Irises growing too soon

irislover_2009November 30, 2009

Normally the weather in Western Massachusetts is pretty cool by now. I planted irises a couple of weeks ago, expecting the weather to get cold. I checked my garden yesterday and the irises are already growing. What can I do short of bringing them indoors in pots to keep them from freezing when the cold weather does hit. If they keep growing so well they will be frozen. Thank you to anyone that can help me with this problem.


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iris_gal(z9 CA)

What type of iris are they?

Tall bearded, dwarf bearded, Siberian .........................

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 1:45AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Bearded iris grow on a different schedule than 'normal' plants. They come from summer-dry climates, and have adapted to that by making the height of summer their dormant period. So every time it warms up during the winter here, they grow a bit. Usually it isn't a big deal. However, it also means they should be planted in August, not 'a couple of weeks ago'. They have to have good root systems established before winter so they can regulate water.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 7:50AM
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bari26(6 (Cape Cod))

are you talking about Dutch iris bulbs, maybe? because they do tend to grow during the fall, but they will be just fine (unless the rabbits eat them, like they did mine last year.... so I definitely didn't bother to plant any new dutch iris this year, even though I do like them). As for my TB's, and other bearded irises, they are still sort of growing, but not with any real enthusiasm, although some of the reblooming ones have thrown up flower stalks which will no doubt be nipped in the bud this weekend when the temperature goes down to 26 or so (although maybe just in Boston area, not on the Cape....).... hate reblooming irises, because they always try to rebloom too late and I have to watch the flower stalks freeze to death every year....

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 8:57AM
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I'm in RI. My newly planted iris (late July/early august) look great. Most have healthy green foliage, one even has a flower stalk.

This is normal for them. Leave them be. The freezing temps will knock them back some. Realize that if they are new arrivals this year that they may or maynot flower in the spring.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 10:44PM
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