Pacific Coast Irises in the east-trials
Wed, 01 Jun 2016 08:25:58 PDT
Hi Kathleen,
I would definitely be interested in trialing and working with more PCIs here, feel free to send my name and email along to Garry.  The purple one I have is not anywhere as fancy as some of the latest hybrids but it has been thru some very odd weather over the years.  Summers are humid and rather wet compared to elsewhere, we get hot days too, but really hot weather is usually limited to a few days or maybe a week.  I think we did hit over 100 a few years ago when I was growing that particular iris at the old house about 20 miles away. 
In my limited experience transplanting PCIs can be a bit more difficult than many other irises because they don't like to be moved especially when it is hot and wet.  They don't have the resilience that bearded iris have with there nearly indestructible thick rhizomes.  
As an example of TBI toughness, I got some rhizomes from my sister in Charlotte NC from an iris garden she had on the house she brought.  They grow in horrible red clay, and she had them thinned out and a bunch were sitting in a plastic garbage can since last summer.  It apparently had a leak so water didn't accumulate and when I went down there in March the irises were still alive after sitting out all fall and winter.  Took some back with me and now they are establishing in another difficult spot on my property where we had a maple tree removed and the stump ground, so its full of bark chips.  They look fine!
Ernie DeMarie
NY where camassias are finishing up

Ernie’s comment,  I am of the opinion that if enough people in the east try and grow PCIs from seed nature will select those that are best adapted for our conditions, is correct. 

We have some west coast growers looking for east coast gardeners to work with to improve hardiness in PCI. In our next issue of Pacific Iris, there will be a request for this from Garry Knipe, a hybridizer in Cupertino, CA, who is looking for eastern partners. 

PCI also intensely dislike hot, humid summer conditions, which gardeners may read as die quickly under these circumstances. This keeps them from being grown in much of the south to east portions of north america. 


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