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Apr 23, 2015 6:18 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
I received some Iris fans several years ago. I planted them in my 4' X 8' raised beds. They came up last year but not all of them bloomed. The ones that did bloom were white. I will add a pictures later if I can find one. Earlier this spring I checked them and the older part of them were beginning to rot. Yesterday I dug them all up. My question is do I keep only the fans that are not soft? Do I let them sit a few days before planting them to let the parts harden where I separated them from the older part of the plant? Thanks for any advice on what I should do.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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Apr 23, 2015 6:52 AM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Beekeeper Region: Illinois Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Well, the fast answer is "yes. trim of the old soft, (or rotten)parts of the rhizome. Then, I would dip the rhizome end (and about the bottom 4" of leaf) into a solution of 1 cup household bleach, and 9 cups of water....let them soak for about 2 minutes....shake 'em off. let them dry, and then replant. Ideally, the BEST time to dig, divide, and re plant is about 2-3 weeks AFTER they bloom....this gives them plenty of time to root in, and grow new increases before winter, so they are "ready to go", when spring arrives. Spring division will REALLY cut into the bloom this year....but, in some cases, it IS needed! I'm having to dig ,and treat a lot of mine now, because of disease.
It is "normal" for the old, spent part of the rhizomes to dry, get hollow and sometimes sort of 'soft and mushy'....the mother rhizome blooms just once, and soon after, starts to "die"....by this time the newer "daughter" rhizomes (the increases that started last year) have grown to a size where they will become "mothers " themselves...blooming, producing increase, and then, in turn, dying themselves. There are several "articles" on digging and dividing" as well as on diseases (to help you see if the "rot" you are seeing is the natural decay of a spent mother rhizome, or if it's a serious disease.
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Apr 23, 2015 6:53 AM CST
Moderator
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Forum moderator Irises Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level
In irises, a given section of rhizome only blooms once. After it blooms, it never even produces leaves again. Future blooms will come from new sections of rhizomes, or "increases" as the are commonly called. The old rhizome will (gradually or rapidly, depending on your climate and conditions) rot away. In short, what you were seeing was normal with irises and, as long as the rot wasn't spreading to the increases, nothing to be very concerned about.
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Apr 23, 2015 4:45 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
Thanks, Kent and Arlyn, I did not know that the mother rhizomes die after the bloom and make babies. I can see now that is what happened. I cleaned them all up and cut out the soft, mushy parts and it was like that where the bloom had been last year. How long will I be able to keep them out of dirt? I cleaned up my garden area today where I want to plant them but I did not get them put in today. Should I soak them in water before I plant them? Thanks for any help you can give me.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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Apr 23, 2015 5:51 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Mine got left on the patio for weeks while I was sick last year. I gave them a soak with the hose twice a week until I could plant them. Iris are surprisingly tough.
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Apr 23, 2015 7:52 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
Thanks Celia. Hopefully I will get them planted tomorrow afternoon.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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Apr 23, 2015 8:04 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Are they in the shade while they wait?
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Apr 23, 2015 10:08 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Tri Cities, WA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Irises Region: Northeast US Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
You could soak the roots in water, but not the rhizomes. they are a food storage stem.
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Apr 24, 2015 8:21 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
Yes, Celia they are in the shade inside my garage. Right now we are having a couple days of rain so I will get them planted as soon as I can. Thanks, Lucy, I plan to soak the roots in water but not the rest of the rhizome. Thanks for all your help.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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Apr 24, 2015 11:48 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Let us know how they do.
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Apr 25, 2015 5:54 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
Will do. I have many places where I want to plant them. They are all NOID but they will still be beautiful.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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Apr 25, 2015 7:49 AM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Some of my favorites have no name. Smiling
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