Irises forum: Potting new bearded Irises

Views: 542, Replies: 19 » Jump to the end
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Aug 18, 2014 7:13 AM CST
Curious how many of you routinely pot up new rhizomes upon receiving them? My first order came in about 3 weeks ago, and having some bed prep yet to do before planting them in the ground, I potted them in gallon pots of half MG potting soil and half fine bark mulch with a little slow release fertilizer worked in.

The results have been great! Already seeing new growth and daughter rhizomes forming. I planted a few a couple of days ago, and was also pleased to see new roots at the bottom of the pots. It worked out really nicely to be able to plant them so that the rhizome is set above the soil line, but with plenty of roots to hold them securely in place. I have a rotten cat that loves to dig where I've recently worked the soil- and yep, I've seen her toss a newly planted Iris across the garden!

Although we're having an oddly mild and moist August, typically Iris arrival time is hot and dry here. While Irises don't seem to mind, they also typically don't start showing much growth until cooler temps and more moisture arrive (unless watered and babied, which I typically don't do reliably). Potting seems to give them a head start, and I'm hoping increases the number of first year blooms I see in spring.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 18, 2014 7:28 AM CST
I pot those that are small, dry, or otherwise look like they could stand a little TLC. And I think it's a good practice, as well. I set the pots in the filtered shade of a small redbud tree, and, I think they like it there , as they seem to always start new growth very quickly. My beds are almost all "full sun", and while that's great for maximum bloom, it can be a little harsh for newly planted iris.....................Arlyn
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Aug 18, 2014 7:52 AM CST
Last year I got two orders of SDBs in July from well known sources One batch went directly in the ground and the second was potted. The potted ones I kept in a garden cart and they were in the sun part of the day but I would pull the cart into the shade during the hottest sunniest parts of the day. The ones in the ground stayed green, rooted in, but didn't increase very much. The ones in pots really grew and put up lots of increase. When I planted them in October the pots were full of roots. This spring the ones that I planted directly in the ground all bloomed but are small plants with 2-5 increases. The formally potted ones were small clumps and some had 2-3 bloom stalks. Potting for a few months before transfer to the ground is more work but worth it IMHO.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Aug 18, 2014 8:06 AM CST
I agree. I take up, clean and pot any remaining bits of iris that have rot and that are hard to find. I pot new irises that I get as bonuses and already have growths of. This allows me to not dig my clump but to take the irises from the pots, wash, treat and send the next spring. I like to keep some dwarf irises, especially beautiful ones, in pots so I can move them up to the porch and walks very early in the spring where I can enjoy their blooms more. I have also kept dwarf irises in pots in order to take them to garden clubs, plant meetings and even he library when they were in bloom. Potted irises do quite well for me here perhaps because I can move them out of the bright sunlight during the hottest month of the year.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
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
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 18, 2014 8:29 AM CST
Put Iris in holding pots until planting areas are ready, or if I have lost track of what they are and want them to bloom before planting in-ground. Have had some Iris in pots for a couple of years because I am too lazy to dig them out. Those I do dig out for planting have amazing root structures.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
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
Image
tveguy3
Aug 18, 2014 9:07 AM CST
If I only ordered a respectable number of irises each year, I might try that, but once you hit the 3 digit level, it's too much extra work. Whistling
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: 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
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 18, 2014 9:08 AM CST
Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Aug 18, 2014 9:25 AM CST
BTW, I am going to get some re- bloomers and put them in pots. I will move them where I can see them all the time when they bloom and then put them back in the garden.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 18, 2014 9:29 AM CST
I agree, Tom, on it being a little more work, but only the ones either arriving when it's scorching hot,in extra dry condition, or that are very small get that TLC, here, at least. Those "normal" iris,..nice sized, freshly dug, and shipped early, are well suited to going right into the beds....but, as you know,some of us make "Late", or "last minute " orders, and get some delivered that are extra dry, and, right at the time when the sun is bearing down, and rainfall is at a premium.....and those surely do get some benefit from a little shade, and extra pampering! I know you never make those 'last minute' orders Sticking tongue out , or "impulse buys", so you can get them all in the ground at the right time ! nodding .................Arlyn
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Aug 18, 2014 9:43 AM CST
Also, I have found that a lot of the MDB's do not like the heat here. I have a lot planted and they seem to do o.k. but some just diminish and go away. So, when I got more I put them in pots and lined them up in an old wheelbarrow and trundle them around in dappled shade depending on the heat. MDB's do NOT like being disturbed and often will not bloom the first year after planting so this is a good way to enjoy the little ones and give them the care they need. A young iris friend refers to this wheelbarrow as my 'iris mobile home'. Some are so small that the bloom could go unnoticed in early spring if there were any fall leaves left on the beds.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
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
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 18, 2014 9:51 AM CST
If they don't like your heat, Bonnie, they will hate mine. Good information to have, thanks.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
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
Image
tveguy3
Aug 18, 2014 11:47 AM CST
Me make last minute buys? Mwaaaa? Never, I didn't even give in to the tempatation of buying one of those Suprise packages too much, as you all know. Whistling The only ones I potted were those that came from Australia, as they were a bit early to go into the ground. But I sometimes think I could have just as well planted them right away.
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: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Aug 18, 2014 12:07 PM CST
Debra, most of the CAIS members will not grow the MDB's at all. When a customer shows up at the annual sale asking for them they are told that they do not grow here. I think they should be told to inquire around to see which ones will tolerate the heat better than others. Then plant them where they get part afternoon shade or put cool pots on the west side of the little clump to give it afternoon shade. But, I keep my mouth shut. I know that is hard to believe but I really do. LOL
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Aug 18, 2014 12:20 PM CST
Arlyn, that's a good point about giving them some shade after potting. I hadn't thought about it, but did keep the pots in filtered shade on the deck for the first week, more out of it being a handy place to water them, but I'm sure the shade was helpful to the plants too.

