Irises forum: Before I plant my first-ever order today, I have a quick (?) question!

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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 10, 2016 8:05 AM CST
Okay, today I REALLY have to plant these irises I received the other day that I haven't planted yet (planned to yesterday, but ran out of time). Since they aren't planted yet, I have time to adjust how I plant/prepare them, so here's the question:

Should I put them in a dilute bleach solution before planting to prevent disease/rot? Should I just soak them for awhile? How should I prepare them?

As for planting, I think I'm good on that (dig a hole, create a mound in the middle, lay roots gently over the mound, rhizome should end up at top of soil, barely covered.....did I get all of that right?)


Thank you for any help, sorry for the urgency/immediacy of the situation, but any last-minute advice would be greatly appreciated! I tip my hat to you.
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
Jul 10, 2016 8:19 AM CST
This year I did something different. I just stuck them in the ground and prayed a blessing over them. No cutting of the dead edges, no pulling off the dead fans, no trimming the roots. No nothing. I think it would be funny if they all made it to the Winter without rot issues.

Blessings
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' Theodore Roosevelt
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Jul 10, 2016 8:22 AM CST
Hurray! Congratulations!

If the rhizomes look a bit dried out, you can give them a short soak, maybe 15 minutes or so. If they have been sitting for a long time, and are quite brown, then a longer soak might be good. If they came from a vendor they probably don't need bleach. If they came looking dirty and have some soil on them, then a bleach bath might be in order. Good Luck!
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
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 10, 2016 8:29 AM CST
IMHO, unless there are soft, "mushy" areas on the rhizomes (if there ARE...send them back, and don't buy from that vendor, again!!) DON'T give them a bleach water dip ! If you take a shallow pan, put a little water in it, and set the plants in it....trying to keep the rhizome OUT of the water, and the roots IN the water....and let them set a few hours, it will give them a bit of a "headstart"....but, it's really not necessary . Follow the planting depth guidelines that you'll find on almost every "iris site'.......not too deep (the top half of the rhizome should be visible when the ground has settled). Water when the soil around the plant has dried to a depth of 2"-3".....and remember, the RHYZOME doesn't need water, the ROOTS do ! Keep the weeds out, and the sunshine in....and enjoy the bloom next spring!
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 10, 2016 8:43 AM CST
Thank you for the quick responses, John, Tom, and Arlyn! Sounds like I won't be doing the bleach solution, then. I may soak them a bit, but the leaves are still pretty green, so it might be best to just get them in the ground; I'll see how the timing works out this morning/early afternoon.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 10, 2016 11:02 AM CST
The question of "To dip, or not to dip" is one I've asked myself ...a lot...especially the last two years. I'm doing a little "test planting" this year, to test my 'theory", that, unless there is an obvious disease problem...the bleach (even a "quick dip") does more harm, than good. Folks seem to dip A) to kill bores that might be inside the rhizome........but, if they're "inside" the bleach can't get to them, and, if they're NOT inside...pick them off (or 'out") B) to stop "rot".....if there are obvious sign of bacterial soft rot...yeah, scrape it off, give it a quick dip, (or a sprinkle of comet cleanser) let it dry--unplanted--until the wound scabs over, and plant it. Bleach (chlorine) is a pretty good "anti bacterial" agent. But, if it's a "fungal type" of rot....bleach doesn't work very well, and a "soak " long enough to kill the fungus (which usually penetrates deep into the rhizome) would not only kill the plant, but turn the rhizome and leaves, white as snow.
Next year, after I can see just what developes with my test plants, I'll know for sure...one way, or the other...if my theory is sound.
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cuzz4short
Jul 10, 2016 11:10 AM CST
I never dip unless I'm sending. That should be the supplier's job to deliver satisfaction in cleanliness.

