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Many of my iris have changed color

I have approximately 50 iris plants, mostly bearded, chosen for the
variety with hardly any two alike, all planted 3 years ago. I still
have about a dozen not blooming and am playing with depth, etc. Of the
remaining 3 dozen blooming, one full dozen have apparently reverted to
a base strain and I now have a dozen mostly white with purple striping
plants, another 7 are now DEEP purple, and 5 medium yellow. What
happened? I suspect I can't change them back but need to know what
happened to prevent it when I replant. I have used bone meal in my
soil.

I have contacted the state extension service but two specialists are baffled and suggested this source.
Last Updated: Sep 17, 2013  |  80 Views

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Answer

Many of these seem to have reverted to one of the parental crosses.  When this happens it is important to remove the tuber in the ground that the reversion is coming from, and hopefully, then, keep the part of the tuber of the desirable strain.  If you want to keep the reversion, just plant it separately somewhere else.  Where did you buy these from?  It seems that they haven't been in the ground very long to have lost their new, desirable traits.  You might want to get in contact with the company supplying them and let them know what has happened.  It seems like they are "unstable" cultivars, meaning they revert quickly to the original parentage. Maybe the company will replace them.  Iris tubers should be planted as follows:  In the hole put some 5-10-10 or 5-10-5 fertilizer.  Make a little mound.  Place the tuber on the mound with the roots spreading down the sides. The part of the tuber with the leaves should be pointing away from other tubers as this is the direction it will grow and it will make the irises be less crowded. When the soil is replaced in the hole the tuber should just be barely visible above the ground.  If the tuber is planted a little too deeply just pull it up until it is the correct level and pat the soil around it so there are no air holes in the soil.  Water deeply.  If the plants begin to loose vigor and have many yellowing leaves in the late spring you may have the dreaded iris borer. Contact us for the solution.  Remove all dead foliage in the summer and fall.

Answered by Aska GardenerBookmark and Share

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