Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, March 2008
Iris rosenbachiana - by Billy Moore
This lovely Juno iris, photographed on 14 February 2008, comes from the Pamir-Alai range in Central Asia. 
 I grow it in the alpine house in a compost consisting of 30% JI 3 and 70% sandy grit with a little bonemeal added. 
As with most Junos it resents excessive moisture on the foliage, so, when repotting it, which I do annually, I fill the pot up to about a third with the compost. I then place suitably sized cardboard cylinders (made with light card and Sellotape) on top of the compost and I drop the bulbs into the cylinders which are filled with grit up to about 2 cm from the rim of the pot. Compost is trickled around the cylinders and gently firmed after which they are carefully removed, leaving the bulbs snug and dry in a column of grit. The pot is then topped off with grit and given its first watering in November. This regime was recommended to me by Erich Pasche who is a very successful grower of Juno irises. I have had the plant now for four years and it seems to be thriving