Can I move an iris when its in bloom?

bellarosa(z5/IL)May 18, 2006

Hi everyone,

I have a few questions on irises and hope you can help:

- Can I move an iris when its in bloom?

- Why did the irises I planted last year not bloom?

- What's a great yellow Siberian iris to try?

- Do I need to fertilize my irises and if so, with what?

Thanks for the help!

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

You can move bearded iris in bloom. The blooms will probably wilt quickly. Beardless iris (ie. Siberians, Japanese) may not be as accomodating. You risk losing these.

New rhizomes of bearded iris often take a year to settle in and bloom. Sometimes two years. In case you received a mother rhizome (that is one which has already produced a bloom stalk) it will have to produce babies and for them to become blooming size can take some time. All beardeds are not equal. Some are more vigorous than others.

Low nitrogen fertilizer is recommended for beardeds. Bulb fertilizers are good. Whether your soil needs it.....................???

The FAQ at the top of the page has more information.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 1:47AM
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eroctuse2(z5 SE Michigan)

I agree with iris_gal.

In addition I would say that you should only move them if you have to.

A local woman sells them while in bloom. While it's great knowing it's what you want it does take it's toll on the plant.

Years ago she instructed me to cut the flowers once I had labeled them, because they will just die. Since back then I was even shocked to hear of trimming back the leaves(to height of 6 or 8 inches in an inverted V shape ^ ) I didn't follow her advice.

The flowers wilted and the leaves weighed down the plants (toppling several). Luckily I was able to save the remaining buds and enjoy them in a vase.

I still buy from her each year, but I always expect them to be even more unsettled than the rhizomes sent at the proper time.

I don't know siberians well enough to suggest a good yellow, but I do grow i. pseudacorus. It's considered invasive by many and is banned in some states. I grow mine along-side my TB's and it's never even started to crowd anything.

Since I'm too inexperienced to execute a proper soil test(as anyone should) I use a generally accepted fertilizer. I buy mine at Walmart with the numbers 6-10-10. I can't say it's the best for everyone, but at least it hasn't harmed my plants.

I realize that I ramble, but I hope I've helped somehow.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 5:33AM
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wmoores(7/8 MS)

I guess it depends on where you live as to moving irises in bloom.

I would not recommend moving beardless unless you also dig up the rootball and a lot of soil with it.

I move bearded around bare root in bloom or as the major bloom has faded, but not six weeks after they bloomed. I moved more this bloom season than ever. I am glad I did because we have have had two Aprils and no May yet. Everything I moved is sending up new leaves.

If I transplant bare root six weeks after bloom season in June, I will probably lose the plant because of heat and humidity and scalding summer rain. Moving bearded irises six weeks after bloom time is bad advice for the lower tier of southern states. If you cannot move them during the bloom season, wait until late August or September.

Walter Moores

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 7:09AM
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I move mine while they are blooming. I usually try to move them with a clump of dirt. In my area rebloomers increase quickly. Unless the clump is small enough to move as one I just take a shovel and try to do as little damage as possible and take out what I want and leave the rest in place. I back fill the hole with good soil and I usually get rebloom on both the part left in the ground and the part of the clump I moved. I realize this will not work if you have soil that does not tend to stay together. Of course the ground needs to be moist. It is much easier to move them bare root and you can do a better job of seperating the rhizomes. If I move them bare root and replant the rhizomes the rebloomers will mostly not rebloom that fall.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 10:01AM
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jaybn(z5 NY)

I sometimes move small clumps when they are blooming, usually the first time they bloom, to be near compatible neighbors. It works best with a good rootball. If they wilt, I tie them loosely to a stake to keep the leaves off the ground & cut off the oldest flower. The buds can live thru it. This year I tried cutting off part of a big clump of an SDB to move it. I sprinkled cleanser on the cuts on both parts. It seems ok.
I lightly fertilize. Last fall was the first time I sprinkled lime around the clumps (not on top of the rhizome) & this spring some irises that haven't ever bloomed for me have flowers! It's amazing I could id them after 6-7 years.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 11:20PM
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