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Iris Unguicularis: How to grow successfully? Please can anyone advise? Is it too large a plant to be grown in a pot? I understand it likes well drained conditions, and sun. What kind of nutrient level suits it best? And what kind of growing medium would be most ideal? Are there different varieties of it? And what is its flowering duration? A healthy and well designed garden depends on research doesn't it.



there are different varieties 'alba' is white, the subspecies cretensis is a dwarf variant and there are others. most are frost hardy. they are vigorous rhizomatous and beardless. according to my book beardless ones dont mind being buried though this one prefers to be on the surface and is evergreen.

20 Nov, 2009


It needs the sunniest spot you can give it and a starvation diet in a well-drained growing medium - if you feed it, all you will get is leaves and no flowers. It flowers in mild spells in winter and early spring

20 Nov, 2009


We grow it hard up against the south facing wall of the house and ignore it. The friend in the village who gave us our first piece lives in a significant frost pocket.

20 Nov, 2009


I like the sound of the dwarf form 'Cretensis'. I hadn't known there was one. Perhaps that would be the more suitable for pot culture, as I'm short of open ground. I had an Unguicularis a few years ago, which never flowered. Now I know what my mistake was,- I fed it. Would you happen to know Seaburngirl where I might obtain Cretensis?

20 Nov, 2009


sorry i dont jonathanhales. try putting it in google and see what comes up.

20 Nov, 2009


Or go to and use Plant Finder

20 Nov, 2009


I have managed to find a dwarf form of it in the Broadleigh Gardens catalogue. I will have to wait until the spring to be able to order it.

21 Nov, 2009


I looked at this qu because after six years of healthy growth in my sunniest spot, mine has never flowered.....I guess the soil must be too rich. It's coming out!

3 Mar, 2013


Karen - give it the sunniest spot in the poorest soil you've got. It may take a year or two to settle down, but it should flower for you then. It definitely needs a starvation diet

3 Mar, 2013


Thanks Andrew. It's a pity that all my poor soil is in shady areas! I think I'll donate it to Glamis with the Helleborus argutifolius!

3 Mar, 2013

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