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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - June 12, 2014

From: Newport, RI
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Reblooming Potted Iris
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a pot of iris bulbs that are giving me just a bunch of leaves this year. Last year I had wonderful big blooms. Any suggestions about what I could do to get some flowers?

ANSWER:

Reblooming potted bulbs, whether they are iris, lilies, daffodils, amaryllis or tulips takes time and patience. Since the plants give almost all their energy to grow and bloom the first time, it could take several years of leafy, vegetative growth before the bulbs are of a size that they will bloom again. So all you can do is have patience and give your potted iris ample sun, water and fertilizer while it is actively growing so that it builds up stored energy reserves. When the leaves start to turn yellow and dry up just set the pot on its side so that the soil dries out a bit.

Additional information is available from the Planttalk Colorado website in the "Saving Forced Bulbs" article.

 

From the Image Gallery


Dwarf crested iris
Iris cristata

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