New free plants!

The other day when my gardening friend Michael invited me over to see his bamboo, he had an ulterior motive: he wanted to give me some plants.

His strategy was to show me around the garden and when we got to the plants that he wanted me to take, he really talked them up, lamenting how many of them just don't get enough sun in his garden to impress. Then we turned the corner and he said "I hope you'll take a few of these home" as we looked upon a row of already-dug divisions. Smooth, Mike, very smooth.


The plant in question is Iris pseudacorus, or "Yellow flag". Mike likes it because it can get 5' (2m) tall or so with the right conditions.

The plant is quite vigorous though, spreading through rhizomes:

Since like me Mike doesn't like to throw away plants and regularly divides these to control the size of the clump, he had divisions in many different places in his garden. Some did well, some did not. Mike gave me lots of the ones that weren't doing well, but also a few that were so I would have some that looked attractive this year.

The plant on the left didn't get enough sun, while the plant on the right did:

Since I wasn't prepared to put a half-dozen or more new plant divisions into the ground, I opted to pot most of them up. I'll put the best ones in the large hole-less containers I use for water plants:

I put some of the smaller divisions into regular nursery pots, and even planted one division after I got tired of potting.

The floppy ones got their leaves trimmed both for looks and to conserve moisture loss.

I hope I have a spot where these can reach their potential, but with several divisions I should be able to find one. Maybe it's a common plant, but those big, upright, strappy leaves will look great in my garden.

Thanks Mike!


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Gardener on Sherlock Street  – (May 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM)  

Great idea on using the pots for the plants right away. Gotta love gardening friends!

Christina  – (May 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM)  

Gardeners rarely refuse a homeless plsnt! You can always pass along to someone else the ones you don't need or want. The best thing is these palnts will always remind you or your friend.

Wicked Gardener  – (May 20, 2012 at 3:33 PM)  

I'd love friends with such hidden agendas!

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (May 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM)  

Alan, I love these Irises in or near a water feature or pond. I have a friend who has a mass planting of these on the banks of his pond and they look stunning. Maybe you have some space near yours?

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