I would watch with all the humidity, for mold on new rhizomes. It doesn't take long for it to settle in. A couple nights of sitting in a truck in the dark can do this or if poorly dried. What will the mold do? I don't know, but I would scrub it off in bleach/h2o then.
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Jul 10, 2016 11:17 AM CST
DND-I sort of follow Arlyn's "rules" by some experimentation. No bleach soak; plant right away if newly out of the ground, otherwise a short stint of drinking some moisture. Usually I just rinse off if needed and then plant, rhizome visible, tamping down soil around the roots and water in. John suggested using a weak solution of monopotassium phosphate [fertilizer without any nitrogen] solution for the soak and first 2 waterings. This may help the plants get a good start, so am trying that.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 10, 2016 12:32 PM CST
Last year, we had a discussion on the forum about different "pre soaks".....water, weak Miracle Grow solutions, and a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide. Seems everyone had their favorite method. So, I took some comparable sized rhizomes, soaked two on water, two in the MG, and two in H2O2. I also left two "dry" no presoak. These had all dried for 6 days, in the shade, after being dug....and were all (except the "dry"ones) presoaked for (I *think* , 6 hours) after a few weeks in the ground, the "dry " ones were the last to show new growth, the rest all started new growth at about the same time. By the end of the growing season, the "water" soak ones were just as large as both the MG soak, and the H2O2 soak, and the 'dry ones had caught up. This year, it was pretty apparent to me that both the "water" soak, as well as the "dry" ones ....were the best looking plants of the group !.....more increases...and larger, as well. I'm "re doing" part of this
experiment" this year, but, for my part....IF I presoak extra dry rhizomes, I use plain water...and don't soak them very long, and anything , either freshly dug, or not overly dry....goes right into the ground.
Every body has to do what they feel is correct for their "dirt", and their climate, though Shrug! . I am pretty well convinced that Mother Nature and Father Time have a whole lot more to do with the success of my garden, than I do....and that the iris seem to do pretty good "despite" the care I give them !
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 14, 2016 11:48 AM CST
Hey everyone, I'm a little nervous that I might not have planted these correctly. They've been in-ground for four days now and they don't seem to be growing greener at all and the leaves at the top of some that were growing out don't seem to be getting any bigger now. Is this just summer dormancy? Are they too dry? Too wet (although that seems unlikely since they are in a well-draining bed, but we have had one or two heavy rains since they were planted)? Did I not plant them deep enough? Too deep? Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated!

Picture is from just after planting:
Thumb of 2016-07-14/DogsNDaylilies/50ad13
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Jul 14, 2016 11:54 AM CST
Great questions and answers, all! I'll keep reading for continuing info!
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cuzz4short
Jul 14, 2016 11:58 AM CST
1. Those are some nice rhizomes
2. They look fine to me.

You'll see newer leaf growth in time. You'll see the outer leaves leave first probably before the new growth starts. And then this winter they'll almost all brown out. Next spring is when they'll take off and grown those super tall green fans and the newly cut leave will all be gone. Just water frequently at first. Soon enough in weeks those roots will hold themselves and hold back on the water. Just takes patience and time.
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cuzz4short
Jul 14, 2016 12:03 PM CST
If roots start get exposed just cover them with some more dirt. Being in SE Michigan the Climate can become more frigid the western MI when winter attacks. just watch for heaving this winter, but they'll be well rooted by then I'm sure. You'll also see some small increase pop up probably in short time Crossing Fingers!

Nice bed!
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
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
Jul 14, 2016 12:16 PM CST
That's exactly what they are supposed to look like, the "Oh no, I killed them". In about 2 or three weeks, right smack in the middle of the dead looking fans you will see a tiny green 'pointie' starting to grow. Before you know it, small fans will appear.
Every year when I give out Iris to people who never grew them before, I tell them about 2 weeks after they plant them, they will look dead. It's funny because every year they say the same thing, "I thought I killed them, but then they started to grow".
No worries mate, they are fine.

Blessings
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' Theodore Roosevelt

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jul 14, 2016 12:20 PM CST
The only thing I would suggest is to make a map of the rows and the names of each iris in the rows. That way when the tags come off you will know what iris is planted in each spot.
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
Jul 14, 2016 12:22 PM CST
Only a plant lover will understand this statement: That is some gorgeous dirt!!!
Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 14, 2016 12:26 PM CST
iciris said:The only thing I would suggest is to make a map of the rows and the names of each iris in the rows. That way when the tags come off you will know what iris is planted in each spot.


Good suggestion. The pictures are pretty good for me, though, since I can keep/store those on my computer for easy reference, and I also used black, plastic, plant markers with silver Sharpie to mark them. (From experience using the markers on my daylilies last year, about 20-25% of the markers will heave out of the ground, but I got a picture with them all very visible for my records and usually when the markers heave, they just pop out somewhat but don't go anywhere.)
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 14, 2016 12:28 PM CST
Thank you ALL for the quick responses and the help! I tip my hat to you. I am very relieved and you all saved me a lot of time, I was prepared to go back out, dig them all up, replant, and re-water them.
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 14, 2016 1:03 PM CST
You may want to make sure the tags are stapled through one leaf only. Otherwise if more than one leaf is stuck together it may cause some rot from moisture trapped between the leaves.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Jul 14, 2016 1:06 PM CST
You could do that and you will find that irises are quite hardy in most situations, so they would survive that additional move. The bed looks good. Just don't over fertilize or "overrichen" the soil. Irises came from rather bleak environments.

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