Far Out Flora

Douglas Iris Propagation II

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Last February in my Propagation Class at SF City College, we divided up a bunch of Douglas Iris, Iris douglasiana.  We due to some unexpected warm sunny weather, we made a couple changes over the past 8 weeks.

Raised bed of Douglas Iris we divided in order to propagate more of them.

Raised bed of Douglas Iris we divided in order to propagate more of them.

Ideally when transplanting Douglas Iris, they like cool weather, overcast days, and some moist (not soggy) soil in order to get new roots established.  However shortly after we divided and transplanted them, San Francisco received more warm sunny days than we expected which hit the plants hard.

We built a shelter to shade them for full sun.

We built a shelter to shade them for full sun.

We ended up building a screen mesh shelter to create part sun conditions.  The shelter is doing a great job now, keeping the moisture in…but these California Natives still look a little stressed and slow growing.

Detail of the Douglas Iris in the raised beds.

Detail of the Douglas Iris in the raised beds.

Above you can see some new growth, that nice bright green foliage.  We are not concerned about those dead leaves on the plants.  When you transplant, the roots will often suck the energy out of the current leaves to establish new roots.  Once the roots take hold, they will start producing more new growth… and that is what you are seeing here.

Douglas Iris in 1 gallon containers we planted at the same time.

Douglas Iris in 1 gallon containers we planted at the same time.

The day we divided the plants for the raised bed, we had dozens of extras which we put into 1 gallon containers and put them in the lath house.  Since they have been in part shade since the beginning, they have been establishing themselves at a higher rate.

Detail of the Douglas Iris in the 1 gallon containers.

Detail of the Douglas Iris in the 1 gallon containers.

Here is a detail of one of the Douglas Iris in the lath house.  In about another 4-8 weeks, we will clean up these California Natives and get them ready for the Spring Plant Sale May 6, 2010 to raise some funds for the department and scholarships.

– Matti Far Out Flora

13 Comments

  1. These are great posts. It is so hard to find info on propagating less-common plants and how to deal with problems when things go wrong.

  2. Ahhh, one of my tasks for the coming year. Thanks for the info.

  3. Hey Matti,

    What kind of tubing did you use to build the frame?

    • Hey Rene,

      I am checking with Malcolm. I know that it was a semi flexible PVC tubing. We took 20 ft lengths you can purchase, and cut them down to 10 ft.

      • Hey Rene, Malcolm confirmed. The material is 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC tubing. Urban Farmer or any box store sells it. Thanks Malcolm!

      • Great, thanks for the info Matti. I think this is what I will use to build a winter cold-frame.

        • If you need help building a cold frame, let me know. I just put one together for Malcolm, made out of wood. If you use the PVC tubing, there is a cool little cutting ratcheting tool used to make clean cuts. Plus there is a trick with the geometry to make it stable with least amt of materials.

  4. I hope you’ll let us know when the plant sale is coming up. I’d like to post the info on my blog as well.

  5. Sorry – off topic – but are those huge happy Echium in the 4th photo on the right? Are those part of the plant sale! *sigh* I wish I lived closer…

    • Wow Loree, you have a great eye. Those are Echium, and I think they may be for the sale. It is difficult to say what is all available, as I have not participated in it before…and there are a ton of plants between the lath house, and the 3 greenhouses..plus the raised beds.

    • Loree, the Echiums are freaking out everywhere right now! I’m going to have to do an “Ode to the Echium” post soon. I saw one today that was pink! They’re one of my favorites :)

      -Megan

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