Aggressive Lousiana Water Iris


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My Black Gamecock iris is lovely, but after two years, I'm getting the idea that I need something less 'assertive' in my 20 gal. bog filter. OR do I just need to accept that I have to hack (with a hand maul!) half or more of it out every spring to keep it from growing so much vigorous root system that it swells the pea gravel and causes an overflow? (Oops - I didn't divide it this spring, since it looked manageable, and then had to attack it yesterday to keep the filter flowing...) What bog plants wouldn't be so hearty but still provide good filtration? We're in zone 5a. In my next pond I'll use a bigger container for the filter, but with only a little pond, thought this was an adequate size - also, I suspect that the iris will spread to fill ANY container. Thanks for any info/advice!
 

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The are lovely, aren't they? I finally gave up on iris in my bog... we had too many full on battles. I think irises are the most aggressive and most difficult to deal with when they get out of control - although you can say the same about many of the reeds and sedges. Choose things that don't root quite so deeply and you'll be much happier. Right now I have lots of watercress growing in my bog and it's doing a great job. I've also been planting canna lilies in my bog the last few years and love them - they get nice and big, have pretty flowers and are still easy to yank out in the fall.
 
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Thanks, Lisak1! Part of my problem is not knowing what plants don't root as deeply; I also would like something that will overwinter. I'll check out your suggestions.
 

addy1

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Here is a list I made years ago

Wetland or bog filters are best constructed in an up flow design which reduces clogging and facilitates easy cleaning. Bio-Mass is key ~ A pound of bog is required to prevent a pound of algae. Plants should be selected that actively grow at different times, that root to different depths and that have different plant structures.

Excellent Plants for the Bog may include:

Arrowhead Sagitaria (zone 4-6) Summer Bloomer. Bulbing root system stores(nitrogen, potassium & phosphorous)

Canna (zone 8-10) Summer Bloomer. A bog’s best friend. This plant is a biomass factory and has amazing beauty and structure. A heavy feeder on (nitrogen, potassium & phosphorous) from April through September.

Cattails (zone 3-5) Summer Bloomer. are vigorous growers and have deep roots.

Creeping Jenny (zone 5) Spring Bloomer.

Daylily - Spring through Summer Bloomer. Surprisingly, water is the best fertilizer for daylilies. They are an excellent nutrient feeder and grow well in the shallow areas of a bog garden. Daylily come in a variety of colors and blooming times for a long lasting color in your garden.

Eyed Grass (Yellow & Blue) (zones 5-7) Spring Bloomer.

Iris - (zones 4-6) Summer Bloomers.
Common water iris. (Louisiana Iris) Great variety in colors and styles. Plant habit is spreading and untidy appearance.
Japanese variegated water iris is a strong grower late spring through fall. Iris are good at removing both nitrogen and phosphorous.
Siberian Iris are preferred for their strong, clumping habit. Most growth spring and summer but use potassium and phosphorous in summer and fall for energy storage for next year’s bloom.

Kaffir Lily (zone 7) Fall Bloomer. A bulbing lily with watermelon red flowers. Grows in cooler temps of spring and fall. Small top growth controlled.

Lobelia Cardinalis (zones 5-7) Fall Bloomer. Beautiful late summer bloom. Nice color diversity. Heavy potassium user.

Marsh Marigold (zones 2-4) Spring Bloomer. A fast growing cool temperature plant. Begins growing very early in spring producing flowers by early March and continues through April, often re-blooms in the fall when weather cools. Medium root depth and actively feeds when most plants are dormant.

Pickerel Rush (zone 3-6) Summer Bloomer. Strong summer growth and bloom. A spreading habit with a shallow root system. A strong feeder on the total nutrient system. Blue Pickerel Rush is very hardy in our area, with a long bloom season.

Rain Lily (zone 6) Fall Bloomer. Late summer and fall grower. This bulb plant has a small controlled top growth but a dense vigorous root system with storage bulbs. Strong user of phosphorous and potassium.

Rush - Variegated Striped Rush (zone 5-6) Summer Bloomer. Evergreen and continues to grow almost year-round strongest growth in summer. Roots are shallow and need oxygen. Open habit allows for under story growth.but has a large vigorous root system feeding its bulbs. Very

Slough Sedge (zone 4) Very prolific, yet clumping. Grows to 5’ high in bogs. Deep rooting habit. Bio-mass. Strong user of potassium, sulfur, calcium and sodium. Somewhat salt resistant.

Society Garlic (zone 7) Summer Bloomer. Strong summer growth. Love phosphorous.

Star Grass (zone 7) Summer Bloomer. Very controlled, medium root depth, summer fall growth. Grasses are strong feeders of potassium and sulfur.

Thalia (zone 6) Summer Bloomer. Very deep rooted. Open stem structure allows for very diverse under story growth. Summer blooming. Large storage roots.

Water Forget-Me-Not (zone 3) Spring Bloomer. Vigorous low grower. Shallow rooted. Easily pruned. Blooms from March through October.

Yellow Monkey Flower (zone 6) Spring Bloomer. Early spring growth and bloom. Deep root system.
 

JBtheExplorer

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What bog plants wouldn't be so hearty but still provide good filtration? We're in zone 5a.
I grow Great Blue Lobelia and Cardinal Flower in my bog. They grow really nice root systems, but don't "lock" themselves into the gravel the way irises do. They essentially regrow as young plants each year from the base of the plant, and slowly form slightly larger clumps, which makes it really easy to divide or move if needed. I usually don't even use a shovel to divide them, I just pull by hand and they come right out. They also attract hummingbirds. Be sure to plant them above the water level if you add them. They're really nice mid-summer bloomers that have tons of color. They can be planted in the ground, too, especially Great Blue Lobelia.

