Regelia and Regeliocyclus irises

Jane McGary
Sat, 26 Nov 2011 16:21:05 PST
I'm looking for information on the annual cycle of irises in the 
Regelia section and their hybrids with Oncocyclus irises, known 
sometimes as "Regeliocyclus." When I grew these in frames in large 
clay pots, kept dry in summer, they did not make significant leaf 
growth until late winter. Now I have them in a raised bed inside an 
unheated bulb house, and some of them never really went dormant last 
summer, even though not watered, and their leaves are almost full 
size now. I don't like to see this, because I can't grow Onco irises, 
which make early foliage growth that then succumbs to disease during 
our humid winters. Did planting the rhizomes out allow them to reach 
down so deep that they had some moisture throughout summer? (The bed 
has a commercial woven groundcloth liner over native clay.) Is this 
bad for them?

I saw whitefly on the leaves and placed sticky traps nearby, which 
seems to have controlled them to a great extent, but I think I'd 
better use a systemic insecticide on the plants too. I never had 
aphids in the bulb frames at my former home, but it's considerably 
colder and windier there, and also the insect population, including 
predators, is much more numerous and presumably complete as an 
ecosystem than what one finds in the suburbs. I thought of buying 
ladybugs (lady beetles), but they are dormant in winter, and anyway 
they'd probably just fly away through the hardware cloth walls of the 
bulb house.

How do these irises behave for other growers?

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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