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Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

Posted by TomNorthJersey none (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 19, 12 at 15:42

This is my first time planting Iris bulbs and I'd like to do it correctly. I just received some siberian iris bulbs in the mail today.

The bulbs are in plastic bags with what looks like mulch surrounding as packing.

So far I've found this article, which claims I should soak the roots and rhizomes overnight first. http://www.easytogrowbulbs.com/g-22-siberian-iris-planting-guide.aspx

and this youtube video that shows the mounding to get the roots to fan out in the hole.http://youtu.be/lYyDdS53l4c

I'm confused about a few things. Nothing else I read said anything about soaking them.

The video says that the roots/rhizomes should be about 1/3rd covered in soil. The article said the roots/rhizomes should be 1-1.5" below soil level. Another video I read indicates even the fans should be covered.

The bed is going to be mulched. Are there any concerns with regards to the mulch covering the rhizomes?

What about any soil amendments and fertilizers. The soil isn't that great in the area and I will be mixing in some composted manure to improve drainage. The only fertilizer I have on hand is Espoma Plant-Tone. Should I add some when planting?

I will be heading to my garden center later if I need anything else.

I appreciate any help you can give.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

Are the roots fleshy and succulent? They should be and if so, I wouldn't soak them. If they are not fleshy and succulent, then good luck :-)

I really dislike folks who sell Siberian iris in this virtually bare root condition at this time of year. Bare root starts should be available and sold only when the plant is dormant - and Siberian iris are not dormant at this time of year. This is not a rhizome or a bulb but a fleshy rooted herbaceous perennial and is not fully dormant until late fall or early winter, as are most other perennials. Selling the plant now, while still in an active growth cycle albeit the end of it, puts an unnecessary stress on the plant that it sometimes cannot overcome before the further stress of winter. Who knows how long its been in that little plastic bag, away from any moisture and allowed to dry out and probably exposed to overly warm temperatures. I will take containerized started plants everyday over anything offered bare root even during the dormant period.

But I digress.......to your plants. Make sure the roots are moist (soaking overnight is unnecessarily excessive). Dig a hole and plant them in the ground. The soil should cover the roots fully (no rhizomes involved here) and enough of the leaves to firm the plant into the soil properly. Water well. The end.

No fertilizer now. Mulch whenever with mulch upto any green but not covering. Have you ever planted daylilies before? Planting Siberian iris is done exactly the same way. Do these plants have any leaves left on them at all?

Here is a link that might be useful: a better than a in-a-bag-bare-root source for Sibe Butter and Sugar


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

Never planted daylilies.

Pulled one out of the bag. This is what it looks like. I guess I'll just go ahead an plant them as soon as possible then.


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

Next year I might swap at least one of them out. I just saw a picture of a Japanese Iris with yellow blooms that will work better for what I'm going after.

I'll try and find a whole plant for that one spot. I just couldn't resist the prices of these.


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

They don't look as bad as they could, Tom :-) Yes, do get them in the ground ASAP - you don't want to expose those roots to the air or anymore drying than necessary.

I'd plant to depth of the tip of your finger peeking around the side. Water in well.

FWIW, there are no yellow flowered Japanese iris. Pics one finds online of Iris ensata 'Yellow' are really of Iris pseudacorus or yellow flag iris. There are hybrid crosses of I. ensata with pseudacorus known as pseudatas that look a lot like very much like Japanese iris and have beautiful yellow colors and markings, but I'd venture to say they will get taller than that species. These will grow and flower best with ample water - more than the Sibes require.


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

The yellow japanese iris I saw was called 'Rising Sun'. Next spring I'll see how everything looks and tweak it a bit if necessary.

There in the ground. I had ordered more than I was planning to plant because they came 3 to a bag. One bag had 4 in them.

I put 3 in a temporary spot for a few years until the juniper starts to fill in the spot more. If some look better than others I can swap them.

I think I might have planted one not exactly where I wanted it. I won't know until I create the bed's edge. That might not be for a few days.

Is it safe to assume that the first year they won't get that much wider at the base than their current width?

I've been very lost trying to create this bed so it looks somewhat decent. You've commented in some of my other threads and I really appreciate your input as well as that from the other posters.


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

Part of the confusion comes from the fact that the web site you posted concerns Siberian iris, but the Youtube video concerns bearded iris, which have different planting procedures.

I'm no expert at growing Siberians, but everything I've heard indicates that they should be planted with the roots/rhizomes below ground. They like more water than bearded iris (particularly when getting established), but don't like to be soggy (like Louisiana or Japanese iris).

In my experience most beardless iris are a bit more touchy about being transplanted than bearded iris (especially Pacific Coast iris). Try not to move them around a whole lot, though your plan sounds fine.


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

I would have planted the rhizomes to the depth of the bottom of where your thumb touches them on the left hand side of the picture.

You can mulch well, 2-3 inches right up to the base of the irises.

If you want you can water them in with some Miracle Gro every 2-3 weeks.

They should approximately double in size next season.

In the future I wouldn't buy any sibs that come in bags like that. There are a lot of great growers out there to buy from. Ensata Gardens is one.

By the way, we never sell a siberian or Japanese bare root that is dormant. They are always sold by growers in the growing stages.


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

All of the reputable Siberian Iris growers I know sell them bare root, and they ship them during a relatively short window when they will transplant successfully. I don't know much about Bluestone Perennials, but they are not an iris grower and they don't hybridize Siberian irises. If you want great sources for Siberian Irises in the future, check out the SIGNA Facebook Page. Hybridizers and commercial growers of Siberians post there frequently and can give tips about the best places to buy. They also have extraordinary choices and newly introduced irises for sale. I hope your irises perform exactly the way you want them to!
Renee

Here is a link that might be useful: SIGNA on FB


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

The Siberian Iris website has a list of commercial sources that are good, also.

You're right Renee, it's a pretty narrow window when we mail them, 2 months at the most in spring and two months in fall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Commercial Sources


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RE: Help me plant my first Irises correctly.

The Siberian Iris website has a list of commercial sources that are good, also.

You're right Renee, it's a pretty narrow window when we mail them, 2 months at the most in spring and two months in fall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Commercial Sources


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