Paul, that's interesting how your potted plants clumped up so much faster- good to know!

I'm so bad about crowding my beds, in late summer it's often too much of a jungle to make room for Irises. This year I've kept the beds more tame and tidy, so that's not the issue so much, but I do like watching them get a good head start before being set in the garden. It's been several years since I've purchased new Irises, and I've really enjoyed the incentive to get beds cleaned up and ready for new babies- guess I need to order a few every year, LOL.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
Aug 18, 2014 2:35 PM CST
I've had better luck in my climate potting up first. Our summers are dry... and the rhizomes seem to get off to a much better start if potted up when I receive them. With any luck, they'll go in the ground in the fall.. and sometimes I need to see them bloom before they find a place in the ground.. My leftovers from last year got re-potted into larger containers a month or so back..
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
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
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 18, 2014 2:40 PM CST
Bonnie, be interested in knowing which MDBs do okay in your area-help narrow my list.

Neal, we will be right here to enabl...um, encourage you to get new Iris. Big Grin
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Aug 18, 2014 5:49 PM CST
Not that I need that much encouraging, LOL! I've lived in this house for 7 years now, and at first I started with no Irises. Having a big yard, and big garden plans, I started out with trades and gifts from other gardeners. It's amazing how many Irises are out there now! Now I'm doing fine tuning on the beds, digging out some that are too aggressive or the wrong color, and adding some new varieties in colors and sizes I've been lacking. Then of course once I feel I've got the bearded varieties I "need", it'll be on to Japanese or Siberians, LOL.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 18, 2014 6:12 PM CST
Yes, Neal , once the "bug" bites, you get a real 'itch" Sticking tongue out ! I'm planting both my first Ja, and La, this year. They may not like the Illinois winter any better than I do, but, we'll see!............Arlyn
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
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 18, 2014 7:07 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Aug 19, 2014 5:03 AM CST
Arlyn, JIs will be fine in your zone, and you're gonna love 'em! LAs have no problem surviving winters here, and last winter sure felt like a zone 5 winter, so I think those will grow for you too. I enjoy how they extend the Iris season up through June, well into Lily and Daylily season (and look really good together).
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Irises forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"