Irises forum: Why do you pot up iris?

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Jul 23, 2015 5:17 AM CST
I've been reading many recent posts about folks potting up iris; what are the reasons behind doing so? Are these just small increases that need a watchful eye?
I haven't started a lot of new iris, but those I have purchased just go straight into pre-prepared beds. What are the benefits of potting up?
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Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Jul 23, 2015 5:31 AM CST
Sometimes I pot up irises that are going into my established beds because I don't have the beds cleared enough in July for them. That way they can be rooting and putting on some growth until early fall when everything is clipped back. Also there are lots of growing seasons when July and August are really hot and dry here, and its just easier to keep them watered and cared for in pots until cooler fall weather. Not the case this year though- they're going directly into the garden this year, and I'm trying to keep the beds from getting too chaotic.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jul 23, 2015 5:35 AM CST
Thanks Neal. I tip my hat to you.

That's what I assumed, but I didn't want to lose my nice new rhizomes due to ignorance.
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Name: Patrick
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
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Denman55
Jul 23, 2015 6:19 AM CST
I agree with Neal. I have potted up most of my Iris for the same reasons. Right now my Iris beds are load with annuals (mainly Cosmos and Zinnia and Poppies and Marigolds), so until I clear out the beds of the summer flowers, I will not have room to plant the iris rhizomes. I won't do that until after Labor Day in September.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Jul 23, 2015 6:26 AM CST
An established clump of iris is happy in full sun. Usually when my iris orders arrive here in July and August the temps are above 90 and some of the rhizomes struggle to establish a root system in the merciless sun. I pot so I can put the rhizomes where they receive only a part day sun or if they go directly in the ground I try to shade them for a few weeks til cooler fall weather comes. I find watering in containers a little easier. A milk basket does a good job providing shade as do some shingles. If I were planting Hems I would do the same thing......
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Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
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Misawa77
Jul 23, 2015 8:28 AM CST
I pot because the spot picked out is not ready or I have orders that arrived in July which is an unfavourable time to plant for me. I also pot irises for sale next year.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Jul 23, 2015 8:33 AM CST
Thanks!


I did loosely tent a bit of straw over the new plantings. I'll leave it there for these next few strongly sunny days... until it rains this weekend. This is the sunniest stretch we've seen all summer, but it isn't too terribly hot. High 50's last night, and low to mid 80's daytime.
The only iris loss I ever had was one that I potted up, so I hesitate to go that route again. I tend to run out of time and dry weather toward the end of the season, and then I have plants left that don't winter over at all in pots.
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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 23, 2015 8:38 AM CST
Potting is a holding area for me until the beds are ready. And sometimes until I have more of my orders in so I can arrange the planting better. It is hard to plant some here and there while waiting for the ones that will be growing next to them to arrive because you don't know if the space requirements will be right. At least it is for me. If I plan space for a normal rhizome, and then get sent two or three, then I end up crowding the neighboring iris. I would love to just be able to space the iris really far apart but don't have the garden room for that.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
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Lestv
Jul 23, 2015 8:40 AM CST
Chelle - your new iris will be okay without a covering in those temperatures. They will love the sun on their rhizomes. When I pot due to heat it is because it is over 90 and really humid.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jul 23, 2015 9:08 AM CST
I try to avoid potting and then re-planting as I don't need the extra work, but there are times I can't avoid it. I have potted when they arrive before the bed is ready, or if I don't know where I want to plant it, and need to buy some time. I also potted the plants from Australia when I order from Tempo 2 as they arrive in April, and I'm not sure where to put them, or if the weather is too cold and I want to shelter them some. When I have my act together, I have the bed prepared, plant placement determined, and markers set before they arrive. Then when they come I can just plunk them in the ground. Last year when I planted around 200 or so, I had it all pre-planned and I'd still be planting them if I hadn't I'm sure. Whistling
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Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Jul 23, 2015 9:31 AM CST
Do very little potting; some small irises which need a more fertile soil than the garden at that time. Do not automatically pot as they should be in the ground by the end of August to have the roots solidly in for the winter.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
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grannysgarden
Jul 23, 2015 11:20 AM CST
I pot MDB's because it is too hot for them here and in order for them to survive and bloom I move them several times a year for optimum growing conditions. I pot AB's in order to keep them drier during the spring. I pot LA's in order to keep their roots moist during our hot dry months. I pot excess SDB's and move them close to the door or window when they bloom to enjoy up close.
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Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
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Linneaj
Jul 23, 2015 11:27 AM CST
I potted one wee little rhizome of the 150 I planted late last October. All the rest had good roots from a neighbor's recent dig. The 150 did well, but did not bloom this year. The wee guy went out in May and I didn't look at it again.

I might pot some rhizomes that arrived with rot and have been severely trimmed. There isn't a bit of green on them as the rot came down from the fan into the rhizomes. They had the daylights bleached out of them and are drying.
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jul 23, 2015 11:53 AM CST
I did receive a few bonus plants today that I think might benefit from potting up, as they're just thumb-sized. I'll toss the idea around a bit until tomorrow. Most likely they'll go out with the rest and take their chances.

I really appreciate all of the responses everyone. Thank you!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jul 23, 2015 2:43 PM CST
Chelle, your mention of losing a potted iris brought something to mind- the potting medium. A lot of potting soils are too moisture retentive for bearded irises. I use Miracle Grow potting soil (not my first choice, but the best I can find locally) and cut it by half or more with fine bark mulch. I'm aiming for a sharply draining mix that isn't too rich.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Jul 23, 2015 3:44 PM CST
Sounds good, Neal.

I think mine rotted due to trapped melt water sitting on top of frozen medium.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jul 23, 2015 7:25 PM CST
Fine bark mulch! That's what I forgot to get today! Thanks for the reminder. Thumbs up

caitlinsgarden
Jul 26, 2015 10:35 AM CST
I think if I were going to overwinter plants in pots, one way to do it would be to sink them into a pile of compost, covering the top of the pot so there isn't a place to collect water. I have seen perennials overwintered this way by a garden center; they are cozy and easy to plant intact the next spring. I bought some pots to try out. I will do some of both, as I had such awful rot this spring with the rhizomes I planted last fall. I want to try a few different things...
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Jul 26, 2015 10:46 AM CST
Let us know the results.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jul 26, 2015 12:03 PM CST
I potted up 28 new cultivars this morning. Some were small enough that I think I would have anyway, but mostly I did it due to a health issue...some kind of painful flare-up in my back or kidneys. I could do the potting up while sitting down.

Now, I'm going to nap. Whistling
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


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