Irises forum: Iris clump Help

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Aug 27, 2014 11:40 AM CST
I have spent the last 4 hours pulling apart a clump that is 8 years old. About 1 1/2 yards across. Huge. I have pulled every part apart to single ( fans?). I also have a tote full of chunks of tuber root that broke off at times. I have re-planted what I want from this mess and now what?
Ive been to Lowes / Agway and looked at what they sell. Should I try to dry them out and cut back all the greens like they do? Ive never traded any Iris plants to know what others would want in exchange. If I was to trade ( fans?) or whatever, I'd say I have enough for at least 30 or so trades. With me sending a ton...
So anyways I'll read what you write. Might respond or not today as my daughter wants to go to NY state fair....
Thanks Dennis
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
Garden Art Daylilies
Aug 27, 2014 12:01 PM CST
Do you have a picture or a name of the irises from the clump?
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Mary Ann
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
Aug 27, 2014 12:21 PM CST
Hi Dennis. If you hope to trade with people on these boards, you'll need to leave the roots intact on each rhizome (ok to trim, but not cut off), cut the leaves in a fan shape -- about 6" long or so -- and then dip the rhizomes in a 10%bleach/90% water wash for a half hour or so, remove from solution and rinse each rhizome, then allow rhizome to dry so that it doesn't mold during shipment.

As Linnea said, you'll need to know the name of the Iris or show a picture so that people know what they're trading/getting.

BTW -- Welcome! to our list -- and hope you have fun at the fair!! Oh -- and whatever you do -- do NOT duplicate what Lowes/Agway/Walmart/Home Depot/etc. does to Irises. Knowledgeable Iris people avoid those like the plague!!! Green Grin!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. (
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Aug 27, 2014 2:32 PM CST
Here's a link, with a picture that may help you. Your iris, when it's ready to plant, should resemble the one in the pic....Welcome !, too, by theway....Arlyn

Aug 27, 2014 3:56 PM CST
No state fair. When I was doing the ripping apart, I had smaller clumps in a huge tote with water running. I rinsed them and they are all bare root now. When I was ripping a clump I found two different tags as to what it might be. Zebra Iris, Sun Cascade
Yea I know that they are very different color so I'll have to get out the pics if any that we took of them. Might be that they are both in the clump. Time will tell.
So back to the rhizomes. I have planted other irises in the past that look just like the pictures ( thanks Arlyn ). These dont really look like that. Dark rust color and huge. No roots at all, just big huge chunks. Inch wide and some are over a foot long. Growing plant end has roots. Some broke off close to those roots while others didn't. I planted what I thought looked "healthy" and spaced them about 8" to a foot. I don't plan to trade these, so I guess I'll grow them in the garden. Plant them in a row and see how they make out. Let me be clear, I have about 300 or so plants that are more or less like what I planted in the bed I took them from. And I have 2 5gal pails full of those rhizomes. Should I try to plant them as well? Are they like potatoes? Is there a size that is too small to plant? Or too big. I'll see if I can take some pictures by Friday and post them. Anyways Thanks again for all your help.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Aug 27, 2014 5:43 PM CST
The parts with no roots should probably just be discarded....they have "done their thing", and the growth point has moved on ! The part with the "fan" of leaves, that has live roots, is what you want to plant. So, trim them up, and they will look a LOT more like that picture. It sounds like you will have plenty of iris, so any "fans" that are small, or damaged, I would just discard, if it was me, and save, and plant, the "nice" ones....Arlyn
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
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Aug 27, 2014 6:28 PM CST
This is a small thing but when I plants rhizomes in a clump I plant them with the toe pointing out. or all the same direction. If you plant them as the picture shows most of the growth comes on the heal of the rhizome so the clump will soon have an empty center.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
Aug 27, 2014 9:35 PM CST
They will walk away from you if not planted in the same direction.

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