Irises forum: Soft Rot Question

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Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
Keeps Goats Bee Lover Irises Peonies Daylilies Bulbs
Butterflies Cat Lover
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urania1
May 26, 2018 3:03 PM CST
So ... I have one small bed in which perhaps a third of the iris have soft rot problems. I am tempted to dig all of them up. Dip in chlorox solution. Remove and replace top layer of soil and replant. Is this going too far. Suggestions?
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
May 26, 2018 8:00 PM CST
Arlyn [crowrita1] has a lot of experience with rot. He had many comments last season so maybe you could find them in an old list of topics. Or tree mail him, use search for his user name. He has tried all sorts of stuff.
Moisture in excess is often the cause-too much rain, poor drainage, water sitting in rhizome where an old stalk was, etc. And there are two types-mushy light colored and not really smelly and yellowish and smelly. One is bacterial the other fungal.
Everyone will say weed control is the first thing with good drainage close behind, but it shows up anyway sometimes. Sometimes an over-rich soil seems to contribute to the problem.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
May 27, 2018 10:02 AM CST
If it's a "smelly" rot...it's bacterial, and bleach...or *Comet cleanser with bleach, will help heal the "wounds"....scrape out as much of the "mush" as possible, then sprinkle the Comet on the wound (or, drench with a 10% bleach water mix). If they are really affected, digging...then cleaning and dipping in the "10%" might be the best option. Make sure the "wounded area" is left exposed to the air / sun, so it can "scab over". Without knowing your soil composition...or it's ph....it's hard to give ant recommendations on "soil improvement", but . "DRAINAGE & AIRFLOW" are VERY important for keeping bacterial soft rot away...and for curing it, when it pops up !!
Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
Keeps Goats Bee Lover Irises Peonies Daylilies Bulbs
Butterflies Cat Lover
Image
urania1
May 27, 2018 4:46 PM CST
The soil drains well. The airflow was probably not as good as it might have been. I had other flowers in the bed. I pulled all of those flowers out, so now I just have the iris. I think soil may be too rich. The actual soil here is hard clay, so most of my garden is either terraced or bermed and incorporates lots of compost ... principally from the goat barns. This bed has had compost added to it many times. I have been preparing two other beds for irises. I may order a load of topsoil to dig into one as it was filled with about two feet of compost by depth last summer and still looks a bit too rich although the five peonies I planted in it look quite good.

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