Transplanting Irises Advice

NitrexFebruary 19, 2013

Help! We bought an old farmhouse a year ago and decided that it was not worth fixing up. We just finished building a new house on the property and will be tearing down the old one next week. The previous family said the Irises had been planted when the place was homesteaded over 100 years ago. We would like to transplant them before the tear town the house. The heavy equipment will destroy the iris bed if we don't do something this week. It is February and temps at night are below 32 degrees. Daytime highs range fro 30-60. The iris bed is overfull! We need to thin them out. The patch is about 6' x 20'. I hope we don't lose them...


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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Well, any iris that is over 100 years old will probably survive anything. I would dig a bunch up if you can, and pot them up. You can also try to just dig a bunch up, cut off any dead foliage, and dry them off, then put them in a paper bag in the garage for a month or two until it warms up, and plant them out in spring. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:54PM
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I once had to transplant some irises at the end of winter while it was still cold before we motor-cultivated a part of the garden to plant potatoes.
My reasoning back then was that if I take a big enough clump of soil next to the irises and just place them in a different part of the garden the irises wouldn't even notice. They bloomed just fine and grew well until a scorching hot, dry summer. They're starting to come back up now, can't wait to see them bloom again this spring.

Good luck from me as well.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 2:27PM
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I would dig some up and plant them elsewhere and keep them warm and dry till I can plant them.

Is it possible to cover up the iris bed with a wood board or something. It can be hard to dig them all up.

Would you consider sending some over to me for postage in return?


    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:56AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I transplanted a Siberian Iris yesterday and expect it to grow without interruption. Many plants respond well when transplanted in winter. The trick is to take a large root ball so not to disturb the roots. If you can do that, I don't think the plant realizes what you have been up to.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:06PM
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