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Avatar for BigSkyDog
Feb 16, 2017 2:56 PM CST
Thread OP


First time poster here.

I will be permanently relocating from New Hampshire to North Carolina the last of June. I have approximately 300 Daylily and heirloom Iris plants that can't be left behind when I go. What is the best way to prepare them for moving in order to minimize risk of loss.

I realize this is the absolute worst time to try and move them, but no way can they be left behind. I've invested to much time and effort...besides, it would be like leaving the kids behind.

Last edited by BigSkyDog Feb 16, 2017 2:58 PM Icon for preview
Feb 16, 2017 6:50 PM CST
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
BigSkyDog, welcome to the forum. You've come to the right place to get your question answered : )
I'm not one of the experts and I'm certain that you'll get a more thorough answer from one of them...but...

Me? I would pot them up earlier than June... I think I'd start potting them just as soon as they put on a little new growth. If you can't pot that many (and I couldn't), perhaps you can bareroot pack them. I kept a bag of iris bagged for about two weeks in the hottest part of the summer- I just watered them and kept them in the shade. I figured it was safer than actually planting them out.

Welcome to the club! Hurray!
Bravery is not being unafraid. Bravery is being afraid and living life anyways.
Feb 16, 2017 8:10 PM CST
Name: Ashton & Terry
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
Butterflies Keeps Sheep Pollen collector Region: Oklahoma Lilies Irises
Hybridizer Hummingbirder Hostas Daylilies Region: United States of America Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Welcome! I will just give some options from experience and from what others have done.
Where I live, the temps get hotter and the summers are typically drier than NC but much of it is the same growing zone as here. Potting them would work since you could relocate them in the shade when you move but it is lots of work and I probably would not go thru that. I have received daylilies in June a couple of times since I ordered from northern growers and they could not get them to me any sooner. I lost some plants both times even with the best of care.
I understand your moving the plants, I would want mine if I moved. I never want to have to do that since I have thousands of daylilies and 500 iris.
I know some southern daylily growers who move plants in the summer and make it work. Lots of water and maybe some mulch could keep them going just fine.
I would dig the daylilies as close to the move as possible and cut them completely back. I would temporarily locate them in mostly shade for the summer. I have just dug trenches where I could get their roots in the ground quickly. As you get to fall or late summer cool down they can be put in their permanent beds.
The iris can be dug any time and planted any time. They should be fine. I dug lots of iris I was relocating to new beds one year. Months later in the fall, I found a bag of iris that I had somehow dropped or failed to get when planting that was lying in a full sun area. That year was our hottest on record with 63 days over 100 degrees. When I found the iris it was brown dry and dead looking. The rizomes did not look that bad so I just stuck them in the ground and over half of them started growing.
Sounds like lots of work, but then I have a hoop house with 5000 seedlings growing in it and they all need planted out in the garden in April.
I am sure New Hampshire is a wonderful place but North Carolina will be a much different area for gardening and it depends on what kind of place and soil you have.
I hope your plants will take the move and survive.
Avatar for Frillylily
Feb 17, 2017 2:04 PM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Ponds Peonies Region: Missouri
Lilies Keeper of Koi Irises Hydrangeas Garden Photography Cottage Gardener
I would divide them down to decent sized starts and then pot them when they first start growing, late april or early may. If you have some very favorites that you do not know the name of you should send them to friends, and or pot two each of those in case you lose one. The NOID (No identification) are the ones you should really focus on, because if those are lost, you really have no way of getting it again. Once you get them moved, my advice would be to row them out in a mostly shaded area and then set up a water sprinkler that you can just run a few mins at a time when you need to water. The pots can dry out super fast, and w that many AND trying to move at the same time you can get behind in watering and in no time they will dry up. I am going to send you a private message. Let me know if you get it Smiling
Feb 17, 2017 7:42 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I would also do a sanity check of all of your named cultivars, to make certain that they are still commercially available IF you should somehow lose yours. For any of them that are NOT still available (you'd be surprised...), then you might also want to treat them as Frillylily suggests regarding your cherished NOIDs - pot extras and send backups to friends. (To determine if they are still available (or not) just do a Google search, and also search the Lily Auction.)

And (this should be obvious, but) don't forget to double pot (and send to friends) any special seedlings you might have!
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
Feb 18, 2017 8:36 AM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Another option would be to temporarily plant multiple plants/divisions in plastic tubs like these, filled with a lightweight medium otherwise they'd be too heavy to lift. You can get many plants into something like this.

If you don't want to go to the expense of buying several tubs and planting medium, daylilies can be dug without washing off the soil and "parked" with rootball intact in plastic grocery bags and be fine for quite some time in the shade. They should be well watered first and need periodic dampening of the root ball. It's easier than potting them. I don't know if there are any rules about garden soil crossing state lines like there is crossing international borders. I've done this method in mid-summer and the plants survived just fine. They would likely need the foliage cutting back to reduce moisture requirements whatever method you use, as kidfishing mentioned.
Avatar for Frillylily
Feb 18, 2017 11:34 AM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Ponds Peonies Region: Missouri
Lilies Keeper of Koi Irises Hydrangeas Garden Photography Cottage Gardener
When I moved I dug mine up dirt and all and put them in a walmart sack. then tied it up a little at the top around the plant so they wouldn't dry out. Im a stay at home mom so I had some time to individually water them for a while. Some of them stayed in these sacks this way in the shade for several months and they did fine. some even put up scapes and tried to bloom Rolling my eyes.
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