Irises forum: Stalk Problem

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Name: Ann
northcentral OK (Zone 6b)
Bloombuddie
Apr 9, 2016 1:46 PM CST
You all are so knowledgeable about Iris. I'm hoping you don't mind my picking your brains.
So far this spring I've lost 7 stalks to something.
I've looked online and haven't found any pictures of disease or critters that look similar to my problem.
There is no sign of chewing or boring. Just dryness at the break.
This has been happening when the buds are about to emerge from the leaf part of the stalk so the branch is somewhat heavy, falls over and breaks off.
Anyone have any ideas.? Thank you for your help! Ann
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Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Apr 9, 2016 2:01 PM CST
It appears , from the third pic, that they are 'growing crooked" before the break....is that correct? If so, can you get of one 'just bent', and 'not broke'?
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Apr 9, 2016 2:23 PM CST
I've been having the what I think is the same problem. I'm pretty sure some were not bent too. I think of it as stalk 'blasting' because that's what it looks like. The one I took pictures of was bent. I found several like that early in the season but am not finding them now so I suspect it might be weather related. I had never seen this before this year.


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Name: Ann
northcentral OK (Zone 6b)
Bloombuddie
Apr 9, 2016 2:25 PM CST
The last one I found was only half broken. I "finished it off" but found no evidence of any bug or other indication for the problem. It is a very clean break. I hope I find no more but if I do I will take a picture of it half-way gone.
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Apr 9, 2016 2:31 PM CST
The one's I found were still partially attached too. Some more that others. The one in the photo was only hanging on by a thread. No evidence of being eaten...believe me, I know what the ones eaten by snails look like! Sticking tongue out I think the curling outward at the break happens as the stalk begins to dry after whatever causes the break...but it sure looks like there was a little explosion in those stalks! Hilarious!
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Apr 9, 2016 3:25 PM CST

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I get a few of those every year. I've always assumed it's damage from cold weather, but don't know for certain.
Name: Ann
northcentral OK (Zone 6b)
Bloombuddie
Apr 9, 2016 6:23 PM CST
Thank you to all of you. I feel better now that I'm not dealing with a disease of some sort. I just hope I don't lose any more. Most of the blooms that are gone were on Half Dollar which is one of my favorites.
I appreciate you! Ann
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Apr 9, 2016 6:40 PM CST
Come to think of it I think they were all on one cultivar. It may be a weakness in certain cultivars. I'll have to watch for that in the future and see if it's the same plant/s over and over. That 's a trait I would not want to pass on! It's sad to lose several blooms stalks on the same plant.
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
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Muddymitts
Apr 9, 2016 7:58 PM CST
In my experience, broken stalks like that are caused by wind. The stalk is top-heavy with a bud(s) and the stalks have lots of moisture -- and a strong wind will snap them right in half. Shrug!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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
Apr 9, 2016 7:59 PM CST
In my experience, broken stalks like that are caused by wind. The stalk is top-heavy with a bud(s) and the stalks have lots of moisture -- and a strong wind will snap them right in half. Shrug! The tip-off is the clean break -- no chewed edges....................
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Apr 10, 2016 12:32 AM CST
I hadn't though of that Mary Ann! We did have some wind a while back. But it's interesting that only one cultivar had that tendency to break. More information to ponder... Thanks!
Name: John
Kansas City,MO (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Composter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Plays in the sandbox
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yadah_tyger
Apr 10, 2016 7:46 AM CST
Here is one of my 'problem' stalks. Pretty bent. And you guys think maybe it's the wind? We also had two cold nights.

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Blessings

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Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Apr 10, 2016 7:53 AM CST
I think it's damage from the cold
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I get some of those, early season, as well.
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
Apr 10, 2016 7:55 AM CST
When we have really strong winds I get some bending of the stalks. But others sort of tend to grow that way, especially toward the light. Is that iris in full sun? If it is shady some of the day it may be bending toward the sunlight.

I had my first stalk break cleanly off this year. I figured it was from the wind.
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Name: Susan
Keenesburg, Colorado (Zone 5a)
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MileHighGardner
Apr 10, 2016 8:00 AM CST
Last year when we had the severe cold snap the second week of May many of my surviving stalks were very disfigured so to speak: bowed and bent. I assumed it was the cold weather.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
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grannysgarden
Apr 10, 2016 8:32 AM CST
Unseasonably cold period during active stalk formation would be my guess. When it occurs here I can get some like snakes - bending back and forth in s formations and some call the goose necks. If the iris is not getting enough sun all of the fans will grow at an angle to get more sun. That will be easy to spot.
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Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Apr 10, 2016 2:31 PM CST
There are some cultivars that seem to grow that way too. Rick pointed one out to me at the garden last week.

I don't have the problems with the severe cold weather here...but there may be multiple causes. I had had lots of them bend over, especially this year, but I don't remember seeing any with that odd breaking pattern. The more I think about it the more I think they snapped for some reason and as the ends dried they curled outward as though the outer 'skin' tissue dried faster and shrank more than the inner tissue.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
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irisarian
Apr 10, 2016 9:29 PM CST
Luckily we have not had that problem so far.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
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Henhouse
Apr 10, 2016 10:23 PM CST
There was a discussion on "Pineappling" Chuck Chapman's FB page. Basically he calls it an imbalance of plant signaling and is involved with the start of growth combined with having appropriate amount of chilling. Plants have a "computer" system for flowering, with a number of genes that are involved in sensing the environment and promoting growth.. He goes on to say that it's a fine balance that can get disrupted when there are conflicting signals (grow vs not yet!) when weather conditions are not normal.

I don't know if this is what is causing your problem, but I've noticed a lot of wacky behavior in my Iris beds this year.


I'd like to know just what the heck is going on here..
I've got a couple that are doing this.. The rhizomes feel firm... They are both established clumps... I did pry off a rhizome or two to share from both this past year. I like to think I'm pretty careful when I do this.. but I'm trying to find commonalities between the two... They are in completely different areas of the garden with different types soil. Confused
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Apr 11, 2016 2:46 AM CST
I too have had some stalks that have just broken off for no reason that I know of other then they look as though the exploded. Every year I have some, and not necessarily on the same plant. Have no idea why.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great

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