Irises forum: Rhizomes shriveld up, what happened?

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Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 14, 2013 10:40 PM CST
I have no idea what wrong, but obviously something did.

So as I was cleaning up spent bloom stalks and removing the dead growth on my TB irises today, I noticed that quite a few irises had died. I don't know what happened, but even some of the irises that bloomed this year, the rhizome was shriveled up. Grumbling

They were/are planted with the top of the rhizome at the soil surface. They were soaked in 10% bleach and rinsed and let dry before planted. I mixed a small amount of bone meal into the soil before planting. Everything was looking fine, so what happened? Shrug!

It was a sad day for this garden lover, that's for sure. Sad

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I'm all ears!



Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Aug 15, 2013 3:41 AM CST
Rob, It is normal for a rhizome to die back after it has bloomed. It only blooms once, then dies back. Usually it sends out some increases first, and they will be blooming in future years. Are there other new rhizomes that are growing? My experience is that they shrivel up the next year, not the same year that they bloomed. Are these newly planted? This year? Last Year? Are they soft and mushy and smelly? Is the whole clump dead?
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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
Aug 15, 2013 7:12 AM CST
It has been a wierd year for Irises. I had several varieties that I transplanted last year that sent up a bloom stalk and bloomed, but produced no leaves and no side rhizomes. They just died. One of these are Irises that I've had for almost thirty years. I haven't dug all of them up yet, just in case there are babies there that I can't see -- but it doesn't look good, so go figure.

But Tom is right -- the rhizome that blooms this year is referred to as the *mother* -- and it will never bloom again. It's job is to produce *daughters*, small rhizomes along the sides of the mother and they are the ones that will grow and produce flowers next year, or the year after.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 15, 2013 11:12 AM CST
The ones that died produced no babies, the leaves were all dead and the rhizomes were just a dried up shriveled dead thing. I divided and replanted these last year. Sad
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
Aug 15, 2013 7:45 PM CST
I hate it when that happens................... Sad
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

caitlinsgarden
Aug 16, 2013 3:25 PM CST
Are the roots also dead? I had a situation like this last year (or was it the year before?), and decided maybe it was the mysterious disease aka "scorch". I had plants that bloomed wonderfully, but after the bloom period the leaves browned up from the middle of the fan out and the roots died, and it was bye bye. I tried to save some and planted in a different spot, but this spring they were dead.

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 17, 2013 7:01 PM CST
Everything was dead. Sad I hope it wasn't/isn't a disease.

Sorry to hear this has happened to you too Mary Anne and Caitlin.

caitlinsgarden
Aug 21, 2013 6:44 AM CST
I found the thread where I talked about my similar problem last year, but I don't know how to direct you to that thread. Do you know?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 21, 2013 6:50 AM CST
http://garden.org/forums/view/irises/ see if this works....Arlyn
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 21, 2013 6:56 AM CST
Read "brown leaf in the center of the fan"..,or, search "scorch"..Arlyn
[Last edited by crowrita1 - Aug 21, 2013 6:57 AM (+)]
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caitlinsgarden
Aug 21, 2013 8:13 AM CST
Thank you! I should say that after I discarded the inflicted plants last year, I haven't seen it in this years plants. Best guess now is that scorch is a germ transmitted by a certain kind of leafhoppers. Maybe the drought has something to do with the populations of various pests. I also lost several baptisias last year to something that ate all the leaves. Because they were in a spot I couldn't water, they never recovered.

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 21, 2013 5:02 PM CST
Thank you for your help! Thumbs up

So if one has scorch, the center (newest) leaf will be brown? The whole leaf, or just the tip? Confused

I'll try and take a picture tomorrow, because to me, it looks a lot like the 3rd picture Brad had posted in the other thread. Sad


caitlinsgarden
Aug 22, 2013 9:11 AM CST
If you see a new baby leaf in the center of the fan that is brown, maybe not even open to the air yet, I think that is scorch. Lots of leaves get brown at the tips eventually, but they don't start out brown.

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 23, 2013 4:58 PM CST
There is no brown on the center leaves, so that is a relief it's not scorch.

Thank you again caitlin. I tip my hat to you.

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