Ask a Question forum: Scale rot on Lilium bulbs/ iris rot

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Name: Courtney Cahoon
North Carolina, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
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Mayflowers
Feb 18, 2018 4:45 PM CST
I'm learning more and more about bulbs and such but Im still lacking in experience and knowledge. So I really appreciate all advice and guidance. I've lost a lot of bulbs and irises this year due to poor storage, being careless and simple lack of information. I recently learned about peroxide solution for gardening. I want to use it to dip my iris and scaled lilium bulbs in, but I need to know if it's safe. My lilium bulbs r rotting on the scales to to over watering. Im able to remove rotted scales but I want to dip them to get in all the creases and protect from further damage. My irises are rotting and turning to mush. So after cutting the bad part out I'd like to do the same. Please help I don't want to loose any more of my precious babies.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Feb 18, 2018 5:27 PM CST
First (and second) dumb question: Where are you storing your lilies and iris and why aren't they in the ground?

Hydrogen Peroxide is an unstable molecule (H2O2) and when you mix it with water, it decomposes into a water molecule and an oxygen molecule. That's why adding a drop or two of peroxide to a jar of water helps cuttings root more quickly.

Hydrogen Peroxide full strength is used as an oxidizer and bleaching agent. Oxygenated bleach is a combination of soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is also used as an antiseptic. When you spray it on a cut, it fizzles and sizzles. The proteins in your skin are enough to start the decomposing process (losing the oxygen molecule). It works by literally tearing the bacteria apart - the problem is that it is also tearing your skin cells apart.

If you spray it on a plant root to kill bacteria, you need to wash it off again. I use it because I grow a lot of orchids in water culture. If I have to cut a root, I spray it with Hydrogen Peroxide, rinse it off and put it into the water bath that it normally lives in. Any hydrogen peroxide residue quickly decomposes.

Your best bet to save your lilies and iris is to plant them or store them in a cool place in dry sawdust or milled peat. You can treat the rotting spots with cinnamon - a great fungicide that you don't have to wash off. If you have rotting spots in your iris, cut them out and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Courtney Cahoon
North Carolina, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
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Mayflowers
Feb 19, 2018 9:18 PM CST
Thanks I haven't heard of Cinnamon that's an excellent tip. I got the bulbs and rhizomes the first of winter and was waiting till spring to replant. Thank you for ur help, I'm very grateful.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Feb 19, 2018 9:34 PM CST
Cinnamon is excellent. Somehow I have missed the knowledge that Hydrogen Peroxide well assist cuttings rooting. Thank you.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
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Australis
Feb 19, 2018 9:40 PM CST

Moderator

Liliums don't like to be out of the ground for long; they're not like other bulbs. If the ground is workable where you are, I would be planting any healthy bulbs immediately.

@Leftwood, @pardalinum, @magnolialover - do you have any comments?
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Feb 19, 2018 10:38 PM CST
I agree with Joshua, planting when received is best. Otherwise rot treatment is the next best option. I have used diluted bleach for lily bulbs; soak for 20-30 minutes then rinse off. If the basal plate (the round flat plate at the bottom of the lily bulb) is badly rotten then you likely have lost the bulb.

As for the irises, if they are bearded irises I cut out the bad parts and use sulfur dust. Just another option. This is a type of rot that can smell really stinky. It often forms at the base of the leaves.
Name: Courtney Cahoon
North Carolina, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
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Mayflowers
Feb 21, 2018 1:28 AM CST
Connie I've read a bunch of different concoctions people use on bulbs for rot but I've read very little about bleach. Bleach seems kinda harsh especially for such a long dip. Did ur Lily's do well with it? How much water/ how much bleach would u use in a spray bottle to treat the lily bulbs. I am more concerned about them because of the scales I'm worried the rot will spread. There's no rot on bottom or inside its just on outside scales. I did plant them they have good growth.
Name: Courtney Cahoon
North Carolina, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Image
Mayflowers
Feb 21, 2018 1:32 AM CST
Thank-you all for your advice and time. I have planted them. I will dig them up and treat them then put back in ground. I will be Dustin irises with Cinnamon and trying the diluted dip on lilium. Thank-you
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Feb 21, 2018 11:16 AM CST
If you have planted your lily bulbs and they are growing, I think digging them up would cause more harm than good. If the lilies are growing, the few affected scales did not bother them.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
Image
Australis
Feb 21, 2018 3:38 PM CST

Moderator

I agree
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Feb 21, 2018 3:39 PM CST
Yes, probably better to leave them in. A photo of the damaged bulbs would have been helpful to us.
Name: Courtney Cahoon
North Carolina, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Image
Mayflowers
Feb 23, 2018 2:16 AM CST
Yes, I didn't think it was necessary to post pic but ur right I should of. That way y'all could tell what was causing mush and rot.I can tell u that the irises just got soft and mushy at bottom of leaves on rhizome. The Lily's are rotting at top of the scales. I had them in dirt inside the home until the ground warmed up. I think what happened is the dirt was too wet.

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