IMG_0407 copy.jpg

IMG_9457 copy.jpg
 
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I grow Great Blue Lobelia and Cardinal Flower in my bog. They grow really nice root systems, but don't "lock" themselves into the gravel the way irises do. They essentially regrow as young plants each year from the base of the plant, and slowly form slightly larger clumps, which makes it really easy to divide or move if needed. I usually don't even use a shovel to divide them, I just pull by hand and they come right out. They also attract hummingbirds. Be sure to plant them above the water level if you add them. They're really nice mid-summer bloomers that have tons of color. They can be planted in the ground, too, especially Great Blue Lobelia.

View attachment 131366
View attachment 131367
Those look like great suggestions! Lovely!
 
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I grow Great Blue Lobelia and Cardinal Flower in my bog. They grow really nice root systems, but don't "lock" themselves into the gravel the way irises do. They essentially regrow as young plants each year from the base of the plant, and slowly form slightly larger clumps, which makes it really easy to divide or move if needed. I usually don't even use a shovel to divide them, I just pull by hand and they come right out. They also attract hummingbirds. Be sure to plant them above the water level if you add them. They're really nice mid-summer bloomers that have tons of color. They can be planted in the ground, too, especially Great Blue Lobelia.

View attachment 131366
View attachment 131367
Your pond, native gardens, and photography are all stunning!
 
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Here is a list I made years ago

Wetland or bog filters are best constructed in an up flow design which reduces clogging and facilitates easy cleaning. Bio-Mass is key ~ A pound of bog is required to prevent a pound of algae. Plants should be selected that actively grow at different times, that root to different depths and that have different plant structures.

Excellent Plants for the Bog may include:

Arrowhead Sagitaria (zone 4-6) Summer Bloomer. Bulbing root system stores(nitrogen, potassium & phosphorous)

Canna (zone 8-10) Summer Bloomer. A bog’s best friend. This plant is a biomass factory and has amazing beauty and structure. A heavy feeder on (nitrogen, potassium & phosphorous) from April through September.

Cattails (zone 3-5) Summer Bloomer. are vigorous growers and have deep roots.

Creeping Jenny (zone 5) Spring Bloomer.

Daylily - Spring through Summer Bloomer. Surprisingly, water is the best fertilizer for daylilies. They are an excellent nutrient feeder and grow well in the shallow areas of a bog garden. Daylily come in a variety of colors and blooming times for a long lasting color in your garden.

Eyed Grass (Yellow & Blue) (zones 5-7) Spring Bloomer.

Iris - (zones 4-6) Summer Bloomers.
Common water iris. (Louisiana Iris) Great variety in colors and styles. Plant habit is spreading and untidy appearance.
Japanese variegated water iris is a strong grower late spring through fall. Iris are good at removing both nitrogen and phosphorous.
Siberian Iris are preferred for their strong, clumping habit. Most growth spring and summer but use potassium and phosphorous in summer and fall for energy storage for next year’s bloom.

Kaffir Lily (zone 7) Fall Bloomer. A bulbing lily with watermelon red flowers. Grows in cooler temps of spring and fall. Small top growth controlled.

Lobelia Cardinalis (zones 5-7) Fall Bloomer. Beautiful late summer bloom. Nice color diversity. Heavy potassium user.

Marsh Marigold (zones 2-4) Spring Bloomer. A fast growing cool temperature plant. Begins growing very early in spring producing flowers by early March and continues through April, often re-blooms in the fall when weather cools. Medium root depth and actively feeds when most plants are dormant.

Pickerel Rush (zone 3-6) Summer Bloomer. Strong summer growth and bloom. A spreading habit with a shallow root system. A strong feeder on the total nutrient system. Blue Pickerel Rush is very hardy in our area, with a long bloom season.

Rain Lily (zone 6) Fall Bloomer. Late summer and fall grower. This bulb plant has a small controlled top growth but a dense vigorous root system with storage bulbs. Strong user of phosphorous and potassium.

Rush - Variegated Striped Rush (zone 5-6) Summer Bloomer. Evergreen and continues to grow almost year-round strongest growth in summer. Roots are shallow and need oxygen. Open habit allows for under story growth.but has a large vigorous root system feeding its bulbs. Very

Slough Sedge (zone 4) Very prolific, yet clumping. Grows to 5’ high in bogs. Deep rooting habit. Bio-mass. Strong user of potassium, sulfur, calcium and sodium. Somewhat salt resistant.

Society Garlic (zone 7) Summer Bloomer. Strong summer growth. Love phosphorous.

Star Grass (zone 7) Summer Bloomer. Very controlled, medium root depth, summer fall growth. Grasses are strong feeders of potassium and sulfur.

Thalia (zone 6) Summer Bloomer. Very deep rooted. Open stem structure allows for very diverse under story growth. Summer blooming. Large storage roots.

Water Forget-Me-Not (zone 3) Spring Bloomer. Vigorous low grower. Shallow rooted. Easily pruned. Blooms from March through October.

Yellow Monkey Flower (zone 6) Spring Bloomer. Early spring growth and bloom. Deep root system.
Thanks! What a great list to have; I love that it has details about root systems. With such a small bog, I'm trying to choose carefully this time.
 

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