Dutch iris requirements

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Thu, 11 Sep 2003 12:39:09 PDT
>Dear Jane and all;
>	You are destroying my illusions of fields of Dutch Iris 
>growing in the Pacific NW. I understood that this was at one time a 
>major growing area for Dutch Iris (among others).
>	Here they are planted in fall, bloom in spring and disappear.
>	Bulbs seem hardy enough, but they are NOT long lived. A rare 
>bulb blooms weakly the second year.
>	The Dutch must grow them literally by the ton as they are 
>cheap and widely available. What's an Iberian bulb doing flourishing 
>in Holland?
>	Can anyone report long term success with them?
>		best	Jim W.

A long time ago when I was an undergraduate in the early '80s, I 
planted a number of these I got at the local nursery in the autumn at 
my parents' house, in Austin, Texas. They're in a big flowerbed in 
the front yard, in mostly full sun. Not only did they come back each 
year, the clumps have continued to grow in size and they continue to 
be one of my mother's favorite springtime flowers since there are so 
many of them and they bloom for a few weeks. The foliage doesn't 
start to appear until late winter/early spring. These are the common 
blue, white, and yellow types. I think my mother even had to dig the 
clumps up a few years ago to thin them out and share with all her 
friends in the neighborhood. Austin is Zone 8b with mostly mild, 
lightly rainy winters with the occasional Arctic cold front, and very 
hot, somewhat humid summers with occasional thunderstorms, but 
usually mostly dry. Some people think it's unbearable in the summer. 
Spring and autumn weather is spectacular however (IMHO).

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 9-10

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