Friday, August 6, 2010

What's Wrong With My Iris??

I have a patch of iris that have grown well for the past several years in the ever increasing shade from a huge Heritage river birch. Every spring I look forward to their light blue and creamy yellow flowers. Last fall I covered them in compost, thinking that would help make up for the vast amounts of nutrients being siphoned from the soil by the river birch. They repaid me by sending up one meager bloom before collapsing into a leafy heap. I was also under the delusion that the iris held such names as "Cesare's Brother" and "Cream and Eggs", but it seems that I'm wrong about that, too!!

What is wrong with them?? Do I need to divide them? Are they feeling insecure being so close to a huge river birch? Do I need to explain that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes?? 

Iris with hostas and river birch - Spring 2009

"Who Am I?" Siberian Iris spring 2009

Iris bed of misery and shame - summer 2010

Ugh!! Utter iris despair! What's a gardener to do??


  1. I think this time of year everything is feeling a bit under the weather and floppy so maybe it is just normal but with only one bloom maybe something more. If you haven't divided them in several years I think that is what I'd do. Check for borers when you do but I haven't seen the Siberian irises get them like the bearded ones. An ugly mess for sure. Good luck.

  2. I thought dividing them might be the solution, too. They've looked bad since the end of last summer. I've never divided them, so I'll give that a try!! Thanks for the input!!


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