Irises forum: Irises - pots and roots

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Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 4, 2016 11:05 AM CST
Due to a lack of 'real estate', I have some irises in the 1 gallon pots that they came in. I removed one from the pot as I found an empty space in a bed and the roots were unbelievably long. Totally wrapped around the plant and more. My instinct was to trim some of those roots. Do irises need really really long roots? Does it depend on type of iris? I 'think' most are TBs. Some might not be. (I got to an iris sale that local growers held and was kinda late. Many of the members didn't want to take anything back home and were throwing small rhizomes in paper bags and giving them to be. Labels, if present, all faded.)

So 2 questions. Maybe 3.

Can the roots be cut back at all? I can un-pot (de-pot?) another one to get a picture. if it would be helpful.

Will irises grow in pots, more or less long term?

If they can grow in pots, what size/shape pot should I be looking at?
Here's a thought (might be bad, could happen). Rather than a 'straight' sided pot, could I grow a few in a 'dome-shaped' pot, assuming I could find one ? Here's what I mean by that. These examples are not necessarily right size, and 1 is upside down, just want to define 'dome-shaped'.


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I also have a couple wooden planters that were intended for veggies but have become 'holding places' for misc. plants. Could take picture or measure.

Any thoughts on any of my questions?
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
Oct 4, 2016 6:57 PM CST
1. I wouldn't cut the roots at all, not this late into the year. They'll serve as a great anchor and don't have to go thru the process of generating more.

2. If you want to permanently pot it, keep all the roots intact with the soil. Get a bigger pot and some very well drainage mixture or raised bed soil. Make sure the pot has good drainage holes, preferably more than 1 single hole. Build dirt around the outside and bottom and drop the iris on in with the original dirt still intact. Then start filling dirt around it.
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They'll survive just great if watered minimally. Maybe a heavy water the first day planted though. A wise lady told me to also mix bone meal into the soil which you can do, but if you have a great root system no need, your choice.

This is Pink Reprise transplanted from 1 2gal to a 5gal pot and it's standing taller and happier. That doesn't sound politically right at all. Sorry the pic was just taken without a flash



Thumb of 2016-10-05/Cuzz4short/ce65d7

Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Liz
Concord, MA (Zone 6a)
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Dachsylady86
Oct 4, 2016 7:11 PM CST
Holy smokes Gabe, didn't you just get that rhizome?? Those roots look amazing Drooling
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
Oct 4, 2016 7:17 PM CST
Yeah, I think barely a month ago. I still waited a week to plant after receiving. I swear by alfalfa pellets and bone meal. Then they really take off once the roots hit that bone meal. Some and most the roots were well wrapped around the bottoms of pots.

Checked the time stamp of recept and 2 weeks and 4 days actually between potting and transplanting into the new bed. The last hurricane rain did magic.
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
[Last edited by Cuzz4short - Oct 4, 2016 7:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
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Henhouse
Oct 4, 2016 9:36 PM CST
Are you mixing the Alfalfa pellets into the soil? Or just putting on top? I used bonemeal this year when I potted everything up too. but I don't think I've had growth like you have, Mr. Green Thumb Gabe...

Joan, deeper is better than shallow. If you're keeping them in pots, I wouldn't use garden soil, but bagged potting mix. You want to have good drainage. I find most commercial mixes that I buy at the nurseries I frequent are fine. Some folks here add perlite to get even sharper drainage.

If the roots are tangled, at the very least, loosen them up. Personally, I would untangle them and set them more or less on a straighter path. I've dug up roots over a foot deep in the garden, so keep that in mind when looking for a pot.

When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
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
Oct 5, 2016 4:24 AM CST
I mixed a light fistful into the bottom 2/3 of the pot. I then made a mound to set the rhizome on top and sprinkled a Emeril Lagasse amount of bone meal then a covered it all and packed it tight.
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
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
Oct 5, 2016 10:56 AM CST
Cooking with rhizomes! Hilarious! Hilarious!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
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
Oct 5, 2016 11:30 AM CST
Good one Leslie.. Hilarious!
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Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
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shizen
Oct 5, 2016 1:10 PM CST
Hilarious! leslie especially what @yadah_tyger said.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 5, 2016 2:13 PM CST
Well, @Lestv - I am kinda hungry.

Yes, planning on using good potting mix that I get a local nurseries. And the pot (!) pictures were just examples as I knew the rhizomes like to stay on top of things (ok, that might not have been politically correct depending on how you think). That's why I was thinking of a rounded or dome shaped planter. Also I didn't know that they want l-o-n-g roots. Gotta get outside now and will try to snap a picture. Just hate taking my phone outside as I always fear I might water it.

I have a good supply of bone meal as well as perlite. Use them for the epiphyllums that I try to grow.

Also have all kindsa stuff like expanded shale, lava sand, green sand, and lord knows what. A local feed store went out of business a couple years ago and everything was 75 - 90% off. I stocked up on all kindsa yummy stuff like liquid fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, earthworm castings, various local brews, etc. These things don't go bad so I figured I might as well get them.
I know, I know. Irises don't need all of that. What they need is sun.

My sunniest spot is the parkway between my sidewalk and the street. A few years back I cleared it. By hand. Pretty much got all the nutsedge but with those boogers ya never know. So just as I'm going to make that my huge iris bed, lo and behold, the City comes along to do some type of maintenance and flooded the whole parkway. Grrr. Not nice.

Thanks everyone for your advice. As I said, if I can ever get my lazy self outside, I can snap a few pictures.


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