Undoing my stupid plant placement

haley45(7b)May 13, 2010

Hi, I'm Haley, and I'm recovering from my own stupid plant placement. In my defense, I acted stupidly before I knew anything about gardening (and grasping the concept that tiny shrubs will actually grow), but still...what was I thinking planting lots of bearded irises in between my foundation shrubs?! I've ignored my problem for too long, and it's time to make things right. Do I have any chance of digging up the irises and not killing all the shrubs?

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Dig carefully, and water afterward, it should'nt be a problem.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 2:03PM
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I agree with Susan. Just wait until your iris are finished blooming. Don't feel bad...we've all done are share of stupid gardening mistakes that we regret later.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 6:53PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Please don't mind me - but that is hilarious! I hope you got a good laugh out of those pictures! They are too funny! And yes, I have made plenty of these errors, too. I think all the plants will live - iris and shrubs - if you move them carefully after blooming is done.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 11:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I've been laughing (WITH YOU, not AT you) at those pictures, too. Thanks for posting because it's a good lesson we've all had to learn at one time or another. You may have saved someone from making the same error.

Don't wait until the hottest part of summer to dig these out. And do as little root disturbance of the hollies as possible.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 7:37AM
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catbird(z7 AL)

There are no stupid mistakes in gardening -- only learning experiences. We've all had them and most of us at one time or another have placed small plants too close together, not realizing how big they were going to grow. We learn to read the labels or look them up on the internet BEFORE we plant. ;-)

That said, bearded irises are about as tough as plants can be. The rhizome sits on top of the ground and you don't even have to dig up the whole root for them to survive. Just get what you can, amend the soil where you're going to plant them, then bury what roots you have and don't mulch over the rhizomes. I dropped some on a pathway several years ago intending to clean them up later. When I got back to them several weeks later they were growing happily where they fell.

You might also want to consider thinning out the shrubs this fall or winter. They can be dug up and replanted while they're dormant and not skip a beat.

Post "after" pictures later.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 2:32PM
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Oh don't feel bad. At least the irises are fairly easy to move. Right now I have a confederate rose that I planted like 3 feet from a privacy fence! Can you believe that?! All I can figure was that when my friend gave me this little tiny stick of a start for a new plant I only had one spot bare in my garden and decided to stick it there until I found a better spot.....aaaannnnd never got back to it. My hubby keeps saying, "oh leave it alone it will be fine". He's not a gardener. And of course we all know that there is NO way this is going to work! That bush gets like 10 feet tall now. But, it's such a darned gorgeous plant when it's in bloom. Someday I'll fix it. Really I suspect spacing is the number one problem of new gardeners, don't ya'll?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:28PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Spacing, terrible plant selection, and lack of knowledge about how important the soil is.

One thing we see a lot of, too, is new property owners moving in and getting antsy to dig up and change EVERYTHING without knowing what they have. (This is not your situation, by the way.)

Remember that the internet can be your friend. In about a minute you can look up the statistics on any plant from several different sources. Do a couple of minutes of research BEFORE you plant.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 10:11PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Yeah, spacing is the number one problem of new gardners but zone-denial is the number one problem of novice gardners.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 10:05PM
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One of the best things about gardening is that few decisions are ever permenant if we don't want them to be.

I agree with the others that digging the iris out should not be a problem. You might have some "holes int he holly where they were, but they will fill in or you can prune them back hard in the winter and they will fill right back in nicely in spring ! Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 11:58PM
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tedevore(7b Al)

I'm not sure its possible to hurt a bearded iris too bad. I have also tossed some aside into the woods (as I really am not a fan of them) and they just grab on to the ground where they land and keep on going. I do admire its toughness.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 11:57AM
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Thanks everyone. Let me know if anyone wants any irises at the fall swap - looks like I'll have PLENTY to share, LOL. I'll probably wait until fall before I attempt to fix this since I haven't had time to work out there yet. Or you never know, I might come home one night in July and decide that I just can't look at the jumbled mess one more day :) I really wasn't too worried about the irises - I just didn't want to have to replace all the hollies if I didn't have to.

I'm glad that I could give ya'll a good laugh! I had to laugh at myself a little. And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with plant spacing issues!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Zone denial? What is that!!!! hehehehe
MANY years ago now, I bought some nice bougainvillea and planted them on my chainlink fence line, out by the street. My friend and gardening guru, told me it was a mistake.

Yep, it did not work. I think about that these days, because I just bought a potted bougainvillea in a huge pot, not a hanging basket, and I do so appreciate it. But it is coming inside this winter. For now, it is loving the morning sun on our deck and the shade in the afternoon. I am hoping it sticks around for many years to come.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 3:13AM
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Hey! I think they are attractive. don't dig out all of the roots leave a few. It would be pretty too with some red ones it they come in red. All the iris' wifey grows are blue with yellow centers.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 3:59PM
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