Planting Irises in Late Fall. What to do?

eukofiosOctober 22, 2012

Today I saw an iris rhizome at the store, for a variety I've been wanting to try (Red Zinger). So I bought it. One of those dried-out looking rhizomes,. I've been able to get those growing before. Altho they don't bloom the 1st spring. Also, this summer I made a big mistake and ordered rhizomes and bulbs from a company that seems to think an order in August means sending the bulbs and rhizomes in late Oct or maybe Nov (not sure if I'm allowed to name it). If they ever actually send them, I'll have a couple more to plant.

I know this is a bad time to plant. Too late. Too wet in the Pacific NW. Should I keep the rhizomes stored until Spring? Plant them in containers inside? Plant them outside and hope for the best?

Curious about what the iris experts here would do. I don't know yet what I will do. I'm leaning toward planting in a raised bed that I will be building this weekend anyway.

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Plant now. It's never really too late to plant in our climate (although it can be too wet - but certainly is not so this season).

FWIW, I've planted iris in the middle of winter here without any problems. They even bloomed the next summer although maybe not as vigorously or as early as they might if planted earlier.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 5:41PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I agree, I'd plant them now.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Thank you both hosenemesis and gardengal48! I think I'll take your advice and plant this weekend. I also have some in containers that should benefit from planting too, once I get the new raised bed prepared. I suspect the containerized ones wont skip a beat, and will be better protected from the elements once in the soil.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Planted them! They are in a raised bed, so maybe a bit less likely to rot. In my garden, I seem to have more problems with rot for container-planted rhizomes, than garden-planted.

We'll see what happened. Not a big investment if they don't survive. But I hope they do.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 11:59AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Keep us informed! We like photos too :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Will do!
I also planted some of my container-grown irises in the same raised bed. I was careful not to disturb roots. They might be happier there too.
I "planted" the rhizomes barely pushed into the soil. They are mostly exposed. We'll see!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 2:10PM
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I couldn't resist some irises while buying pots at Home Depot and planted them out in mid October. I want tons eventually, but have never grown them.

I figured this would be good because they're orange and pink (not really what I am into) and I figure I won't get too attached or bummed if they peter out. Not to mention they were about $2 per rhizome.

I made a nice little mound for them and it seems to be working. They have put new roots down and they have plumped up and gotten nice and firm.

There is a wee tiny little bit of foliage growing up though. Is that normal?? It has kind of pushed off the husky remains of what leaves were left on them when they were dried. When it comes loose I coax it off, I figure it will help them not rot.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 11:26AM
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brbnightmares, good luck ith your late planting! Your climate is a bit colder than mine. The mound idea sounds good to me. I also have mine raised slightly. The new foliage sounds encouraging to me. I imagine it will stop for the cold of winter, then start again in Spring. It's all an experiment.

As for the dried out leaves, I pull mine off if they are loose, but not if they are held tight.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:47PM
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I just bought some from HD, because I tried two seasons ago, and I planted too deep they turned to mush. I was able to get one to survive, but it's practically a little more than 1 inch in the ground.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Let me tell you, iris love raised beds. You can water them extra if the drainage is good. They will breed like rabbits. Also try eBay this time of year for lots.

Fall is a great time to transplant iris but you can move them anytime. Now is when the babies are growing. The mother rhizome will never bloom again but she will have babies that will if she is happy.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Well, here's the Red Zinger I discussed above. It's growing nicely. Didn't Rot. Others that arrived a week later are also growing nicely.

It's probably too much to ask for them to bloom this year. Then again, never know. We'll see what Spring brings.

Amazing these survived. It was a wet winter. They froze before they could grow roots.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:29PM
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