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Reblooming Iris in Minnesota

As published in Arboretum News

The Reblooming Iris Society, a section of the American Iris Society, has classified four distinguishable patterns of behavior in reblooming iris.

  1. Rebloomers (Cyclic Rebloomers) - Two completely distinct cycles of bloom. After Spring flowering there is a second predictable bloom period.

  2. Continous or everblooming - Bloomstalks are sent up repeatedly at any time in the growing season.

  3. Repeaters (Remontant) – Additional bloomstalks on an unpredictable regularity immediately following Spring bloom. Usually extending the Spring season from four to six weeks.

  4. Occasional rebloomers – Sporadically produce bloomstalks at variable times in the growing season.

Most iris cultivars with reblooming characteristics in the southern or western sections of the United States may show no tendencies for rebloom in Minnesota. Some bearded iris, like those listed below, will usually or occasionally have cyclic rebloom characteristics. Remontant behavior is found in some Siberian Iris cultivars.

Local iris growers, members of the Iris Society of Minnesota, recently listed some cultural practices to promote reblooming or remontant characteristics in iris.
  1. Protect iris from early Fall frosts.
  2. Plant in full sun.
  3. Lightly fertilize after Spring bloom. Water enough to encourage good growth, avoid rot from over-watering.
  4. Avoid frequent division and replanting after Spring bloom. Most rebloom occurs with 2 to 3 year old clumps in bearded iris and older clumps for Siberian Iris.
Jack Worel of Holly Lane Iris Garden in Osseo, MN, tests many reblooming iris and reports success with the following:

Tall Bearded Iris

Again and Again - Innerst ‘99, yellow
Best Bet - Schreiner ‘88, two tone blue, occasionally
Buckwheat - Byers ‘89, lt. yellow, once in three years
Cayenne Capers - Gibson ‘60, red and yellow, occasionally
Champagne Elegance - Niswonger ‘87, peach and
white, usually

 


Champagne Elegance

Harvest of Memories

Corn Harvest - Wyatt ‘77, yellow, occasionally
Earl of Essex - Zurbrigg ‘80, violet and white, occasionally
Feedback - Hager ‘83, Purple and white, occasionally
Harvest of Memories - Zurbrigg ‘85, rarely
I Do - Zurbrigg ‘73, white, occasionally
Immortality - Zurbrigg ‘82, white, the most reliable rebloomer
Invitation - Schreiner ‘82, peach and white, 4 of 16 seasons
Over and Over – Innerst ’01, violet and white, 1st year, reported as reliable
Queen Dorothy - Zurbrigg ‘84 ,violet and white, usually
Total Recall - Hager ‘92, purple and white, occasionally

Triple Wammy - Hager ‘90, yellow and white with purple horns, rarely
Unbelievable Love - Grise ‘98, blue, bloomed the second year

Other bearded iris

Baby Blessed – SDB, Zurbrigg ‘79, 12” yellow, occasionally
Midsummer Night’s Dream - IB, ‘99, 20” purple
Sangreal – IB, Sass ’35, 16”, yellow, usually
Velvet Toy – MDB, 6-8” purple, usually

Siberian Iris with remontant bloom

Lavender Bounty – McEwen ‘83
Roaring Jelly – Schafer/Sacks ‘92
Ruby Ruby – Worel ‘95
Spring Brook – Warburton ‘88
Sultan’s Ruby – Hollingworth ’88
Ranman – Shidara ‘99
Where Eagles Dare – Helsley ‘93

 

Roaring Jelly
Roaring Jelly

Spring Brook
Spring Brook

A list of reblooming iris from other Iris Society of Minnesota member gardens:

Anxious - SDB, Hager ‘95
Autumn Grandeur – TB, Hager ‘92
Bonus Mama - TB, Hager ‘90
Cayene Capers – TB, Gibson ‘59
Cee Cee - TB, Innerst ‘95
Coral Charmer – TB, Brown ‘82
Ditto – MDB, Hager ‘94
Feedback – TB, Hager ‘93
Jean Guymer – TB, Zurbrigg ‘76
Latest Style – TB, Zurbrigg ‘79
Lemon Duet – TB, Smith ’78
Lo Ho Silver – IB, Byers ‘89
Magic Memories – TB, Clark/Nichols ‘89
Misty Twilight – TB, Byers ‘88
Pink Attraction – TB, Hall ‘87
Summer Holidays – TB, Zurbrigg ’79

Cee Cee
Cee Cee  

Jean Guymer
Jean Guymer

For further information on iris join the Iris Society of Minnesota and the American Iris Society.