reticulata irises

Sat, 19 Mar 2016 14:45:46 PDT
>I've tried different reticulata varieties from big box stores, but they
never persist in my garden.  Any ideas why they fizzle out instead of
steadily increase like most spring bulbs?
I have some here, growing in awful clay—so, dry (because it never rains enough to wet the clay deeply)-- which have been here for thirty years. They didn’t flower this year, which makes me suspect they want to be lifted and divided again. These are the plain species, which smell of violets when they flower. 
I have had the experience of reticulatas fizzling out, ‘Cantab’, ‘Pauline’, ‘Natascha’, ‘J.S. Dijt’, and several others, and wonder if some virus was the cause.
The ones I’ve gotten which were raised from wild-collected seed, or plants—the expensive ones—don’t seem to have that problem, but I do think lifting and dividing is a good idea.
Bob Nold
Denver, Colorado, USA

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