Need Help: Stored Bearded Iris Rhizomes

janes_gardenAugust 4, 2009

Hi all,

I'm a very new gardener and planted about 25 iris rhizomes that had been stored and were dry when I purchased them from another gardener. While searching the internet for info on potting, I came across a paragraph stating that irises rhizomes that were stored should have the

old roots cut off and then soaked in water for about 30 minutes before planting. I wasn't aware that I should do this nor was I told by the gardener I bought them from. Before I planted them, I found a video on the net on how to plant iris rhizomes with the roots intact and not soaking them, but these were fresh iris rhizomes that had just been divided from a larger plant with the new rhizome planted immedately after dividing. I just took it for granted that the same would apply to stored iris rhizomes.

Should I dig up the rhizomes I have already planted, cut off the old roots, soak in water, and then replant, or leave them and just water daily?

Thank you in advance!


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mike_g_(Zone 5b OH)

I have never soaked an iris rhizome and personaly know any one that uses that method. Just water them once a week untill new shoots show. If it rains skip the watering.

Mike G

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 7:03PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

I do the same as Mike except watering weekly. I have heavy clay soil so I do a thorough soaking of the soil and don't water again for a month.

What's your soil like?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 9:06PM
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Nancy zone 6

Same here, although my soil has pretty good drainage & I still don't water for 3 or 4 weeks after the 1st watering. I don't think it would hurt them either way, as long as the soil doesn't stay wet. Which is exactly what iris gal was saying :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 10:48PM
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Thanks for your help. This is the link where I found the info regarding cutting old roots and soaking:

Though 25 are planted, I have about 400 all total that I will plant this month.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 3:50AM
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I always soak my iris in a weak bleach solution for 15 minutes before planting, as Walter said in the article.
It is not because they are dry, it is to have the bleach kill anything that may be on them, such as the start of rot.
But if you missed that step before planting, I would not dig them up.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 5:00PM
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