Irises forum: Packing & Sending Rhizomes

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Views: 1774, Replies: 45 » Jump to the end
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 6, 2014 8:56 AM CST
I am a newbie to mailing out rhizomes, so I would like feedback from all of you iris folks! What have you found to be the best way to pack the iris? What do you use as packing material? And do you usually send them US Mail, or by a carrier such as Fed Ex? Most of my iris have come from Schreiners so that is the only packing method I have experienced. Not sure I can get my hands on excelsior like they use.

I just want to make sure my rhizomes get to their new homes in the best possible condition. Thanks!!!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 6, 2014 9:03 AM CST
I save all my excelsior in an old trash can, for reuse, but crumpled newspaper would work fine ,also, and some vendors do use that. My process is, dig 'em, trim the fans, mark 'em with a "sharpie", wash them well, and give them a dip in bleach water (10% bleach,90% water), dry them for 2 days, in a shady spot, with good airflow, stick 'em in a box, with either the excelsior, or newspaper( this keeps 'em from jostling around, and absorbs any left over moisture) and send them on their merry way!.....Arlyn
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 6, 2014 9:55 AM CST
Thanks Arlyn! Never thought to sharpie them. Good idea!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
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
Jun 6, 2014 9:57 AM CST
Ditto to what Arlyn said -- but I prefer to use shredded document paper, if possible. If I don't have enough, then I use crumpled newspaper too. I pack the box tightly enough that the rhizomes are tucked in pretty good. Also -- I have found that a ball-point pen works as well as a sharpie for marking the fans.

One other thing -- after I pack and seal the box, I do take a pair of scissors and puncture air holes in all four sides. This helps to prevent heat build-up in the box while it sits in a truck on its way to wherever. Smiling And I do make a point of using flat-rate boxes via the post office. HTH!!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Jun 6, 2014 10:18 AM CST
punching holes is an important step so there is airflow.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jun 6, 2014 11:02 AM CST
Last year, one seller packaged her Iris in a good strong grocery bag with straw. Cut off the excess, folded the top over tight, and taped it up.
I thought it was pretty clever, except in our area of the state, we need to carry our own re-usable bags to the store. The stores must charge a quarter now for paper bags. The only plastic bags are in the produce dept now.
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 6, 2014 11:30 AM CST
Flat Rate boxes make it really easy. Do you have to mark the packaging with any label about "live plants"? Seems like the post office will get curious with all the holes punched in the sides!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Jun 6, 2014 11:39 AM CST
Leslie, I don't think it is a requirement and won't get it any different treatment from the postal workers. I use grocery store flyers whenever I remember to grab a stack because the ink doesn't rub off on my fingers and the density is a little better support when wadded up.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 6, 2014 11:52 AM CST
All of this is good to know. Thank You! Thank You!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Jun 6, 2014 2:03 PM CST
Sounds like a good use for the output from the paper shredder many of us have. I have sent them both marked as plants and with nothing marked. The marking did end the questions about liquid, hazardous, etc.
I heard of one person who used a padded envelope to ship; not sure if the rhizome would get crushed. Holes needed for sure as most are plastic bubble wrap lined.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jun 6, 2014 8:05 PM CST
Some folks write the name on the rhizome with a sharpie, rather than the leaves. They say it lasts longer, and I have to admit, the couple that I got at our sale last year, were still readable several months later.
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 7, 2014 8:33 AM CST
I could see a certain advantage to marking the rhizome instead of having a fan with "Acoma" blazed across it. Though if it was written on the fan you wouldn't need a garden marker! Hilarious!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
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
Jun 7, 2014 8:34 AM CST
I've tried marking the rhizome -- very difficult to do -- rhizomes are not smooth. And some are quite small. Shrug!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 7, 2014 2:51 PM CST
I forgot to add a Thank You! to you @crowrita for mentioning the bleach bath. While I certainly was going to wash off the rhizomes, I hadn't thought to sterlize them as well. Don't want NC cooties being spread. The ones going out have all been here for a very long time.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jun 7, 2014 3:04 PM CST
Just sing the packaging song while you're doing it and you wont forget.

"You have to dip dip, before you ship ship"

By now, all of you already know I'm a little Acorn 's.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 8, 2014 8:27 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing As if I could forget that now!!!! Too funny.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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grannysgarden
Jun 9, 2014 9:34 AM CST
I like to add notes about the irises I send out. Just because I cant be there in person to talk I can still get my voice heard. LOL! So, I keep a supply of little brown bags on hand to write info on or just where I got the iris or how long I have had it or if it is a good increaser, etc., on the brown bag and put the bunch of washed, dried, trimmed, labeled rhizomes in. Then I put the bags in the box with filler as needed. Thin paper bags only and they come in varying sizes.... not at all necessary just something I like to do.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Jun 9, 2014 9:47 AM CST
Works perfectly, too, as I have good reason to know this year. Thank you, Bonnie!!!!!! I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 9, 2014 9:49 AM CST
I "bag' some I send, also, just to help keep the varieties separated in the box, and to make the marking process easier. It can get tedious marking each rhizome, when there are 3-4 of each kind, and 5-6 different kinds! For "info", I usually only include it when the box is going to a "newbie", for example, my cousins daughter( I guess she's my "second "cousin ?!) wants to start growing "family" iris, and while she was here during bloom, and they were all talked about. I'll include a sheet with a picture, name, and family
connection" in the box, for each cultivar( probably "print out" the HIPS gallery page, or the AIS wiki page, then add what notations are needed). I suppose anyone might find the extra info nice, but, generally speaking , my "trades", or "for postage" are going to members of one forum, or another, and we've already "talked" about them....Arlyn
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Jun 9, 2014 9:56 AM CST
Yeah, and sometimes when he gets them, there are some wrapped in paper, some in a plastic bag, some all which-a-way, and not all of them are marked so he has to guess what they are. Not saying I did that to him, or anything... Whistling Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'

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