After one of the worst winters ever recorded spring has alternated between cold and wet, hot and dry, returning to cold wet conditions. Temperatures moderated to seasonal fluctuations with sporadic heavy rains. After dry conditions in fall and wacky weather conditions this spring many mature clumps of Siberian iris are showing distress. Short stature, bloom within foliage, sometimes near ground level, these are two symptoms of concern.
|Rock garden siberian iris|
Some Siberian Iris have attractive basal coloring but in my estimation the base is a weak focal point. A wet meadow companion could cover the base. Molinia caerulea ‘variegata’ can mask the base and would also provide variation in foliage, and expand the season of interest. Molinias are native companions to Siberian species. When the sibs are blooming this Molinia forms a low clump. As the bloom season ends Molinias create tall racemes which reach to the sky providing a tall contrast.
Another native perennial companion are Trollius which thrive in the same meadow conditions of Europe and
Asia. I prefer the asian species which show honey petals versus the globe flower of European species and hybrids. The orange or yellow flowers, palmate foliage on a two foot plant are wonderful contrast in color and form. Trollius ledebourii, asiaticus, ircuticus, riederianus and kytmanov can create fields of color with Siberian iris interspersed or as accents in fields of iris.
I encourage my readers to please comment on this article. What companions do you use with your Siberian Iris? I would also love to hear of your experience with Trollius. Please include photos and I will make comments and photos into an edited posting.