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color determination of bearded iris

Hi, I'm new to the forum and I was just trying to find out some info about intermediate bearded irises. When I first planted them about 5 years ago there were blues, yellows, and some dark purples. Currently the only color flower we have in the garden is the dark purple. Does anyone know what determines the color of the flowers? I fertilize and lime my lawn. I know ph has an effect on my Hygrangeas, could ph also have an effect on the irises?

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Location: Oregon

Welcome to the forums! :)

According to what I have read, irises do not change color. Some flowers do change color, but the iris is not one of them. Their color is determined by their genes and chromosomes.

I have irises that have been growing in my yard for more than 30 years. I've never had one change color.

OTOH, I have had a few die out for various reasons, such as my being unable to divide them every 3 to 4 years. Iris need to be divided every 3 to 4 years, or they stop blooming and eventually die out.

It's possible that the other colors died out for one reason or another, and the dark purple variety just took over. JMO.

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Dividing Iris is very important, as an iris actually only blooms once, then it's the babies that will bloom. By dividing them you give the babies a chance to bloom and then produce more babies.

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Yeah if you only have the dark purple left, it means the other ones died out. They never were a different color and now are purple.

The different colors are different varieties and some varieties are hardier than others or some times one variety just likes your conditions better.

So to put more colors back you need to buy/ find some more of the other colored ones (do you have friends that are gardeners? people with irises soon have iris to give away!)

They do need to be divided every few years to keep blooming. I've been doing that with all mine this year and it has been a big project!

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Ozark Lady
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I just started a brand new iris bed, on Saturday, they were sent to me by a forum member.
I think they look pretty good. The chickens did dig around a little but no serious damage done to my new bed. I need to add some mulch, and it will be good to go!


I think it will look good here, and has plenty of room to spread at will, it is just off the driveway, and will show up nicely. Oops, I didn't notice those two little ones, leaning, not when I took the photo or when I uploaded it to pb. Okay, off to fix that now.

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Iris spread out in a circle from the original rhizome that was planted. If they aren't divided every 3 to 4 years, you get a ring of irises around a dead patch. Eventually, you get only leaves in a ring around an empty space, and after that, nothing more comes up. At least, that has been the sequence of events that I have observed with my own irises.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I have Irises planted by the dry mailbox area under the Honey Locust where practically nothing that needs water grows. 8) The irises are slowly moving out to the outer edges of the bed while the Wormwood is taking over the center, and one side has been claimed by Lambs Ears. Wormwood has also managed to self-seed because some has sprung up in the middle of the Lambs Ears (Stachys). So far, they're working things out for themselves. Only thing I've had to change was to dig out and rescue the Catmint which gamely came back every year, only to be overwhelmed by the Lambs Ears and grow about 6" tall x 6" wide, and cut off the Iris rhizomes that have grown over the sidewalk -- I planted them in a new grouping and they've been blooming beautifully. :lol: :wink:

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