Info on Irises - Knowledgebase Question

kalamazoo, MI
Question by dfgquilter
August 10, 2009
(actually Iris tubers)

Someone gave me alot of Irises. Right now they are in a bucket in the shade and I sprinkle the hose on them occasionally so they wont dry out.

I think the deadline for putting in Irises in zone 5 is Aug. 12. However, I might not be able to get them all in by then.
Is there any place in the garage, or basement , or in my compost pile I can store them over the winter? Would I wrap them up?
I will have more time in the spring to work on this.

HELP! Thank you so much for all your past help as well.

Answer from NGA
August 10, 2009


You can store iris rhizomes for about 6 months without harming them too much, although they will shrivel up somewhat and will take some time to recover. I think it would be better to simply plant them temporarily and then replant them next year when you have more time. You can prepare a planting bed, set the rhizomes just below the soil surface, cover them, water them in well and then spread 2-3 inches of compost over the top. They will begin to sprout next spring and at that time you can dig and replant them without interrupting the flowering to any great degree. Best wishes with your irises.

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