Irises forum: Moving Tall Bearded Iris

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Feb 17, 2013 4:34 PM CST
Hello! I'm hoping someone here can help. I'm moving out of state in the next month or two. I have a lot of tall bearded iris that I want to take with me. Right now, most are covered in snow, but I can get to some of them. I still haven't checked to see if the ground is frozen, but it's in a raised bed against the house, so I may be able to dig in there.

I've transplanted lots of iris before, but I've never left them out of the ground for any length of time. How long is it okay to leave them out of the ground, and is there anything special that I should do after I dig them up? I've bought them bare root before, and they were really dry, but I'm not sure how long they'll last out of the ground. I don't have room in the moving van to pot them up before moving them, so I'm hoping to get them dug and left out of the ground for a while. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated!
Natalie
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Feb 17, 2013 5:43 PM CST
Iris are pretty tough. What will the weather be like where you are going? No harm in trying to move them so dig if possible and put in some boxes. Depending on the weather where you are going spread them out in an area where they won't freeze and the soil will dry out some and then plant out or pot up when possible. May set them back a year but all it costs to try is a little work. Good luck.......
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Feb 17, 2013 5:52 PM CST
Thanks Paul, No idea what the weather is going to be like when I actually move, but it's 6 hours or so north of Boise, and it should be warmer than here. At least it's been warmer there when I was up there the last couple of times. It's also 3,000 feet lower in elevation, and any snow we get will melt fast since our property there is South facing.

So, how long do you think they will be okay out of the ground? I'm worried about digging them too early, but with all the snow I have, I need to do what I can, when I can. Also, do I need to do anything special to them after they are dug? They all have a little bit of foliage from what I can see. Do I trim that back all the way? Part of the way? Just leave it? Can you tell that I don't know what I'm doing? Rolling on the floor laughing
Natalie
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
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Shannon
Feb 17, 2013 6:16 PM CST
Natalie Mine have been in boxes for 6 wks or more now and look Great Thumbs up I checked on them just yesterday
I boxed them up with peat they were cleaned and trimmed them placed in the boxes and covered with peat and the boxes have
vent holes in the sides and top of the boxes.

Before when I moved to Va I had forgot about a bunch of iris for almost 8 months and they were OK .. I also have my glads,dalhias,
calla lilies and a bunch more lilies packed this way . And they all look Great. I am keeping them in the basement. You don't want
them to freeze Thumbs down

Hope this helps
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Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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Muddymitts
Feb 17, 2013 6:19 PM CST
If they were mine: I'd trim back all foliage to about a six-inch fan. Any rhizomes with less than that, leave alone.

You can either dig them up with dirt and leave them intact and replant that way, or you can wash all the soil off the roots and then let them dry, as Paul said, in an area where they won't freeze. Then replant just like any bare-root Iris.

When I moved from the Chicago area to Kentucky, I didn't get my Irises replanted for at least a month -- and they were all fine. Some didn't bloom the next Spring, but I didn't care -- I just wanted my Irises. Didn't lose even one.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Feb 17, 2013 11:46 PM CST
Thanks you two! You've given me the nerve to dig away and not worry about it! Now I'm just hoping that I can get a shovel in the ground. It's been so dang frozen here that it's not funny! I just need to really get a head start on things because I've got a lot of daylilies to dig up too, but they are still under a lot of snow. At least I can see some of the iris - today anyway!

Shannon, thanks for suggesting peat and boxes with vents. I probably wouldn't have thought to do that, but it's a great idea! I have plenty of room in the basement to store them until we move, so no worries on them freezing.
Natalie
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Feb 25, 2013 10:27 PM CST
I need to vent. The minute it warms up around here, the snow starts melting off the roof, and I can't dig up the iris! It's too wet and muddy! Next thing I know, they are covered in snow again! This is driving me crazy!

Okay. I'm all better now! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Natalie
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Feb 26, 2013 7:55 AM CST
You can still dig them up. Have a hose handy and hose the mud off the roots. It'll make more mud -- but so what? I'd be in the same position if I had to move my Irises this time of year.......... Shrug!

