he had
seen the same phenomenon.  He suspected the problem was that many of the
hybrids are bred in Santa Cruz, which has just about the most benign climate
on the planet for PCIs.  The plants bred there don't get naturally selected
for ruggedness, in his opinion.



San Jose, CA

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