Irises forum: Iris bed clean up continues...

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caitlinsgarden
Sep 22, 2013 10:29 AM CST
Kinda late, I know, but I am separating some huge clumps that I didn't get to before. They are mostly ones I have coming out of my ears, so no big loss, right? One plant that i noticed has an interesting feature; It grows a "neck" for each new rhizome that lifts it up and away from the crowded rhizomes growing underneath it. Not sure what it is, but it is planted in a special place so I can ID it next year. These clumps are the thriver/survivors I have had for years, and it looks like most patches of rot that I noticed earlier have calloused over rather than spread. I suppose some irises are much hardier than others. Which ones do you grow that seem to survive no matter what?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Sep 22, 2013 2:39 PM CST
I have a few cultivars that grow with that "neck" thing you're speaking of, Caitlin.I think all of them try to do it to a certain degree, especially if they are planted a little on the "deep" side. As far as those "bulletproof" iris, I have a NOID "pink"( more orchid, really), that I THINK may be Pink Satin, that's one tough iris! It's survived about everything, ansstill carries on! Wabash is another of the ones that is seemingly indestructible....Arlyn
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
Sep 22, 2013 7:05 PM CST
Where are you located, Caitlin? I'm in western Kentucky -- and I've planted Irises as late as mid-November and they were just fine.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

caitlinsgarden
Oct 15, 2013 9:57 AM CST
I'm in NE Iowa, and we are one zone or more northerly than you. I have everything in the ground mostly, except for a few. Might as well stick those in the ground too,and put a brick on them as someone suggested, rather than just abandon them. It will be a test! And I have a few dug clumps that I planned to get rid of that are still hanging out at the edge of some bushes. Think they will be a test of hardiness too!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
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irisarian
Oct 15, 2013 11:56 AM CST
I use a rock on top (yea New England) but a brick should work fine until spring. there was no problem.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 15, 2013 1:06 PM CST
I'm trying a new method this year. I made some "candy canes" out of stiff wire, and I "pinned" the rhizome to the ground. Don't know how it will work for "heaving", but it's working well to anchor them from the wind, and the critters....Arlyn
Thumb of 2013-10-15/crowrita1/ee5279


Thumb of 2013-10-15/crowrita1/a43860

Imagine the screwdriver handle as the rhizome
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
Oct 15, 2013 7:04 PM CST
Oh good job, Arlyn! How very clever of you -- and I'm sure that will work a treat!!! What gauge wire did you use?

Last year I didn't find homes for all of the rhizomes that I'd dug -- and a small assortment lay on the ground around a bush under the Birch tree. By Spring, they had all grown roots and put up leaves. They're still there -- I expect they'll bloom next Spring!! nodding

Moral of the story -- if the temperatures cooperate, most Irises will go ahead and set roots almost regardless of how late they're planted. And some of them -- regardless of whether they're planted or not!! At least -- that's been my experience.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 15, 2013 7:29 PM CST
14ga., or .078( about the size of coat hanger wire). The only ones I have a real problem holding down are those that have had the roots trimmed, or, if the roots have dried up. When you set the rhizome on top of the soil, and there are no roots to bury for an anchor, the wind was blowing them over all the time. And of course, the squirrels and the neighborhood cats get into the act! You are right about them taking root by just laying on the surface...but only if you can make them hold still l Rolling on the floor laughing ...Arlynong enough !!
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Oct 16, 2013 1:02 AM CST
I have seen rhizomes thrown in a pile take root and bloom but that is only ones I don't want. The ones I want seem to be far more demanding of my attention in getting them to settle in, especially one I have spent to much money for. Isn't that some kind of a rule? Shrug! Confused Sad
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
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
Oct 16, 2013 7:07 AM CST
Yes -- it absolutely is a Law of the Universe, Paul -- *That which you covet shall be difficult to acquire and maintain* -- you've heard that law, right? nodding

Arlyn -- I sympathize with your problem -- but wonder why you struggle with this. I plant my rhizomes deep enough that only the top of the rhizome is exposed, and never have a problem with rhizomes tipping over. Even dead roots will hold a rhizome planted this way because you're counter-balancing the leaves. You must have a reason for doing it the way that you are, but I wonder about it whenever you bring it up. ???
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 16, 2013 7:31 AM CST
Even if I plant "new" ones with 1" of soil covering the rhizome ( which isn't TOO deep, just deeper than I'd like) with my loose soil, there is no way they will stand up in any kind of a breeze! I've tried cutting the fans shorter( they were shipped with about 7" of leaf, and I cut it back to about 3"). That helped some with the wind, but did nothing to help with" critter action". I tried "staking" with a short stick, and tying the fan to the stick....Works fairly well, but very time consuming . Once the roots grow( or if there are already some nice roots to bury), they stay-put very well. This soil is very sandy, with a lot of what they call "sugar clay"( finer particles than sand, a little larger than "real clay" size), left undisturbed, it gets as hard as concrete. But if you spade it up, it takes a LONG time to "settle". The new "soil mix" that I've been using, holds water better, has more nutrients, and won't "set up " like the original soil, BUT ,it's just as "fluffy" at planting time. Setting a rock ,or brick on top will hold them down well enough, but I worry about "scratching" the rhizome ( I THINK wounds are where disease enters Confused ),and shading them from the sun, and also holding too much moisture around the rhizome. :blinking:Maybe I worry too much!...Arlyn
[Last edited by crowrita1 - Oct 16, 2013 12:51 PM (+)]
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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
Oct 16, 2013 9:13 AM CST
Ah -- well type of soil sure could make a difference. Ours is heavy clay -- the soil itself is heavy enough to keep the rhizome in place.

Anyrate -- sounds like you've solved the problem with your candy-cane holders!! nodding
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Oct 16, 2013 11:05 AM CST
Arlyn see if you can submit your idea to Trish. It might work for other plants besides iris.

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Orchid40
Nov 14, 2013 3:35 AM CST
My soil is very sandy and it's hard to get a new rhizome to sit safely, so I use tent pegs. I also use them in pots as the potting mix is quite light. Today I had Dwarf irises to plant with no roots on most of them. So I used some garden wire doubled and bent like a candy cane.
Val
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
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irisarian
Nov 14, 2013 7:01 AM CST
Anything to hold them down until roots develop. We like to have some of the old roots as anchors until new ones grow.

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