Wear boots!! nodding
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
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Paul2032
Feb 26, 2013 8:48 AM CST
I live 50 miles south of Natalie........digging iris in my garden now would be impossible. To much snow and frozen ground.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
Feb 26, 2013 10:00 AM CST
Yup, kinda early, Natalie, but yell here all you want.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Feb 26, 2013 11:23 AM CST
Paul, luckily the ones that I need to dig now are in the raised bed next to the house. It's a little thawed out compared to everything else, which is frozen solid. The snow melting off the house just pours on my head, and into the bed, and it's a muddy mess!

Mary Ann, I'd get out a hose, but that is out of the question. I'd have to turn the outside water back on, which is pretty much impossible this time of year, since it would put water into the entire sprinkling system. It's still in the teens here at night, and not always above freezing during the day. Then there is the issue of the water not draining into the ground because it's frozen. I'd need ice cleats, not just boots!

I've got a yard full of daylilies to dig too, but don't need to get them dug until closer to the end of March. I'm hoping for a warm spell!
Natalie
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Feb 26, 2013 11:51 AM CST
Ah! Well -- in that case -- just go ahead and vent all you need to -- and I'll petition the weather faeries to send you that warm spell! nodding
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Feb 26, 2013 12:41 PM CST
Natalie can you go back and get your plants that you want to keep? Make it part of the sale of your house that you can take the plants that you want until sometime this spring. The people that used to live next door to us made it a condition of their sale. You could leave some of each plant if the buyers want them a lot of people don't want plants and get rid of them anyway.
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Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
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irisloverdee
Feb 26, 2013 1:16 PM CST

Moderator







when we moved from Ca there were a few plants that I knew would grow here, so left them and the following spring went and got them, as we did not do it as part of the sale because there were not many that would survive here

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak <url>http://snowpeakiris.com</http>

Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Feb 26, 2013 10:25 PM CST
Yes, I can put that in for the sale of the house, but I don't want to have to come back here to get them. It's a 13 hour drive one way. It's not that I can't live without them, but I just don't want to live without them! Our house isn't on the market yet, but we're closing on the new house in a couple of days, so I just wanted to move some of them now. I'll just do what I can as the weather permits. All of my neighbors have joked that the minute we pull out of the driveway, they are raiding the flower beds! Rolling on the floor laughing So, I wouldn't have any left to dig up if I did come back. Instead, I'd be having to do a midnight raid myself! Actually, that sounds more fun than digging them up out of my own yard.

Mary Ann, I'll take those fairies that you mentioned!
Natalie
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
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Shannon
Feb 27, 2013 8:56 AM CST
Natalie..I have thought about the MidNight raid also Whistling I had to leave a bunch behind Sad My neighbor's
husband made a crate for my weeping tree rose "BoB" after we left . So at least I have that rose It ment alot to me
and thanks to them it will be in RI this spring.

I told her when we left to go and raid the garden . So hopefully alot of my plants are in Her garden now
Thumbs up

Take all you can Hurray! I can just see your neighbors...." OK they are Gone...Get your shovels " Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Feb 27, 2013 9:53 AM CST
Shannon, I'm so glad that you got to move BoB! I love every one of my plants, and I don't plan on budging until the daylilies are out of the ground, but if the rest were raided and moved to the neighbors, I think that would mean a lot to me too. They all love the plants as much as I do, and it would make me feel good, knowing that they were being taken care of. Having an overly landscaped yard can go against you when trying to sell, so if some of the plants are gone, it would probably help!

In the meantime, I'm still keeping an eye on the neighbors! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Natalie
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
The House on the Hill Gardens
Roses Butterflies Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Peonies
Sedums Hostas Cottage Gardener Echinacea Clematis Irises
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Shannon
Feb 27, 2013 10:17 AM CST
Yea non plant people just Don't understand Whistling I was saving WalMart bags for months Rolling on the floor laughing BTW I have
found that a pitch fork is a "Great" motavator for bushes Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing

I'd keep a close watch on the neighbors Glare
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Feb 27, 2013 9:24 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

I warned the neighbors today that I'm watching them, and they won't get away with anything while I'm here! My only problem is that I have to start moving before too long, and my friends are sneaky!
Natalie
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Feb 27, 2013 10:20 PM CST
Confused

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