For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens


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The Whole “Scoop” on Fertilizing Iris

Customers often ask us, “How and when should I fertilizer my iris?”Fertilizer_NewBag2018web2 

The short answer (continue reading for the nitty-gritty): one month before bloom season, while the tulips are blooming, apply a low-nitrogen, well-balanced fertilizer, such as Schreiner’s 6-10-10 Controlled Release Iris Food. Keep the fertilizer several inches away from the rhizomes. In late September, fertilize again. That sums it up nicely, but perhaps you would like a bit more to chew on about the “what” and “when” of feeding your Iris. Read on for a more substantial serving of info on nurturing both your soil and your Iris.

There are four main nutrients that we must maintain in the soil: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. The first three nutrients are found in most mixed fertilizers, and calcium can be purchased separately in the form of limestone. Nitrogen is necessary for new cell formation in all parts of a plant. Compared to other nutrients, nitrogen is typically the most lacking. A symptom of a shortage of nitrogen is yellow-green stunted growth. Potassium (potash) is necessary for strong roots and stems as well as deep flower color. A symptom of potash deficiency is weak stems and yellowing or browning leaf tips and edges. Phosphorus is necessary for development of roots and stems. This nutrient also stimulates fruit and seed production. A symptom of Phosphorus deficiency is red or purple discoloration of leaves.

Before applying any fertilizer to your garden, do a soil test to discover what your plants actually need. The best way to know how much, and at what proportion, to add nutrients to the soil is with a soil test. Simple soil tests can be purchased at garden supply centers. Once you determine what nutrients are lacking or are in abundance, you can amend the soil to correct most problems. Your soil test may also reveal a need to correct pH or add trace minerals, for example. Completing a soil test, and making modifications to your soil based on the results, is the preferred method to determine fertilizer amounts.

Fertilization of Iris is important to obtain best results, but must be done in moderation. The only thing Iris may resent more than underfeeding is overfeeding. Nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus are essential for Iris, but excessive nitrogen promotes lush growth that is more susceptible to rot diseases. If applied in concentrated form, do not allow the fertilizer to come in direct contact with foliage and roots, as the plant may be damaged or killed. Low-nitrogen fertilizers, such as 6-10-10, are ideal for the needs of Iris.

When to apply fertilizer to Iris:

1)   In the spring, about a month before bloom, apply a light application of fertilizer around the Iris clumps. This goes for dwarf iris, too, which bloom in March. Apply a low-Nitrogen fertilizer to your dwarf iris in mid to late February. Apply the same to your intermediate and tall bearded iris in intervals coinciding with the month before their bloom cycles.

2)  At planting, sprinkle a tablespoon of the fertilizer around the newly planted rhizome. Or, if preparing a large area for iris planting, incorporate ½ lb of a low-nitrogen fertilizer such as 6-10-10 per 50 ft2 (or 1 ½ oz per 10 ft2) to your garden bed.

3)  After your Iris bloom is another time you should fertilize them. Doing so keeps them healthy and in tiptop shape for better growth for the growing cycle later in the year. Wait a month or so after blooms have finished, or in the fall, with enough time before winter so the Iris have the proper nutrition they need going into their winter dormancy.

Here’s a little more info on the subject of fertilizing, including a short video with Ben Schreiner showing us how and when to feed your iris

Now that you’ve got the scoop on Iris nourishment, you can take the necessary action to feed your hungry Iris. Schreiner’s Gardens offers a specially formulated Iris food to help you provide balanced nutrition in the flower garden. Order now for summer and fall shipment.

Happy gardening!

Information sourced from: www.ces.ncsu.edu and https://www.growingagreenerworld.com


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By Bryce Williamson

My second stop on the 2019 tour of iris gardens in Oregon and Washington was the garden of Keith Keppel in Salem. For many years, Keith Keppel’s garden in Stockton was a must visit destination. With his retirement from the US post office, Keith made the huge move to Salem, Oregon. While he was…

via On the Road Again: The Keppel Garden — World of Irises


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By Sylvain Ruaud In Italy iris hybridizing is not a new activity. But as you are about to find out, over the years it has taken its own — very original — dimension. Everywhere else in Europe it is men who have dedicated their lives to irises, certainly with enthusiasm and passion, but also as a…

via THE ITALIAN LADIES — World of Irises


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by Jean Richter

This is an introduction to three women iris hybridizers from the 20th century who are perhaps not particularly well known, but all created iris of great beauty.Our first hybridizer is from the earliest era of the American and British Iris Societies, in the early part of the 20th century.Miss Violet Insole was a…

via Three Twentieth Century Women Iris Hybridizers — World of Irises


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International Iris Competition in Florence 2019 — World of Irises

So happy to announce that our 2016 introduction “Enraptured” captured the 3rd Confindustria of Florence Prize and Antonio Del Campana Prize for the Best Late Variety in Florence this year.

