Irises forum: What should she do?

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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
Nov 2, 2014 9:20 AM CST
My cousin, who lives in Chicago, emailed me in a panic. She has a dozen or so nice Irises that she had not gotten around to planting -- and the Chicago weather has probably turned for the winter, not leaving enough time for the rhizomes to settle in if planted. She asked what to do. Her garage is not attached to the house -- so it likely gets as cold as the air outdoors -- would likely freeze rhizomes. Her basement is finished -- and therefore heated to whatever temperature the house is. Probably too warm for rhizomes.

So any suggestions? She also planted a half dozen or so a week ago -- and even though they're in the ground, are probably in the same position as the unplanted ones.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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
Nov 2, 2014 10:00 AM CST
I would replant the bunch about 4 inches down, close to the house foundation for warmth and loosely mulch, but gently replace the rhizomes close to the surface and remove the mulch in the Spring. I think a course bark mulch might be best rather than heavy rotting and damp leaves.

I have one in a pot in the house next to the houseplants. It seems happy enough.
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
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lovemyhouse
Nov 2, 2014 10:30 AM CST
Arlyn, Tom, and Paul talked about something similar to this situation on another thread, but I can't remember specifically what they recommended--or which thread. *Blush* *Blush* So...

@crowrita1
@tveguy3
@Paul2032
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
Nov 2, 2014 10:57 AM CST
I would just plant "pot and all" to a depth of the dirt, er, SOIL, in the pot. She can place them where ever she wants the iris ,next year, or anyplace that's "handy", although , I think I would NOT put them where "freeze -thaw" is likely to happen several times over the winter. If she can place them where they are to be eventually grown...in the spring, after the frost has gone out of the soil, she can easily "lift" the pot, and place the un-potted "plug" of dirt, er, SOIL, along with the iris, right back in the same hole!.......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
Nov 2, 2014 11:42 AM CST
So Arlyn -- are you saying that she should pot them up first, then plant the pot? These are bare-root rhizomes that have been out of the ground for some time.
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
Nov 2, 2014 11:58 AM CST
Oh, I thought they were potted ! In that case, I would go ahead and plant them in the ground, and treat them as you would any "new" iris...until the ground freezes, then mulch them with some "pine straw', or any type of mulch that's "loose', and won't pack down, (maybe laying some fence wire, or small tree branches on top the mulch ,to keep it in place). As long as the soil is kept 'cold" they won't "heave'...and when the ground loses it's frost...for good, in early spring, remove the mulch.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Nov 2, 2014 12:51 PM CST
I agree with Arlyn, but I'd soak them for a couple days to get some roots growing.
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Nov 2, 2014 1:00 PM CST
If I were her I would discard them and next spring I would contact my cousin Mary Ann in Kentucky for some fresh rhizomes to plant. Cousin Mary Ann should have plenty to share Hilarious!
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Nov 2, 2014 1:42 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
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
Nov 2, 2014 2:24 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
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
Nov 2, 2014 5:37 PM CST
As I have done in the past, Paul!! Green Grin!

But these are special-to-her Irises that she ordered from Schreiner's when she first discovered Irises several years ago -- thanks to moi!!! And she has varieties that I don't have -- so I can't replace them for her. I can substitute a bunch -- but I think she wants *her* Irises. And I get that. Shrug!

OK -- I'll email her and give her all y'all's suggestions. Thanks for the input.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Nov 2, 2014 11:39 PM CST
If your weather is better than hers could she mail the iris to you for you to plant. Then next year you could mail the survivors back to her.
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
Nov 3, 2014 8:15 AM CST
Barb -- that's exactly what I was thinking. Green Grin! Problem is -- I don't have a square inch to plant anymore Irises that wouldn't require major work -- which I'm not up to, physically. I worked in Iris Lane for a couple hours yesterday -- adjusting the new edging, weeding, pulling dead leaves and cutting back damaged ones on both Irises and Lemon Lilies. Thought I was gonna die last night -- my back was so tight. I still have hours of work to do in that bed -- hoping that I get a warm day here and there during the month of November so I can work on it a little less vigorously. Blinking

I wish I could step up and tell her to send them to me. Sad
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
Nov 5, 2014 2:13 PM CST
If the purpose here is to save the rhizomes, more than just have them bloom next spring, I say pot them up and keep them in the basement for a week or so (are there windows?) to get them growing, then move them to the garage during a "warm spell/indian summer" , or just keep them in the basement and plant them early next spring. She may have to wait a year for blooms but "her iris" will at least be alive and growing.
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
Image
Muddymitts
Nov 5, 2014 6:26 PM CST
Thanks Leslie. I've given her all the options -- now she has to decide which way to proceed.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

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