Pacific coast irises: Look now, buy later

Last spring I wrote about how the March release by nurseries of Pacific coast irises ¬†tempted many — myself included — to plant the flowers in April. I put up this post-script because, having done it in 2011 after a wet winter leading into what proved a cool summer, I still saw mortality rates of 15%. Anyone trying it this April would be starting after a dry winter going into what looks like it’s going to be a hot summer. Here’s the problem: If you are watering newly planted irises as they become dormant in May and June, and given the only partially charged soil, you probably will be, it’s a perfect recipe for root rot and death. At $5 a plant, or more, there are much less dispiriting ways to waste money. So in these dewy days following our long-awaited rain, my advice is to inspect established Pacific coast