“Enraptured” (Schreiner 2016)


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Start the Season with Early Blooming Iris

Bearded Iris | Dwarf Iris

Dwarf iris can be seen blooming among the tulips, weather depending.

Easy to plant, easy to care for, easy to enjoy! That is the Iris. And such variety too! Variety of size, variety of bloom season, variety of color, variety of style. Isn’t success in life all about the choices we make? That simple maxim can apply to the realm of the flower garden too. The Iris offer such a host of choices, one is surely to find just the right color, or size, etc. Let’s talk about the breadth of bloom time, for example. The Miniature Dwarf Iris and the Standard Dwarf Iris are among the very first Iris to bloom. Weather depending, of course, they open up their diminutive blossoms (just 5 to 15 inches in height) approximately mid-March to early April (in most temperate zones), heralding the launch of another promising Iris season.

The Dwarf Bearded Iris are no less hardy than their taller, more robust cousins. Dwarf Iris, both Miniature and Standard types, propagate with strength and, once in bloom, stand up to the early spring frosts. There are several wonderful resources available which provide great detail on the origins of these hybrids. The Dwarf Iris Society is a good place to start for further links and leads on exploring the subject. Several Iris breeders today have introduced spectacular Bearded Iris cultivars in miniature.

Bearded Iris | Intermediate Iris

Intermediate Iris bloom early in the spring, often alongside tulips

As spring widens its embrace upon the land, weep not for the fading Dwarf Iris, for the Intermediate, Median, or Border Iris are opening on the garden scene! A bit taller than the tallest Dwarf, yet shorter than the shortest Tall Bearded Iris, they offer brilliant bloom to span the gap between March and May, a beautiful complement to the Cherry blossoms! The earliest blooming Tall Bearded Iris will overlap with the later-blooming Intermediate Iris, to create a seamless floral transition of color. Sprinkle in several mid-season and late-season Tall Bearded Iris around your garden, and the color show continues well into June.

A few moments spent casually mapping out the succession of Iris blooms in your garden will yield months of rainbow color from your ankles to above your hips! Dwarf, Intermediate, Tall Bearded, as well as Beardless Iris, are all planted in the summer months. Below is a simple chart, indicating approximate bloom times for Iris ranging from the Miniature Dwarf to the Tall Bearded, and including the Beardless Iris such as, Siberian and Louisiana. Bloom time is greatly dependent on weather conditions and gardening practices, however. For example, Reblooming Iris require regular extra fertilization, watering and dividing.

March

April

May

June

July/Aug/Sept/Oct

Min. Dwf. & Std. Dwf.

(5″ to 15″; 5cm to 28cm)

Intermediates & Border

(16″ to 27″; 40cm to 68cm)

Tall Bearded

(28″ to 48″;70cm to 122cm)

Tall Bearded & Beardless (such as, Siberian and Louisiana)

Reblooming Bearded Iris of all sizes

Intermediate Iris (IB) “Many Mahalos” (Aitken, 2003) blooms early, among the tulips.

If you are one who can hardly wait for the year’s Iris season to start, you have merely to plant some Dwarf Bearded Iris this summer. You will have Iris blooming with the first inkling of spring warmth. Even if you consider yourself simply a fan, a dabbler, a curious gardening newbie to the world of flowers, give the Dwarf Iris a try!

Do you grow Dwarf Iris? Share your comments below!

What to do in the Iris garden this month…..read more on our site.


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We’re trying a few new things

Last winter, during the long dark days, we pondered the spring. We asked ourselves, what could we offer to those lucky devils who live in warmer climes who were already up to their elbows in glorious warm soil by April? A few ideas took sprout, so to speak. Read on for more details.

New product #1: Potted Iris, Ready to Plant in April:

Common wisdom recommends that bearded iris be planted in the summer months, which means that they will bloom the following spring. This year we’re offering six hardy reblooming bearded iris in biodegradable pots ready for planting in April! For best results, the threat of frost must have already passed and the soil must be soft enough to work.

By getting your potted irises in the ground now, you have increased your chances of seeing bloom this year. All the irises in this collection are also classified as reblooming iris. Under the right conditions, reblooming iris have a second bloom cycle in late summer or fall.

NOTE: Recommended delivery for USDA zones 8a or higher. (AL (southern), AR (southern), AZ (southern), CA, GA, LA, MS, NC, NM (southern), SC, TX) Use the USDA zone finder map to determine your zone.

This collection ships only in the month of April. Limited to stock on hand. Offer ends April 21, 2019.

New product #2: Oriental Lilies:

We bring you exquisite Oriental lilies! We are very excited to launch this new venture with our dear friends at Oregon Flower Inc. Over the years our business partnership with the incredible family at Oregon Flowers Inc. has become a treasured friendship. Being the flower lovers that we are, we want to share with you the beautiful, award-winning Oriental lily bulbs sourced by our dear friends at Oregon Flowers. We are confident you will fall in love with their beautiful aromatic blooms season after season, just as we have.

