If I move my Irises to another location, now, right now, today even, will I still get blooms next year?
Probably, so long as you don't trim off all the leaves and roots or bury them too deeply. Hot work, wouldn't it be easier in fall?
The way my elderly mentor taught me was to lift them, break off the fingers to make individual plants, trim up the roots, trim the foliage by about 1/3- 1/2 by making 2 slanted cuts so the fan comes to a point, allow them to dry for a day or 2 and replant on the surface with a rock on top to stabilize the tuber until it rerooted. She had hundreds if not thousands of old fashioned varieties, so i assume she knew what she was talking about. And she typically did it anytime after they bloomed- from may thru fall.
The times i've done it (overdue now) I don't recall getting a lot of bloom the following yr, if you do it too late. So, if you can handle the heat, go for it. I think i would trim some of the foliage back just to account for root loss as you dig, even if you are trying to preserve as much as you can to encourage bloom. Makes it easier to anchor them, too. Good luck!
Tam..how often to water transplanted iris to get them off to a good start?
I'm rearranging beds and getting the garden organized for next year (my daughter's wedding happens) I want to get things in the ground this year so they are established next year - does that make since? I have had two very large trees removed, and need to move things around from shade to sun, etc. The Irises are in the way! LOL Anyway, I don't mind the heat, (Florida girl gardening in Carolina) and have lots to do. Thank you Tam for responding with your mentor's wisdom! You were blessed to have such, and I appreciate you sharing her with me!
You can get flowers on transplants provided you didn't cut/divide the rhizomes to too small of a size. If you make one large clump into 2 or 3 medium sized clumps with some larger/plump rhizomes, you'll get flowers next April. If you take a large clump and break it up so as to get 6-8 plants, many may be too small to produce flowers, and those that may will likely only have one stem and 1-2 flower buds.
Keep your transplanted rhizomes moist but never in soggy conditions, that is if they are bearded iris. If Louisiana iris, they need it really moist to wet.
Yes, my instructions were assuming we were talking about beardeds- the advice wouldn't hold for any other kind- thanks for catching that. They like to stay on the dry side, and can easily get rot, esp when you're divvying, that's why you leave some time for them to dry before replanting them. You also break or cut off any soft spots while you're at it and watch for borer damage. As for water- i'd just watch them after the initial planting- they'll let you know when they need more than nature is giving by slightly curling & looking droopy. To ensure some bloom, I think that gusolie's advice is sound- break off the largest fingers and replant the central hand with some smaller fingers still attached (assuming it's nice & plump & healthy)and you should get some blooms next year hopefully.
I feel so blessed to have learned so many things from Betty. She's too ill now to get to her garden (can't even ride that far), and it breaks my heart. It was on her hubby's homestead an hour away. It was a showplace in its heyday- with a couple hundred varieties of old roses, thousands of beardies, and close to that of old fashioned daylilies. She had an open house each year close to mother's day, and some years you could catch the iris and roses at the same time. Glorious! She seems to be mostly reconciled with it now, but at first i think it was super hard not to be able to go up. She's one amazing, inspiring lady and i wasn't the only fortunate one to learn from her. She was the director at mordecai garden for more than 20 years so lots of folks round about know her. That's how i met her myself. I consider her my adopted grandma. :)