Don't get mad at me, but I HAVE to find new homes for my iris...

bettylu_zone6aMay 25, 2010

My gardening group was volunteering a few years ago and in exchange for dividing and replanting a bunch of iris, we could all take some home. Now, I knew then that I did not have full sun beds, but I HOPED that it was enough to give me the pleasure of beautiful iris.

Well, I did get some blooms, but most stalks were very tall though and a lot of them fell over. Some only produced foliage. I simply do not have full sun anywhere except the middle of my front lawn (and it is not a big lawn, either).

I have a friend across the street who has full sun and would like to have my iris, but the weather has been crazy lately, first rain, rain, rain and now it is HOT - I don't know when to do it, and am unsure how is best. When we worked on the beds where I got the original iris from, we cut off most of the foliage (left a short, v-shaped fan) and only kept the new tubers, not the fat one in the middle. Is this the right thing to do?

Also, we have clay soil here, and the planting location at my friends house will be on a hill where there is grass at the moment - so it will be a new bed. Do I need to know/do anything special when we plant them? Her yard is huge, and if you have any suggestions as to a nice way to lay them out (there will be a privacy fence at the rear of the bed) I would appreciate any directions you can give me.

I am REALLY disappointed that I can't find anywhere to place them on my own lot (at least in any quantity). I will leave a few tucked here and there and live with less than robust blooms, but the ones that get too tall and fall over or have a weird curvy stem (I guess due to lack of sun) will have to go! Darn!!!! At least I can walk down the street and see a wonderful display at my neighbors - especially since they will be on a hill!


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im confused. are you offering these iris to gw members for postage?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 11:01AM
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Do people do that here???

I was actually looking for advice on when to move them from my yard to my neighbor friend's yard. Also, whether or not you are supposed to cut the foliage in a fan shape and discard the fat middle tuber and just keep the younger side tubers.

Since this is an iris lovers :-) forum, I didn't want anyone to get mad at me for not keeping them!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 2:41PM
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yes, you can offer your extra iris for postage to members on garden web. they pay you for the shipping cost, and you mail them the iris you no longer want.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 5:41PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

The reason the foliage is clipped is too prevent tip-over before they have roots anchored to hold them upright.

The fat middle tuber is the mother rhizome and she has finished her job by producing offspring in 2 manners - the baby rhizomes & bloom/seed (not true to the parent). She will not bloom again and may be discarded.

It is not wrong to leave the babies attached and plant the entire mother & babies. It's just that she will eventually wither. Some people have experimented and cut a mother rhizome crosswise into several pieces, allowed the cuts to dry overnight, and planted. Sometimes an invisible eye develops into a rhiz.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 11:56PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I'm sorry you had to give away your irises, but you can go visit them all of the time when they bloom at your friend's house.

You can just dig and replant the rhizomes in her beds as soon as her beds are ready, any time between now and the end of August is usually recommended.

When you dig up the rhizomes, you can divide them and as irisgal says dispose of the rhizomes without leaves. I plant mother rhizomes that have not bloomed and sometimes they bloom in the new spot. You can leave the leaves on if they don't pull the rhizome over with their weight.

I like to plant the rhizomes a foot apart in fan or sickle shaped patterns so that they look like they grew naturally.

I give my irises to my neighbors too. Then I get to enjoy the ones that don't look good in my garden.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:50AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I'm also happy you can view your irises at your neighbor's nice hill, and I bet she'll let you pick a few blooms to bring in and enjoy in a vase!

I'm also glad for the advice you received, because mine need to be broken up and replanted also, and I wasn't sure of that process. My biggest fear, is mine are growing in the middle of a bed of invasive mint, and I hope no mint roots are clinging to my rhizomes! I do NOT want that mint in other areas of my yard!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:39AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Or even worse- in your NEIGHBOR'S yard.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 7:58PM
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