Planted my first Siberian Iris - mistake?

paulsiu(5a)April 13, 2012

I saw some siberian irises "Caesar's Brother" roots and planted them. I mixed in some composted manure and chopped up the dirt a bit and planted them with the roots down and the "hair" up. I followed the instructions that came with the package, but I also notice on the net that they said we're suppose to soak the root first which I did not do. Do I do this incorrectly?

In any case, there's suppose to be a rain storm for the next couple of days, so I hope that will be OK.


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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I did not soak any of the SI I received. Many were small plants without a strong root system. They all grew well.

What's important was that they were watered almost daily for the first few weeks. Additionally, I am blessed with rich, acid soil which is a must for SI.

Caesar's Brother is extremely vigorous here. It was purchased in a 6" pot at a local nursery. I was able to divide it in year four. Although it only blooms for 3-4 weeks, the foliage stays beautiful through fall. Its like having ornamental grass for the landscape.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:15AM
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The soil is rich but a bit alkaline PH 7.5. Hopefully, that will be OK.



    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:07PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

planted them with the roots down

==>>> when you start with this premise.. you are 99% of the way to success.. lol ...

in my z5 .. i wouldnt worry about the soaking part ...

and as far as i am concerned.. with this plant.. you could have run it over ... twice ... with the car before planting.. and it will live..

whether or not you get a good flower show.. is dependent on the veracity of the stock you bought .. not what you did with it after ... [if it was some bigboxstore packed in a box plant, rather than a pot grown plant]

you also said: I mixed in some composted manure and chopped up the dirt a bit

==>> when you start to understand that you were working the SOIL .. and that you had dirt all over you after you were done playing.. you will come to have a better understanding of what soil development is all about ... words mean things.. and help you to conceptualize what you are doing .. and where you are going ... you were amending the soil to aid in water movement and retention ... through the incorporation of some humus ... which also added some nutrients ...

i wouldnt waste much energy.. worrying about this one


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:50AM
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janezee(Sunset 5, 8b, Whidbey WA)

Even with a pot-grown plant, it took 2 years for me to get blooms on mine. But once it reached critical mass, watch out! It thrives on air and water, and no need for anything else. My clump is about 18" wide this year, and needs to be divided. That's after 3 seasons. Just the most beautiful color!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:31AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I'm glad this thread came up as I am currently in the process of dividing my original plants. The picture below is one of my original plants in year 6. It is four feet wide.

Ken is right when he says these plants are hard to screw up. They grow with little care. I grow about 8 types of SI and feel that Caesar's Brother is the toughest and most vigorous.

However, mistakes are possible. Don't let them get this big before dividing! I could not get a fork or shovel through the clump. I switched to an axe!!!

The good news is that, even following a major beat down with an ax, every clump will be up and growing strongly next spring.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 11:20AM
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janezee(Sunset 5, 8b, Whidbey WA)

Oh, harryshoe, your story just brought me back 33 years to my second 'forever' garden, that I also had to give up.
I loved my new neighbors' SI when I moved into the neighborhood, and after a season or two of knowing those folks, I asked for a division of their huge clumps of whites, and of their very deep purples. They replied," Of course," and that they had been there when they bought the house, and they would love some of my common day-lilies, which grew some six or eight feet deep on either side of a 30 foot, dry stone wall, in return. lol We both had to resort to axes to get the required rhizomes split. Old plantings, on opposite sides of the road, that each made a beautiful statement in their beauty of bloom, traded in friendship. I miss them.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 7:04PM
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