digging iris for winter?

tiredokie(z5mt)August 18, 2009

Last year I planted several new iris. They were in a mixed garden bed. I lost several over the winter although they were not planted too deep. I read that this could have been caused by the rhizomes being given more water than necessary. The stored water in the rhizome caused the iris to rot over the winter. I am faced with the same situation this year. Will the rhizomes survive being dug and stored for the winter in a crawl space or under a bed? Should I mulch heavily? I didn't think mulch would necessarily held if the rot is due to stored water in rhizome. Thanks for any advice given.

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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I think it appears that they were not planted in well drained soil and probably overwatered last summer.
That's why they rotted over the winter.

An experienced iris grower told me that he barely buried his iris in the ground, leaving almost half of the rhizomes exposed. I have followed his advice since. And my Iris that were planted like that and were barely watered all summer have thrived and multiplied.

Maybe you can replant them before the summer is over and don't water them, they'll do better.
And definitely do not mulch them. If you dig them up and replant them in spring they won't bloom as well because they won't have enough time to establish.

Good luck.
:-)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 4:34PM
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