Just found a box of rhizomes...oops

TNY78(7a-East TN)November 30, 2013

I had a couple of orders arrive at the same time earlier this season, and had them all in my laundry room until I was ready to plant them. I thought I had them all planted by late august, but I just found another box from Blue-J hiding that I had missed! What should I do with them? We're in zone 6b/7a and its already been regualrly into the 20's at night here. I didnb't know if I should wait until Spring to plant them, or if I should pot them up and put them in a greenhouse....or something else? Any advice is appreciated! :)


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bear_with_me(8 Pacific NW)

We are in different climates, but there are similarities. I'm in southwestern Washington State. Last fall I planted 3 rhizomes @ this time of year, from store close-outs and from a catalog that I won't name. I did not think they would grow but I like a challenge. Here it is below freezing at times and other times is rainy and chilly.

I planted them with the tops of the rhizomes above soil level. The soil just came about midway up the sides of the rhizomes.

All of them grew. None of those bloomed. They look promising for 2014 flowers. One was Red ZInger, one was Mariposa Skies, and I forget the other.

I also had rhizomes that a well meaning relative pulled up while weeding, and threw in a pile that I missed. Those laid on the ground, exposed, for 5 months, then were planted late fall. They grew too. A yellow NOID.

So I think you can plant them. I don't think freezing is as big a problem as rot, so I would plant them with the top well exposed and the bottom slightly below soil surface level so they can root when there is a thaw or in the Spring.

I should warn I am not an expert so take anything I say with a grain of salt :-) But that was what worked for me.

Good luck with your new irises!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 10:57AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

If you have a greenhouse, pot them up, for sure! You can also pot them up and keep them close to the house if you think it won't be as cold. I have planted plenty of times in December, but I live in CA.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 12:52AM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Thank you both! I went ahead and potted up the majority of them and then planted the ones that I didn't have pots for in a temporary protected area where I can easily relocate them next year when the time is right (it was a good size order!). Crossing my fingers that they make it :)


    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 11:21PM
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Nancy zone 6

Iris are so hardy, I bet they will make it fine. I've dug some up before & forgot to get them planted. found them the next spring & planted them then, they did fine. Of course they didn't bloom til the following year, but I was surprised that they did that well.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 5:20PM
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