Walking iris not growing

jennieboyer(8)February 7, 2013


I was given a dozen or so walking iris plants a few years back, and they are not really doing much. They have not bloomed since I planted them. They are mostly still green, but a few are starting to show yellowing in the leaves. They are planted in a raised bed that surrounds two oak trees. I can't seem to locate a lot of information related to what might be wrong with the growing conditions or how I can help them flourish. Any help appreciated. Thanks!


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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

This one is way out of my range, after googleing it, it appears it likes very moist soil, might it be to dry there?

Here is a link that might be useful: U of FL

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 8:39PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

im winging it here.. never heard of this ...

is it a true iris??? there is an iris forum.. with a couple experts i have never seen here .. might want to try them ...

yellowing leaves cold be a lack of proper water ...

but when flowering plants favor all green.. i tend to think of lack of proper sun ... how many and what hours of sunlight do they get ...

when i am in this position.. and have multiples ... i would spread them around the yard.. and see if other spots might work better ...

besides.. digging up one of them.. will give you knowledge of what is going on underground.. its hard to interpret root issues.. w/out looking


    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:35AM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Hi Jennie, around here we have walking iris, Neomarica gracilis, aka "Apostle plant" b/c supposedly a new one will not bloom until it has at least 12 leaves, 12 for the 12 apostles! See links below.

Mine is thriving but not blooming like it used to when we had normal weather. Very odd weather here in recent years. Pretty, evergreen plant when not in bloom, good and tough. The ancestor of mine is a Hurricane Katrina survivor from my relative's yard on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The bridge nearby was knocked out but the plants survived.

It likes the warm z9 Mississippi Gulf Coast but needs a sheltered location in my colder z8b. One of mine stays evergreen and goes through the winter close to the house. The babies used to die further out so I have the extras inside for the winter in a pot; people seem to grow it inside in a cold climate judging from the pics on the internet. Thanks for reminding me, I should start hardening off the pot today!

2 ways to propagate - divide the new "fans" it produces or let it "walk." Called "walking iris" because if you leave the flower on the ground it will root there and you can cut it off for a new plant. As the flower fades I dig a little hole & weight the flower down with rocks to help it root. Of course I realize that you don't have flowers.

Flowers take a long time to form and you can see the different looking stalk in my pics that produces a flower at its end. Good morning sun would be good if available. It is a plant for partial shade that is often used in a patio.

Mine used to bloom in early May but hasn't since I put up a canopy to shade my patio from the intense summer sun of the current wave of abnormally hot summers. I cannot get it right - it burns in too much sun, not blooming in too little sun. Seems to like it not soggy but not really dry, maybe slightly damper than a wax begonia. Yellow leaves might be too much water.

Blooms look like orchids but only last 1 short day like a daylily or a Mexican petunia. Do you know what color you have? I have the purple that is the most common. I have also seen the blue, beautiful medium neon blue. The yellow has a slightly different Latin name. You make me feel better that I don't have blooms either - but I still really like the plant! See 2 links below and google "Neomarica gracilis."

My 2 pics, click "Next" for 2nd one

Shoot, I should try to make some money:
Onalee is selling for $10 a plant

This post was edited by river_crossroads on Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 11:05

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:41AM
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Thanks all - I think it is entirely possible that they are too dry. Will try more water and see how that does.

How about fertilizer? Think I should give them some? What ratios? Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:49PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Sorry, Jennie, I don't know much about soil and nutrients. I'll copy below what I found and ask the experts to help you with it.

Website says Neomarica comes from Mexico, Central & South America, particularly Brazil.

"They come from regions where the soils are extremely well drained (they can also be found in a thick layer of forest debris). Such soils are red, acid, high in iron and aluminum and notoriously low in 'normal' nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, etc."

Quote above from the general section at the top of the page below. Then arrow down to "Neomarica gracilis." You are very welcome!

Neomarica info at Pacific Bulb Society

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:26PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i tend to never fert a stressed plant ...

its already having enough trouble.. w/o you somehow burning its roots ...

if you have a decent soil.. fert is usually never a 'cure' ...

a little of this or that usually doenst hurt.. but solve your problem first..


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Campanula UK Z8

yeah, I agree regarding fertilisers....but water can sometimes work wonders.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:11AM
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