early spring transplanting: best plan?

rigelcaj(z5 VT)April 5, 2011

I was just offered a big clump of bearded iris for the taking, and am about to pick it up (I'm not waiting for someone to beat me to it!), and wonder what the best plan is for them. I'm in VT so we probably have winter weather left, but I can:

1. put them in the ground outside, keeping the clump intact; separate and move them to a permanent home later;

2. separate them now and put them in permanent home;

3. rinse, dry and store in sawdust in the house until last frost is past;

4. other? I don't even know what that would be.

I'm inclined to do option 1, but would love advice from people with more experience. I don't care if they bloom this year - just want them to have a fighting chance. Thanks!


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Nancy zone 6

You know, I think I would go for option 1 too, especially if you can manage to keep some soil with them. They might even bloom for you. I don't think it would hurt them to take option 2 though. They probably won't actually root til the weather gets warm, but it won't hurt them. For that matter, option 3 will work if you have some bad weather & can't get them planted.
I'm lots of help, aren't I :) Iris are pretty forgiving. You might get some advice to pot them up, but personally, that is the one option I wouldn't bother to go with. I think they would be more likely to rot.
I hope they do great for you, whatever you choose. You got a great gift. What color are they? You will have to post pictures when they do bloom.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 7:44PM
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rigelcaj(z5 VT)

Well! Turns out they're not bearded; they're Siberian (equally welcome). A lovely big clump with a comfy chunk of soil. I brought them straight home and tucked them in without dividing.

Thanks so much for the thoughts - I'll let you know how they do!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 9:48PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I have divided and transplanted (rather rudely) Siberian iris a few times. Including in upstate NY 3 weeks ago. They are pretty hard to kill.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Nancy zone 6

I've heard Siberians are particular about being moved, but I've moved them, like harryshoe, rather rudely & they barely blinked.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 2:15PM
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rigelcaj(z5 VT)

Having hoped for updates on other people's posts, I'd better give one on mine.

I divided the iris rudely - took a spade and chopped into 4 chunks! - in June or so, and popped each into a hole. They all thrived and have bloomed beautifully every year since. (Maybe they thrived a little too exuberantly, since I came back on the board wondering about giving them haircuts!)

Thanks again for the coaching, and best of luck to anyone who finds this in the future.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:00PM
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