Irises forum: Mother bulbs

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Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
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Kabby
Jan 9, 2015 9:29 PM CST
I don't consider myself a novice gardener but apparently I am when it comes to iris. My mom gave me several rhizomes last summer, one had a spent stalk on it, no leaves. I planted it along with the others, occasionally checking for growth. After 6 months of nothing, no rot, no roots, no leaves I did a search. Well well after a mother blooms that's it for that rhizome? When dividing, discard the mother bulb and keep the daughters? I know when I found this information I actually said what?! out loud. I need to check in with y'all more often! *Blush*
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Jan 9, 2015 9:34 PM CST
Yup, momma gives up stalking and blooming in most cases, but she can still throw off some offspring increase. Leave her in the ground and see if more show up coming off the rhizome. If nothing comes maybe you can get an increase from your mother to start with a fresher rhizome. Iris are very interesting and very forgiving of much we do to them, except overwatering or allowing to sit in a depression which collects rain water.
Others will for sure jump in.
And welcome.
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
Jan 9, 2015 9:43 PM CST
A rhizome is actually an underground stem. It make one bloom stalk in its life cycle but it should still make increases. If the mother rhizome does not remain firm, dig it and discard it. I hope your plant makes a lot of increases.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
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
Jan 9, 2015 10:37 PM CST
agree with Bonnie having you discard the mother rhizome. Old ones left in the ground can lead to rot. Keep an eye on the increases.
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
Jan 10, 2015 9:18 AM CST
Hi Kabby -- Welcome! to our little corner of the world -- where the word *Iris* produces heart pitty-pats, shortness of breath, and occasional drooling!!! Green Grin!

As you have already been advised -- the momma rhizome first produces a bloom stalk and flowers (which ultimately produce seeds -- one way of reproducing). When she's done blooming, the momma's next job is to grow babies on each side of the rhizome -- sometimes just one or two, sometimes lots!! And that is the second way of reproducing. The baby rhizomes will grow and become blooming mommas themselves -- and will be identical to the original momma. Seeds that the blooms produce will NOT be identical to momma because they will have been fertilized by another Iris bloom -- so the seeds will be unique both from the parent blooms -- and to each other as well. And that is the hook that causes otherwise normal people to cultivate hundreds or thousands of seedlings in search of unique and beautiful specimens worthy of a name and marketing. Whistling Green Grin!

I always leave my momma rhizomes alone to do their reproducing thing -- but I cut off the spent bloom stalk so that it does not produce a seed pod. I don't do hybridizing, and producing seed pods takes energy from the momma rhizome that I would rather she spent producing those baby rhizomes. In this way, I encourage my Irises to develop clumps -- which is when they are most beautiful.

In due time, those clumps are going to become over-crowded -- and at that point, I dig everything up, remove baby rhizomes and replant or share. Spent momma rhizomes are then recycled via the manure pile (we have horses) -- to benefit whatever plants the manure is used on.

Such is the life cycle of Irises. I'm so glad you joined us! Just leave your spent momma rhizome alone -- she will likely grow babies for you in the spring! Thumbs up
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
Jan 10, 2015 10:00 AM CST
One caveat I may add to what Mary Ann said is that if your spent mamma rhizome is soft, discolored, mushy or has a rank odor never put it on the compost/manure pile. The bacteria or virus that is causing mamma's ill health would then be spread back into the garden. Since the rhizome is small and does not contribute a large amount to the compost pile, I never put them in the pile I am going to use on my garden. I just toss them into the woods where no irises will be planted and let nature take its course.
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
Jan 10, 2015 10:15 AM CST
Good point, Bonnie. I never worry about that because the heat of the manure pile while composting, kills any bacteria -- and our manure pile goes to a local vegetable gardener who sells farmer's market style. I never use the manure pile compost here on the farm. I often wonder if he's ever found a beautiful Iris blooming in his strawberry patch!!! Hilarious!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
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Kabby
Jan 10, 2015 12:48 PM CST
But my rhizome is perfect! Perfectly doing nothing. There is no rot, absolutely none and no roots. Okay so let's say I just give her some time in the spring to start waking up if she's going to. I was ready to chunk her but I'll give her another chance. Y'all are so nice! 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
Jan 10, 2015 1:20 PM CST
Good plan Kabby. Just let her sit in her soil and soak up the rain and sun and when spring comes she will do one of two things 1)put down roots and start a new generation or 2) wither and dry up. I am betting on the former. Let us know how she does. smiles
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
Jan 10, 2015 3:36 PM CST
I have a couple of rhizomes in that condition -- I wait until they decide to live. Or not. She'll let you know!! Green Grin!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
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Zencat
Mar 11, 2015 6:05 AM CST
Kabby, did your iris ever do anything?
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
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janwax
Mar 11, 2015 10:44 AM CST
Kabby, welcome!
Love your avatar. Sweet-looking dog!
Iris is the goddess of the rainbow.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Mar 11, 2015 11:38 AM CST
Welcome! Kabby !!
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
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Kabby
Mar 11, 2015 7:15 PM CST
Thanks y'all I really like iris people, and I like people that like my dog! Lovey dubby My mother bulb, she be a sittin' there like she has all the time in the world. Still firm, still fat, still no roots, still thumbing her non existent nose at me. It's getting to be a game, the iris is wondering, will she pick me up and look at my bottom? She's getting closer, yessss, HA! Made you look! nodding
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
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Moiris
Mar 11, 2015 8:14 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! And I agree your puppy is absolutely adorable. Is he/she a golden retriever? Makes me want to find my way to Alabama just to give it a hug and some nodding play time!
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
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Zencat
Mar 11, 2015 8:15 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
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Calif_Sue
Mar 11, 2015 10:46 PM CST

Moderator

Hilarious!

And look at that sleepy fuzziness!! Lovey dubby
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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
Mar 12, 2015 6:20 AM CST
Some irises put their new increase out in the spring & some do it in fall. TB 'Janet Price' is great about increases.

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Mar 12, 2015 11:18 AM CST
Welcome! Kabby!

Very cute puppy! Big Grin
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
Butterflies Tropicals Bulbs Lilies Daylilies Garden Procrastinator
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Kabby
Mar 13, 2015 3:30 PM CST
@Moiris Buddy is all about play time. Yes he is a golden and just as spoiled as any child. I'll be doing some serious weeding and I will feel a nudge on my foot and hear a tail sweeping the grass. The ball playing is about to begin. He gets vocal if I don't respond to his suggestions too. He is my heart!

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