This year we offer two collections of Oriental lilies – one with three lilies, and another with five lilies. Each collection contains two quality bulbs of each variety. Each collection ships free. Lily bulbs will ship only in April. Last day to purchase these lilies is April 14, 2019.

Plant these exquisite lilies in a sunny spot. Enjoy the colorful summertime show of sweet scented blossoms! Read more on How to Grow and Care for Oriental Lilies

NOTE: Recommended delivery for USDA zones 8a or higher. (AL (southern), AR (southern), AZ (southern), CA, GA, LA, MS, NC, NM (southern), SC, TX) Use the USDA zone finder map to determine your zone.

New product #3: Daylilies to ship in April:

Daylily | Popagano

We’ve been working hard with our daylily stock. We’re very excited this year to offer our customers in warmer areas 30 varieties, including all of Bill Maryott’s spring 2019 introductions, in April.

NOTE: Recommended delivery for USDA zones 8a or higher. (AL (southern), AR (southern), AZ (southern), CA, GA, LA, MS, NC, NM (southern), SC, TX) Use the USDA zone finder map to determine your zone.

If you’re not ready for daylilies in April, not to worry. All of our 400+ varieties of daylilies are also available for shipping June through mid-September.


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Thank you, one and all….

Schreiner's Gardens|Sunrise over Newly Planted Fields

October sunrise over newly planted Iris fields

Thank you for a wonderful season.
To all of our customers — past, present and future — we thank you. You represent our heritage and our legacy. In this season of planning and planting, we embrace the coming winter, and look to the bounty of the spring. But there’s no rushing nature.
Not even in this impatient era of “instant gratification” and “what’s in it for me” can the forces of nature be hurried. Yet, with lightning speed, we all share our joys and woes; our pleasure or displeasure with a personal experience or product purchased. We share images of our latest acquisition, mountain climbed, or newest blossom to open in the garden (the latter being our favorite always). Comments, praise, and complaints fly through the social cyber waves to our virtual doorstep. We, here at Schreiner’s Gardens, receive these messages with open arms, receptive minds and humble hearts. Social posts, emails, and letters all serve to bind us better to you, our customers. For this connection, we are grateful.
For four generations of Iris (and Daylily) farming we’ve been growing our connections — building our followers, you could say. With all of you, we share our successes, because we care about what’s in it for you.
Thank you for another great season.
Best wishes for a peaceful Autumn,
SchreinerSignatureRGB


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Creating Chromatic Contrast with Iris

BlackIris_WhiteAlliumThe idea of a monochromatic garden isn’t a new one, but it is a good one.

Bearded Iris represent the full spectrum of the rainbow. Planting a full range of colors in your garden brings brightness and variety to the scene. Some of us like the mixed up rainbow effect, others like to plant in tidy, organized blocks of color. Building upon the idea of uniform color blocks,  below we present the idea of planting an area using a monochromatic theme. Monochromatic color schemes are derived from a single base hue, then extended using its shades, tones and tints…. As a result, the energy is more subtle and peaceful due to a lack of contrast of hue.* Iris blossoms in shades and tones of a single base hue move the eyes from dark to bright and back again.

Let’s take purple as an easy example. The range of purples in the Bearded Iris family seemingly defies notation. Nevertheless, here is just a sample of Iris falling into the purple spectrum.

Varieties featured above from left to right: Badlands, Rosalie Figge, Rhinelander, Good LookingExcuse Me Darling, Christmas PresentRoyal Sterling

Here is another example of reds lightening to pinks:

Varieties featured above from left to right: Infrared, Red Hawk, Code Red, Dance The Night Away, Entice, Power Point, Rite of Passage

Keep in mind, when creating a visual spectrum in the garden, you might wish to choose Iris that bloom at the same time. The Iris pictured above were chosen only for their color for purposes of illustration. When selecting Iris for your garden design, pay particular attention to their listed bloom season. Also, keep in mind that Iris will bloom at slightly different times depending on the weather and climate in your area.

A fun idea for a chromatic extremes, or “Yin Yang”, garden might be the exclusive use of very dark and white! When these Iris are planted in proximity (12 to 18 inches apart), and with simultaneous bloom time, you are sure to enjoy the full impact of the color contrast. You’ll find these groups of white Iris in our new Moonbeams in May Iris Collection, and the dark Iris in our new After Midnight Iris Collection.

The possibilities are endless. The wonderful thing about gardening is that you can always change things up. Experiment, have fun, let your creative spirit loose!

P.S. Share images of the results of your garden design on Schreiner’s Gardens’ Facebook page.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monochromatic_color


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Iris Stories: April Melody 2 — World of Irises

By Bryce Williamson         In “Iris Stories: ‘April Melody,’” I wrote about the hard work over many years Jim Gibson put into the creating of the iris. Being so difficult to achieve a good pink plicata flower, it was much to everyone’s surprise that ‘April Melody’ proved to be a prolific parent from him, leading to the…

via Iris Stories: April Melody 2 — World of Irises