Irises forum: Rot?

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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
Jul 4, 2014 12:43 PM CST
Last year I received 'Nightfall' from the HIPS sale. A couple days ago, I noticed that it was failing and pulled it up. I've never seen a rhizome do this. It looked pretty fungus-y and parts of the rhizome had the texture of a dense cake.. not wet and soggy, as I would expect rot. Also, corky w/ fissures. This is in a raised bed with sandy soil. Almost everything else is doing amazingly well. There seems to be lots of fungal action in the soil where this plant was. You can see the fungal hyphae on the second picture. Believe me, with the water situation, the bed is not wet. It dries out completely before getting additional water. We did have rain in late March/early April, but I wouldn't call it a wet spring (we could only wish...) Any thoughts?
I'm thinking I should I remove & replace the soil where I dug it up..?

Thumb of 2014-07-04/Henhouse/0b74bb Thumb of 2014-07-04/Henhouse/9a0845




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Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 4, 2014 12:58 PM CST
here's a link you may find useful! http://extension.psu.edu/pests/plant-diseases/all-fact-sheet... I think I would do a little "soil replacement, in that spot. You may cuy away, or scrape the affected ares away...and if there is anything that looks viable left, I would "dip it' ,and pot it up.....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
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Muddymitts
Jul 4, 2014 1:18 PM CST
And yet -- it has a root!! I would try to salvage!!
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Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
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Linneaj
Jul 4, 2014 1:32 PM CST
Yes, bleach it and put it in a pot by itself...poor thing.
Don't make fear based decisions.
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
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grannysgarden
Jul 4, 2014 2:16 PM CST
When you move the soil..... move it! if it is not baked or saturated in an anti fungal it should not go back into your garden. When I have soil that is unusable, due to natural issues but ones I do not want in my garden, I get completely rid of that soil. That may be overkill but I don't like to worry.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
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
Jul 4, 2014 6:50 PM CST
Sound thinking, in my opinion.................. Thumbs up
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Jul 4, 2014 8:10 PM CST
Looks like Botrytis....Grey Mold to me.
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
Jul 4, 2014 9:01 PM CST
Sounds awful.................. Sad
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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
Jul 5, 2014 12:05 AM CST
Arlyn thanks for the link.. The description sounds like Botrytis. I'm not going to try to save the bulb. I'll see if I can add it to one of my pending orders.. although probably too late at this point. I'm going to dig the surrounding soil out of the bed and toss it on the neighbor's property (just kidding.. it will go in the garbage).

So this brings up another question... a couple actually... Since this is something I've never dealt with before.. Is it possible that the rhizome came to me infected? If that's the case, should I be dipping all non-commercial rhizomes I acquire?
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 5, 2014 5:51 AM CST
I suppose it could have arrived that way. And maybe an extra "dip" might help, although, IMHO, 'dipping and/or soaking"have very limited usefulness as insect, or disease control. Once a disease is in the plants vascular system, all the dipping in the world won't affect it very much! It does serve a purpose in helping treat surface injuries, keeping virus, bacteria, and fungi from "attacking" the wound. I would bet that rhizome WAS dipped, before the donor sent it to HIPS, for the sale.It's my understanding that the fungal spores are almost everywhere in the soil, and only become a problem when weather, or soil conditions are "right " to allow it to attack a weakened plant....Arlyn
[Last edited by crowrita1 - Jul 5, 2014 6:15 AM (+)]
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caitlinsgarden
Jul 5, 2014 6:10 AM CST
I would pitch it out, dirt and all. Buy a new one.
After trying to salvage some "scorched" plants one year I decided that getting rid of them was the only thing to do. Why waste the time with something that might spread unless you are a scientist investigating it.
[Last edited by caitlinsgarden - Jul 5, 2014 6:14 AM (+)]
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South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Jul 5, 2014 6:16 AM CST
Chlorine wash is an antibiotic, killing bacteria for the most part, not very effective against fungi or viruses, so of limited value in this case.

