New Leaves at Wrong Time of Year

roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)November 19, 2010

I inherited several iris plants when I bought my house up in the mountains of northern California. Most of them have not bloomed, and I plan to move them.

However, those that I moved a year ago are putting up new leaves and this is the wrong time of year for any new growth up here. We are expecting our first snow this weekend. Day temps will be dropping down into the 40s and night temps below freezing.

No, I didn't feed them this fall. They are doing this just to confuse me.

Should I cut the new growth off ?

Smiles,

Lyn

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Would you withhold food from your child if he had an early growth spurt?

Plant foliage manufactures food for the rhizome. They follow Mother Nature's calendar. You may not kill them by cutting off new foliage. as would happen with lilies, but it would be detrimental. Have faith they are responding as is correct for them.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:50PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

Iris_gal........

That is the PERFECT answer. The storm came in earlier than expected and the new shoots are buried in snow. I am willing to shovel snow, haul wood and such, but I sure don't want to be gardening in the snow !

Besides, I am ready for a break. I know I am behind, but I wanted to do a serious hand-weeding of the rose beds before I mulched them. Projects like that always take longer than you expect. It will take me about a week before I am yearning to be working in the garden again.

Smiles,
Lyn

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 3:10PM
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ashes_of_the_fire(6B)

mine have done just that this year! october showed me so many new increases it was ridiculous, they just had to wait until fall. i've just kept them clean (removed the older leaves that were holding water against the rhizome) and mulched them. what they do now is their own business, i just can't wait until spring!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 6:56PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

OK, OK ... I'll do ONE more garden chore after the snow melts. It only sticks for a couple of days at my elevation and we have another storm coming in tonight. I'll go up on the slope and remove the older leaves, hopefully, on Friday.

Do I cover the plants with loose leaves ? We get 30" of rain during winter and spring. It seems like nothing will ever dry out, but it does.

I've had a couple of days off and can deal with one more chore ... lol.

Smiles,
Lyn

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 10:06PM
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aggiegrad(5)

nope, your iris don't need any kind of covering. also, the leaves are fine as they are, you don't need to do anything to them. you may want to take off any yellow leaves but that can wait till spring if you want to. there really isn't a wrong time of year for new leaves for iris. they can even add new leaves with snow on them. you just don't see it then because they are covered with the snow. but, you will see the new growth come spring. don't worry about your iris, they will be fine.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 2:21AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

Thank you, aggigrad. Now that the rose beds are done, I am seeing the other plants I have inherited. I've already made some mistakes moving some of the irises around and it's time to learn more. The plants the previous owner had in place have been non-performers until I moved them. Then they became very interesting plants, to me. Our library only has two books about irises, published in 1966.

I am planning on turning my front lawn into an iris garden That's out in deer territory and the deer seem to be leaving them alone. I haven't a clue about how to build an iris bed, but I can research that during the winter.

The roses are in the testing stages to find out if they will thrive in this climate. (I'll replace the roses that aren't happy up here.) I need to find out about climate restrictions for irises, but I do know some grow up here quite well from looking at other gardens and the plants I have moved ... most into the wrong place and will have to be moved again.

I hope all of you will be very patient with my newbie questions.

Smiles,
Lyn

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 2:59AM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Good for you. My bearded iris love new beds. Fresh nutrients and most importantly, good drainage.

I like to dig a sprinkling of bonemeal & low nitrogen fertilizer in about 3 months before I plant.

Gardening is a fantastic hobby.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 4:35PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

I did a bit of research this afternoon. Thank God irises can't read. I made more mistakes than I knew and they just went ahead and bloomed.

Like the rose beds, this project is going to take a couple of years to get done. First I have to kill the lawn without chemicals because the glacier slurry is very porous and water will ultimately drain down into our water source,the Trinity River.

In the meantime, I need to build a berm and move all of Mrs. J's non-performing plants to this temporary spot to give them a chance to show me what they are. I moved several 10" plants a year ago and when they came up this spring, they were TALL bearded irises and ended up being almost 4' tall. Of course, I planted them in the wrong place.... a lesson learned.

Yes, gardening is a fantastic hobby, but right now it seems like a lot of hard work. But I do like it much more than housework.

Smiles,
Lyn

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 8:30PM
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aggiegrad(5)

just remember that the roots go below ground & the rhyzome stays above ground. if you can do that when you plant them, then you should get good blooms next year. since your working on an iris bed be sure to spread them out because they do increase off the sides every year. so, if you plant them close together now they will get even closer as they increase. then you will have to dig them out & spread them out in another couple years. I just did that myself this summer so I know it's a big job. I had a wheelbarrow full to re~plant. even though I gave away a lot of them, I still had enough to cover a driveway sized hill full. I can't wait till next spring to see what blooms for me.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 2:02AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

Good advice. That was one of my initial mistakes. I planted them too deep. Spacing was another.

I can't begin to build the berm until next spring as my soil is way too saturated to work at this time of year. I'll probably have to plant too close in the temp bed, but I don't know which plants are tall and which plants are shorter. I don't even know which color they are, so I can't even begin to figure out how to place them.

I plan to give my "extras" to the local historical cemetary. The deer have eaten all of the roses, so it's time to start over.

But what I like about exploring irises is that I don't have to dig more holes in rock. I an actually looking forward to that experience.

Thank you for the support.

Smiles,
Lyn

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 2:19AM
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aggiegrad(5)

if height & color matter to you, (it doesn't to me), what I would do is next year when they bloom tie some ribbons or string to the stalks. maybe string to the short ones & ribbon to the taller ones. for the color maybe match the ribbon color to the iris color. or figure out a way to record what is where on a map while they are blooming. then after they are done blooming for the year you still know what's where. I've gotten iris from e~bay sellers that have the name of the iris written on a leaf or with a picture stapled to the leaf. that's great in the short term, but when that leaf turns yellow & falls off, then you don't have the name anymore. anyway, that's what I would do. you can devise your own master plan, that's just a suggestion. good luck with your iris.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 12:58AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

It's the heighth of the plant that is the determining factor for me. I want to put the tall ones in back of the bed I will be putting in out in front of the house. The iris I mentioned above was planted in a small bed with a miniflora and a miniature rose. The iris was beautiful, but overpowering in that bed. That's why I want to move it.

I still want an iris in that spot because I like contrasting foliage, but I want a shorter plant. I already have one picked out which was also planted in the wrong spot.

I like your idea about using string or ribbon on the plants I put in the temporary bed to let me know which ones turn out to be tall vs short.

I am actually looking forward to planting something out in front that the deer don't view as food. Mrs. J used to go out every night and put chicken wire over the plants in that area every night. I'd rather plant something they don't want to eat.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Smiles,
Lyn

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 7:03PM
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