Irises forum: Add your tips for overwintering iris in pots.

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Oct 31, 2016 4:22 AM CST
Hello, this is the first year that I am trying to overwinter iris in pots. I have been gifted and divided several and now have a pot ghetto of my own. Currently, I have them at the back 5, under dappled shade.

Does anyone use a frost blanket? Should I make a fortress of straw? Please add your suggestions. Thanks
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 31, 2016 4:48 AM CST
This is my first year of a large scale overwinter as well. What I did is group them tightly together on a concrete slab and I placed potted daylilies all around the outer edges. I'll leave them exposed to the elements all Winter. I'm reasonably sure they will be fine. We shall see.

Blessings
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' Theodore Roosevelt
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Garden Photography Region: United States of America Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Hybridizer
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Cuzz4short
Oct 31, 2016 5:01 AM CST
I wore shorts and it was 83° on Xmas. I'm not the one to talk about "overwintering" Shrug!

Luckily if in black pots they'll usually warm up a little in the day. There was always fog over my pots in the am from the heat being produced. It's a true test or hazing for the rhizomes. I did have several cracks in some of my potatoes rhizomes, but that wasn't an issue.
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Oct 31, 2016 6:17 AM CST
I don't worry about my pots during the winter. One year when it did not rain I did water them in cold February. I probably did not need to but they were due to break dormancy and I wanted bloom. Mine have never suffered bare under snow or coated for days in ice. I am in zone 7a.
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Oct 31, 2016 6:39 AM CST
I over winter pots with tender perennials under light weight plant fabric like this:
http://www.gardeners.com/how-t...

But my potted seedlings and other irises are left out in the open and I haven't lost any so far.
My zone does not correspond to any of the US plant zones, but we do get down to -20 C (-4 F) on occasion and the main problem for my irises is not the cold, but the many freeze/thaw cycles that we go through, which keep them wet for long periods at a time. But they do well in pots with the extra drainage, so if I plant late, I do it in pots.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
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 31, 2016 7:58 AM CST
Mine in pots have not had any problems. Last year I raked pine needles up around the bottoms of the pots for a bit of insulation, but left the plants exposed.

The only time I have covered my pots is when we get an ice storm. I lay pine boughs carefully over the pots to help protect them from the ice. Smaller pots I can put in the unheated side of my basement during storms too.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Oct 31, 2016 9:03 AM CST
Thanks everyone for your responses. Maybe I am just being a bit like a mother hen.
We rarely go below single digits, but it has happened. I am hoping for a mild winter, but the wooly worms are saying differently.
Name: Jane H.
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Irises Birds Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Clematis
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janielouy
Oct 31, 2016 9:59 AM CST
Yes, I hear that we will have a cold mid-winter with milder on either end. So say the worms. I usually leave my pots under the raised "kid fort" that sort of protects them although they do get snow. I put them on the ground in a depression if I can find one. If you have them off of the ground, there is more heaving and freezing of the roots and rot. I may put some in an unheated garage if we have really low temps. I am in 6b. Ask Raymond for advice about what he does if he pots any.
Name: Ed
Upstate SC (Zone 7b)
redhead
Oct 31, 2016 10:51 AM CST
We have mild winters compared to you. I make sure to water some if it stays dry; the sun heats up the pots even on cool days and drys out the soil
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Oct 31, 2016 11:56 AM CST
Lilli, your -20C is equivalent to the US zone of 6b. I am on the border of 6a and 6b and have heavy heaving also.
Potting is something I don't do as I lost some due to them drying out in the past. Forgot that detail called water! They were in dark pots so absorbed more sun energy, and out of the ground in open air. This year I planted the 2 potted ones in a highly sunny location to give roots better chance of growth before the real cold shows up.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Oct 31, 2016 5:55 PM CST
Jane, I don't think Raymond does. I have never seen any in pots when I visited him.
Name: Scott
Elburn, IL (Zone 5b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Butterflies Canning and food preservation
Region: Illinois Dog Lover
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BlueFlagFan
Oct 31, 2016 6:42 PM CST
In zone 5b, I've placed potted irises inside our unheated, detached garage. Once a month during the winter I throw a little water on them, and they've done just fine. I'm going to leave a few out in the elements this winter to see how they fare.
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” -Aldo Leopold
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Oct 31, 2016 8:09 PM CST
Scott, you should be colder than where I live. I believe I am 6b. I guess the watering part is something I hadn't given a thought to.
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Nov 2, 2016 4:12 AM CST
I do not keep mine in a shed or under a roof of any kind, so lack of water is not a problem. The winter sun here does not give enough warmth to dry out the pots, even though I use black ones. But I will put them in a protected spot, packed tight between the raised beds in the veggie garden or similar.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Nov 2, 2016 2:50 PM CST
Our seed boxes & a couple plants which have been in one for a couple of years are in a trench to protect them against heaving. We are not able to visit them in the winter. We do get a lot of snow which is insulation. 6a, changed from 6b here.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Nov 4, 2016 9:28 PM CST
I got all my tags made today to put in my pots. I hate that I have procrastinated all summer until now to do this. I only have a handful out of about 60 that is was not readable. I hate it when the leaf dries and curls that has the name on it Angry
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Nov 5, 2016 8:36 AM CST
If you remove the leaf, and soak it in clean water, they usually relax enough to be read.
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
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shizen
Nov 5, 2016 2:26 PM CST
thx. arlyn great tip, for us newbies.
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
Nov 6, 2016 12:37 PM CST
If I run out of tags and need to make, or buy more, I'll write the name of the iris on the rhizome. I do that to a lot of irises I ship out, just in case the leaf falls off in the box.
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
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shizen
Nov 6, 2016 1:24 PM CST
thx. rob another great tip for later, if and when i get to divide mine Sticking tongue out !

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