I would send an email to the HIPS sale chairman to alert her. She should then alert the donor to be watchful.
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
Garden Art Daylilies
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Linneaj
Jul 5, 2014 6:35 AM CST
Has anyone tried a Neem Oil solution for fungal or insect problems?
Don't make fear based decisions.
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
Jul 5, 2014 6:44 AM CST
Borax is good for killing mold & mildew. Would it be safe to clean a rhizome with? Not sure if it would be toxic to the plant or not.
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
Jul 5, 2014 10:19 AM CST
All external products have no effect on anything internal unfortunately, but Borax should be safe. After all, bleach cleanser is safe on the rhizomes.
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
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KentPfeiffer
Jul 5, 2014 10:25 AM CST

Moderator

crowrita1 said:.It's my understanding that the fungal spores are almost everywhere in the soil, and only become a problem when weather, or soil conditions are "right " to allow it to attack a weakened plant....Arlyn


Exactly right. You could remove the top foot of soil from your entire yard and the fungus that attacked your plant will still be present. Fungi are exquisitely adapted to dispersing their spores far and wide and the spores can can lie dormant for decades. That sounds ominous, but it's not. IMO, people have a emotional reaction to fungi all out of proportion to what they really do. Often, in our zeal to control some "fungus problem", we do more harm than good. Most plants have a beneficial relationship with a type of root fungus called Mycorrhizae. Many plants even can't survive without them. The widespread application of fungicides in recent decades has had some real negative consequences for the plant world.

Back to irises, I often think "fungus problems" are a just symptom of another problem. For example, most gardeners in this area saw a lot of rot in their irises early this spring. The general consensus was that it was Botrytis and many people started applying fungicides, sometimes a cocktail of fungicides to control it. My question was, why did we all have an outbreak of Botrytis this year after not seeing it in previous years?

We had some really severe weather this winter. This is a guess on my part (just like everyone else), but I think some of the rhizomes were killed by the winter weather THEN they rotted, rot being a natural event after something dies. While most people were spraying and digging, I didn't do much of anything about the "fungus problem" in my irises. No fungicides, no bleach, no soil removal. Was it the right approach? I don't know Shrug! . I do know this, most people talked about what a poor bloom season we had around here this year, but my irises bloomed pretty well, above average certainly. At the minimum, not worrying about the "fungus problem" saved me a lot of time and money. Smiling

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
Jul 5, 2014 11:48 AM CST
I usually do not have any rot. This year I did. As you say it was after a brutal winter that took its toll on everything in the garden. The iris rot I had following this winter I put down to winter kill followed by a wet/rain spell that hastened the decaying process. I did scoop the soft portion out and sprinkle with comet and some made it and some did not.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jul 5, 2014 12:06 PM CST
That's horrible looking Sherry! Sad A few of newly planted irises I lost this winter were corky too, but showed no signs of the nasty mold I see in your photo. I tossed them in the trash along with a scoop of the soil. The irises that were planted in their spots are doing fine.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 5, 2014 12:37 PM CST
So far, I've not seen any of the stinky ,"soft rot", this year....I have more rot that usual (had none last year!), but it's, as Kent says, 'just rot"...winter damage, a failed bloom stalk, an excess of moisture, whatever...but it is manageable ! One thing I have noticed in the 'amended" beds, is the hard, driving rains we had a week or so ago, tended to wash a lot of soil into the center of the plant, and splash "mud" up ,pretty high on the leaves, something I'm dealing with as I pull weeds and spent leaves.....Arlyn
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
Jul 5, 2014 3:50 PM CST
I know most of you have had a pretty harsh/wet/cold etc winter. Ours has been quite the opposite. December was cold and I had frost damage and losses of some things in the garden. January and February were completely void of rain and in the 70's during the day & probably 40's-50's @ night. Our rain total this year was probably around 15 " (maybe). Normal is around 40..
I had some swan-necks, and bloom times were way out of whack on many varieties.
While I haven't thought of it as a fungus-y year, I've had other things in the garden die this winter from a variety of things.. Armillaria, Phytophthora, Verticillium are all in my soil, and probably a few I haven't identified. I chalked it up to weakened plants due to the drought... but I don't know.. and we can probably add botrytis now too.... It seems the more I know, the more problems I have. Ignorance is bliss?? sigh.
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.

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