Iris 2 #811867

Asked September 22, 2022, 6:31 PM EDT

I had hoped to create an iris garden, but the area I selected has clay for several inches before finding sand. Last fall, I removed about 6inches of the exposed soil and worked in gypsum and perlite into the the soil to replace the 6" of soil I had removed. This spring, I installed a French drain to eliminate the standing water. The soil is still wet. Last fall I did plant iris that I had divided. All but 2 of 15 survived the winter, but only one bloomed and the growth of leaves has been "stunted" not reaching 3". Digging up the bed this fall, each iris has had a healthy and more abundant root system than I had anticipated. I am wondering why the plants developed a good root structure, but minimal green leaves?

Douglas County Minnesota

Expert Response

We don't know why the plants failed to thrive.  However, the soil might be too wet for many iris species.   Also, iris perform best in full sun.

Iris often do not bloom the first year after planting. If the roots appeared to be healthy, it might have been best to allow another year to assess the transplants' performance.

Following is a thorough discussion of iris culture.  Although the information was prepared for Nebraska residents, most of it also applies to Minnesota.
Bob Bystrom Replied September 22, 2022, 9:21 PM EDT

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