Irises forum: What is happening to my iris blooms?

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May 6, 2019 6:56 AM CST
Thumb of 2019-05-06/heatherincolor/f3bf5d

Serial lurker here. I have been growing iris for several years, so I'm fairly certain they are planted at the right depth, but this season 3 different plants have bloomed and then got this broken neck before the 2nd blooms could emerge. The fans and rhizomes all seem to be in good shape, so if it's rot (as suggested on facebook) it is a different kind of rot than I have experienced before. Also all 3 plants are in the same bed. Any idea what is going on?

Ignore the brown tips on the plants in the background- they were transplanted recently and are still mad at me.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
May 6, 2019 7:06 AM CST
Maybe "mechanical damage"...… , or meter reader, broke them? Did they all "keel over" at the same time ?
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
May 6, 2019 7:09 AM CST
Heather ~ Welcome! to the Iris Forum! Hurray!

I wish I could help you with your situation. Maybe someone here more experienced can be of assistance to you.

If all else fails, you could take it to your local county ag agent.
"June is busting out all over!"πŸŽΌπŸŽΆπŸŽ΅πŸ¦‹πŸŒΉπŸŒΈπŸŒΎ

May 6, 2019 7:24 AM CST
They actually have been doing this about a week apart. I have probably 30 iris in the front yard and around 20 in the bed around my greenhouse and it's the greenhouse bed that is having this problem, but the plants are on opposite sides of the greenhouse. My outdoor cat spends a lot of time inside the greenhouse, but none of the stems actually appear broken when I look at them up close- it looks more like what damping off does to young plants, only it is happening just below my flower buds. I'm just stumped.
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
May 6, 2019 7:29 AM CST
It doesn't look like stem rot that I've experienced or the stem would be mush where it broke off. If you live where it got well below freezing that could cause it too, but you would have more then just 3 damaged. I agree with Arlyn, it looks more like a physical damage. Do you have any little children in the neighborhood? Smiling
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

May 6, 2019 9:00 AM CST
Oh I hope physical damage is all it is! Some of these are ones I got from Boose Iris Farm last year, so I don't want to lose them to some disease. We have had good weather (NC) and the only little kids who come around my farm are mine and they are scared enough of me to never go near my iris beds. ;-)
Somerset County, NJ (Zone 6b)
May 6, 2019 9:51 AM CST
Would it make sense that if it were diseased it would be mushy at the break point? If it's sturdy something/one broke it?
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
May 6, 2019 5:34 PM CST
Welcome! Heather.

Were these irises recently transplanted? I once planted an iris that had a bud forming and the bud drooped until the plant settled in. I am wondering if it is possible that your iris hadn't settled in yet and the bud was too heavy for the stem to support it.

There are some photos of mine in my blog entry "Iris Bloom Season 2018 - Week 7"

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