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Why are the flowers dying on this iris

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  • B3B3 Posts: 17,518
    How long were they open for?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • depoksharma07depoksharma07 BangladeshPosts: 16
    The leaves wilt, turn yellow, shrivel and die, starting about the time iris are in bloom. Soft rot is caused by bacteria which commonly enter the iris plant through feeding wounds made by iris borer worms. Rotting is often rapid in older beds which are over-crowded, shaded and poorly drained.
  • BluebelltimeBluebelltime Posts: 170
    Any advice as what I can do?
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 318
    As the leaves look healthy enough, perhaps the flower has simply finished hence @B3' s
    question.
    The site does look rather over crowded and if you haven't divided your iris for a couple of years, you may want to think about doing that :)
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 3,895
    For me, iris flowers don't last long particularly in warm weather, so if you've had more than a few days from it then it's just dying off in the normal way.
  • BluebelltimeBluebelltime Posts: 170
    None of them opened. This iris has never flowered and I've had it done 2 years. This year it showed promise and then the flowers seemed to rot 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 318
    Take it up and see what the roots are like.  If you think it is healthy, you have 2 options - grow in a pot for a couple of years if that is possible and see what happens or re plant in a more suitable area.
  • Lena_vs_DeerLena_vs_Deer Seattle WA, USAPosts: 62
    I would agree on suggestion to lift the iris and see what's going on there. Most likely it's just not draining well. Or rather, not draining to its liking. 

    1) Cut the flower stem. At this point since not a single one opens it's rather like a festering wound for iris. If it feels better later it will give you a new bloom stem. I have counted at least 6 new growth spots. Some are very fresh . So you have 5 more stems left for this year if plants recovers. 

    2) After examining roots on rot you can return plant back, but consider adding some spent soil inter it or mix in a bit of sand/silt if it needs drainage.

    I happened to have a variety or irises in my garden and so far only some of the Japanese irises need watering. All Siberica and Germanica grow in soil that is very high on sand particles and seems to be doing great when baked. I watered them only once this year during a bit of a hot spell earlier in May.
    Here's what soil looks like: 


    As you can see, it's really poor and dry. But that's what they need. Pretty much same conditions as lavenders like. On your photo soil looks pretty dark, which means either that area gets watered a lot or it has too much organic matter for iris specifically. 

    So moving and dividing sounds more and more reliable solution. 

    I've divided some of mine this year down to 3-4 centimeter. You may try do do few similar rhizome cuts to try different parts of your garden.

    If the soil is right, you should be getting about this much growth : 
    (these were potted around February inside on a window after being divided and put in a ground around end of March )



    If you have iris in that spot because companion plants cover it when it's out of season, may i recommend different companions? Maybe lupines. They fill up nicely and about time when irises are about to go away. 


    Hope your iris survives! 
  • BluebelltimeBluebelltime Posts: 170
    I would agree on suggestion to lift the iris and see what's going on there. Most likely it's just not draining well. Or rather, not draining to its liking. 

    1) Cut the flower stem. At this point since not a single one opens it's rather like a festering wound for iris. If it feels better later it will give you a new bloom stem. I have counted at least 6 new growth spots. Some are very fresh . So you have 5 more stems left for this year if plants recovers. 

    2) After examining roots on rot you can return plant back, but consider adding some spent soil inter it or mix in a bit of sand/silt if it needs drainage.

    I happened to have a variety or irises in my garden and so far only some of the Japanese irises need watering. All Siberica and Germanica grow in soil that is very high on sand particles and seems to be doing great when baked. I watered them only once this year during a bit of a hot spell earlier in May.
    Here's what soil looks like: 


    As you can see, it's really poor and dry. But that's what they need. Pretty much same conditions as lavenders like. On your photo soil looks pretty dark, which means either that area gets watered a lot or it has too much organic matter for iris specifically. 

    So moving and dividing sounds more and more reliable solution. 

    I've divided some of mine this year down to 3-4 centimeter. You may try do do few similar rhizome cuts to try different parts of your garden.

    If the soil is right, you should be getting about this much growth : 
    (these were potted around February inside on a window after being divided and put in a ground around end of March )



    If you have iris in that spot because companion plants cover it when it's out of season, may i recommend different companions? Maybe lupines. They fill up nicely and about time when irises are about to go away. 


    Hope your iris survives! 
    What an answer ! Master class on how to look after the iris! Thank you, really appreciate it !
  • Lena_vs_DeerLena_vs_Deer Seattle WA, USAPosts: 62
    It’s no skin off my back to step out and just take a photo haha :) I had a great help from a local lady few years ago who actually converted me to love irises! I feel responsibility to pass it along now!  Since then I’m a bit obsessed. I used to think that irises were stinky :smiley: 

    Sometimes when I hear people advice me to make soil more or less water retaining I break my head over how far should I go … it’s just easy to grab a handful of what worked and just show :D  At least that’s how I like people show me the range for drainage haha. Really hope it will help solve the bloom problem!

    I feel like all Iris problems eventually come down to moisture control. Otherwise they can take a lot of beating. I’ve even dried my rhizomes over winter when we moved. They wake up just fine in spring. A bit later than normally (since they need time to catch up and rehydrate fully), but they do wake up. And many irises online come dried too. 

    So don’t give up on this little guy :) !  
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