Water iris and pickerel rush care

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! My water garden or gardens this year are going to have a water iris and pickerel rush growing out of them. My question is, how do you take care of them, and will they bloom the first year? My plan was to put them in 2 gallon pots of plain potting soil (not mix) with the tops of the pots above the water surface. I was going to fertilize monthly with two water lily tabs each. The first and last two months the water gardens are up, they will have a pop up greenhouse over them to extend the growing season, after which I will bury the pots in the ground to overwinter them. Thanks!
 
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mrsclem

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Hi Joshaeus- I have both planted in my bog. No soil, just pea gravel. They come back every year and they get frozen hard every winter. The yellow water iris can be invasive.
 

Joshaeus

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Hi Joshaeus- I have both planted in my bog. No soil, just pea gravel. They come back every year and they get frozen hard every winter. The yellow water iris can be invasive.
Thanks! Sadly the yellow water iris is considered a noxious weed in my native Maine, so it's a no go (other irises are fair game). Do you have a picture of your setup that you could show me? I want a better idea how to grow mine
 

addy1

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My iris are planted in either pea gravel or kitty litter... I have some planted in the bog, in pea gravel, some planted in black pots that plants come in from home depot/lowes filled with kitty litter.

Top arrow points to iris in the bog, lower left arrow points to pickerel in a pot in the pond in kitty litter, lower right arrow points to iris in a pot in the pond in kitty litter. .

118847
 

Joshaeus

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That definitely works...thanks! Does my fertilizing plan sound good?
 
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addy1

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That definitely works...thanks! Does my fertilizing plan sound good?
I don't fertilize mine. I only fertilize the lilies. Everything else gets fish poo as their food.
 

Joshaeus

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OK. What if the fish are going to be no larger than 3 inch long paradise fish, though?
 
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I lost my first couple of pickerel rushes over the first winter, I assume because the rhizomes froze solid. This summer I tried them a little deeper and will see what happened in a couple of months.
 

Joshaeus

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I lost my first couple of pickerel rushes over the first winter, I assume because the rhizomes froze solid. This summer I tried them a little deeper and will see what happened in a couple of months.
Very good to know...would it help to bury the pots underground instead of just in the ground?
 
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Sorry, what I wrote was confusing. Mine froze in the pond with the crowns basically at the surface of the water. I don't have any idea what would happen if they were allowed to freeze in moist soil.
 

Joshaeus

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Sorry, what I wrote was confusing. Mine froze in the pond with the crowns basically at the surface of the water. I don't have any idea what would happen if they were allowed to freeze in moist soil.
Weird...you would think a plant hardy to zone 3 could take that. How should I overwinter themm then? (And water irises, for that matter)
 
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Well, in nature, plants are allowed to find their own zone to live in. In our ponds and gardens we are forcing them into a particular habitat and if we don't pick the right one, results are not guaranteed. But I'd trust what others are telling you here. I am just one data point.
 

addy1

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I lost my first couple of pickerel rushes over the first winter, I assume because the rhizomes froze solid. This summer I tried them a little deeper and will see what happened in a couple of months.
Mine are in a pot of kitty litter, the crowns about 2 inches below water surface, they have been in solid ice a lot of times and have come back. We are not as cold for as long as zone 5 peeps
 

Joshaeus

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Hmmm...so would burying the pots under a couple inches of soil before winter hits work?
 
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Mine are in a pot of kitty litter, the crowns about 2 inches below water surface, they have been in solid ice a lot of times and have come back. We are not as cold for as long as zone 5 peeps
That gives me hope for this coming year.
 

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Agree with addy, mine are planted directly in the pond in pea gravel with a couple inches of water over the crown. Also, have them popping up from seed in between the rocks at the edge of the pond. All seem to survive being frozen, although the ones in the pond don’t freeze down to the rhizome.
 
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