REPAIR IRISES FOR RE-FLOWERING IN LATE SUMMER – AUTUMN
One day, while walking along the dacha plots, I witnessed an amazing sight that made me stop. A beautiful apricot-pink bearded iris swayed quietly in the breeze at the back of the garden. There was only one bush, but it was so well-groomed and well-fed, as if from a photograph in a glossy magazine. What made the picture unusual was the fact that it was the end of September on the calendar.
Never I've never had a single iris try to bloom again before.. And to be completely honest, some of them didn’t even bloom every year. Most often it turned out to be either dense or empty; sometimes the whole bush was so generously strewn with flower stalks that the foliage could barely be seen behind them, and it happened that only green fans stuck out and there was not a single flower. And then I suddenly found out and even saw with my own eyes that there are irises that bloom twice a season, that is, remontant ones. Moreover, a second flowering is possible even in our climate!
I started studying this topic. It turned out that not all irises, but only some varieties, are endowed with the property of repeated flowering. This ability is denoted by the word kuidschsch (“remontant”), but you are unlikely to find it in the name of varieties. The fact is that re-blooming remontant irises is possible only under certain conditions and does not always occur, so such varieties are not usually celebrated.
THE MAIN REASON for the lack of re-blooming of iris is lack of heat. Plants lack our short summer to bloom at the end of the season. Sometimes the iris puts on buds, but they are destroyed by the first frost. The flowering times of different groups of irises vary greatly. The dwarf ones bloom first, followed by the medium-sized ones, then the tall ones come in turn. Repeat flowering will occur in the same sequence. Thus, dwarf irises have the greatest chance of showing themselves in the fall. The earlier first flowering of dwarfs allows them to ripen earlier than tall ones and have time to bloom a second time before the onset of frost.
AMONG Dwarf irises There are many remontant varieties that can be noted: Forever Violet, Forever Blue, Cry Baby, Baby Blessed, Little Showoff. The two-color dwarf variety What Again is delightful. The upper lobes of its perianth are colored lavender-blue, the lower ones are orange with brownish-red streaks, and the blue beard at the throat is bright orange. U Blueberry Tart bushy blue beard and brown lower lobes.
IN THE INTERMEDIA GROUP, which blooms after the dwarfs, dark purple flowers are remontant. Midsummer Nights Dream, golden white Blessed Again, light pink Precious Little Pink. Intermedia often blooms again English Charm. The variety received an award in Florence for its original color. It is distinguished by restrained pastel colors: the upper petals are coffee-colored, the lower petals are white with creamy beige strokes.
Some tall irises are also ABLE TO SURPRISE with repeated flowering. For example, white Autumn Circus with blue-violet thin veins and border, large white English Cottage, decorated with barely noticeable blue strokes, or snow-white, heavily corrugated Elizabeth Poldark with a bright yellow beard. They also bloom again Sugar Blues and Immortality, whose name translates as “immortality”. By the way, for the first time luck smiled on me with the last variety. This is a tall bluish-white iris, the intensity of its color changes over time. At first the buds are pale blue. When blooming, blue-violet streaks are visible on the slightly corrugated petals. Moreover, in some years the pattern is more clearly visible, which may be due to weather conditions. Later the flower fades, becoming pure white.
The remontant iris just won’t bloom in the fall. To admire a flowering plant again, it needs to be provided with favorable conditions. You need good fertile soil, watering not only in the spring, but also after the first flowering, and of course, regular fertilizing. The landing site plays an important role. Remontant irises are recommended to be grown in areas protected from northern winds by a house wall or fence and oriented to the south. Plants should receive as much heat as possible.
It is advisable to make the bed raised - this way it warms up better and moisture does not stagnate.
In recent years, I always cover the rhizomes of irises with humus for the winter. Winters are often warm now, but frost can also strike when there is still no snow cover. I wouldn’t want to lose plants because of such a vagary of weather.
In the spring, when the sun begins to warm up, I carefully rake out the humus. This must be done, otherwise mold fungi will begin to actively develop on the dead parts of the leaves and rhizomes.
BEARDED IRISES are very responsive to feeding, but remontant varieties require more nutrition. Therefore, I try to fertilize the plants 4 times per season. The first spring feeding is with nitrogen-containing fertilizer. At the beginning of budding and after the first flowering I use phosphorus-potassium fertilizer. At the end of August - beginning of September I feed the irises with potassium humate or wood ash. Since the root system of bearded irises lies close to the soil surface, it is advisable to fertilize with small doses of fertilizers, but several times. During dry summers, watering is required - abundant and infrequent, so that the rhizomes have time to dry out.
AFTER THE FIRST FLOWERING, it is important to immediately cut off the flower stalks so that the plant does not waste energy on producing seeds. I have read that some flower growers try to prevent early flowering of remontant varieties altogether - they cut off the buds that appear, but I simply cannot raise my hand to do this.
It is advisable to divide remontant varieties frequently. Sometimes it is the division of the bush after the first flowering that stimulates the reappearance of flowers. But even if bearded irises only bloom once, they are still worth growing.
Reference by topic: Features of the cultivation of repair irises
IRISES THAT BLOOM TWICE - VIDEO
© Author: A. PASHKOVA Vladimir region
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