Irises forum: Snap/cut off those bloomstalks!

Views: 544, Replies: 10 » Jump to the end

caitlinsgarden
Jul 8, 2014 5:50 AM CST
There is a group of irises that I didn't get around to removing the bloomstalks from this spring, and with the billion rains we have had this year those stalks are slimey/rotty and also the rhizomes. I would say it is the first priority in iris care in a wet year. Average years I have noticed some of this, but it doesn't seem to be a do or die thing. On the other hand, my daylilies are doing wonderfully with all the rain!
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 8, 2014 6:07 AM CST
Yup ! Same here! Those that I couldn't get to, or forgot, didn't just 'dry up" ,as they normally do, but started to rot! Also, any 'spent" leaves, the ones at the outside of the fan, that yellow a bit and sag to the ground, also open up an area that traps water . Normal years, they just dry up and fall off, but this year, they are rotting off, and taking the next leaf ,or two, with them!...Arlyn
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Jul 8, 2014 8:50 AM CST
When digging some for giveaways I have often gotten wet when the fans are turned upside down in carrying them. Definite water storage areas subject to damage of various sorts. Have found bugs busily eating away at the rhizomes below such stems or other areas making them subject to bacterial rot. So definitely more care required than in a drier year.
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 8, 2014 9:22 AM CST
Yup -- I dug a few rhizomes this weekend for my sister to take home with her -- and one of the mother rhizomes broke open with soft rot, and there were little white worms in there, eating away. Blinking Ewwwwwww............. Of course, this was in Iris Lane where I had such damage this year. Crying

It wasn't borers, though, thankfully!!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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 8, 2014 9:54 AM CST
Do you know what they were Mary Ann?! I'm with you on the Ewwwwwww..... factor.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 8, 2014 10:37 AM CST
If you have "picnic bugs" (actually Four spotted Sap beetles) in your area(and it sounds like you do !), the "little white worms, are probably it's larval stage. They (the picnic bugs) are the insects I see "working" the rotted areas in the iris (and swarming around the compost pile, and eating my raspberries, and....you get the picture!), feeding on the 'fermenting" juices....and laying their eggs ! Some places they are called "beer bugs", because beer is something that draws them fast, at a picnic...because of the fermented aroma. They are small, oval, shiny black, like patent leather, 4 little yellowish orange spots on their back, about 3/16-1/4 inch long,and bite like they weigh 100 pounds, with big teeth! Like you said, better than borers, which, through their "eating", allow rot to start........these guys only show up on rotting vegetation, over ripe fruit, etc......better, but not much!....Arlyn
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
Image
grannysgarden
Jul 8, 2014 12:24 PM CST
Thanks, Arlyn. I don't think I have any of those. They sound awful.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
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 8, 2014 1:38 PM CST
Goodness. You make me want to set up a protective dome over my gardens!!!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Jul 8, 2014 6:22 PM CST
Best to cut bloomstalks when all the flowers have finished. I expect problems this year, especially on the TBs as I have not been able to do so. (sorry red line, bloomstalks IS one word).
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
Image
Muddymitts
Jul 8, 2014 6:55 PM CST
Lucy -- the red lines only show up on your copy when you're typing -- they don't show up on the finished post. And it's OK -- we all know that bloomstalks is one word (and the infamous red line just showed up on my post!) Green Grin!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

caitlinsgarden
Jul 9, 2014 1:04 PM CST
After checking all the irises I find that the bloomstalks I cut off a few inches from the ground to bring inside have not rotted. Don't know if this is a good enough substitute for cutting off at the very bottom or not. Most of the irises that had the bloomstalks snapped off early have survived the rains. I will have to remember to do them as soon as possible from now on.

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