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dried up looking rhizomes?

Posted by jeb3669 7 (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 3, 07 at 21:48

I'm new to growing irises and have a question buying them. My local garden center is having a clearance on spring bulbs and a few iris. The iris look pretty dry. How can I tell if the iris are ok to buy? I have never bought iris (I was given some, but they were freshly dug up) and the ones I see in the garden centers always look like they are dead. Lowe's also had theirs on clearance but they looked even drier than the ones in the garden center.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: dried up looking rhizomes?

Don't waste your time and money on dried up rhizomes sold after season (like now). Wait until next summer, then order freshly dug rhizomes from commercial iris growers. You'll end up with MUCH more healthy plants.


RE: dried up looking rhizomes?

Our club recently received some rhizomes dug in Sept. that were newer varieties. All the fans were brown and shriveled, some were small, but the rhizomes were firm/ok. We immediately potted them 2 weeks ago, and I left town for a week. Weve had a good frost when I got back, but in spite of that, I see that some are poking out some new green tips. I dont expect them to do much through the winter but maybe try to start some roots. However, I expect all of them to survive and Im sure theyll have a lot of green growth in the spring just not bloom until the following year. Our club members will have to wait a year for bloom, but otherwise theyll get some new varieties at little cost.
I often tell people "its hard to kill an iris", and a friend of mine adds to that saying "unless you pay $50.00 for it".
So if you decide to get some discounted irises, be patient with the bloom, and perhaps consider getting some other irises next year as well. Consider your climate/zone, as northern states would not advise planting in winter, whereas here in Calif, our ground doesn't freeze solid.

RE: dried up looking rhizomes?

I received a trade late in fall 2006, left it in a paper bag under the kitchen sink and came across it in February this year. It was all shriveled up and the leaves all crumbled in my fingers when I tried to take it out of the bag. I was devistated as it was a rhizome of "HONORABILE (Lemon 1840)" which I had been trying to find for a couple of years.

I potted it up and placed it under grow lamps. A couple of weeks go by and lo-and-behold, little green fans started emerging from the soil! I was ecstatic!

I never give up on an Iris ... dried up or not! Pot it up and see what happens! I'll bet you'll be pleasantly surprised at its will to survive!!
Berni in Canada

RE: dried up looking rhizomes?

Same here as Berni, I got some clearance TB's on sale very late in the season, they too looked like King Tut, dried up and shrivelled. I potted them up, gave them some water and placed them under the flourescent lamps downstairs and lo and behold they have already put up some new leaves.


RE: dried up looking rhizomes?

I have done the same thing--bought em & forgot em---when finding, said, well, you never know; that is a thick root---and if I don't plant it, it for sure will die---but if I do, then maybe.......

Stuck in the ground (even in winter; the soil is moister than the paper bag) and lo & behold, a few weeks or months later, little green iris tops.

It's no way to treat a plant, and if they do live they will certainly take longer to flower than if you'd planted them when you oughter, but hey. Late flowers is better than dead plant.

As to buying garden center iris in Dec, I wouldn't. Unless they were selling them 5 for a dollar.

It's a gamble whether they are alive you see. If I'd already bought it & forgot to plant it, I've spent the money & I am trying to salvage my mistake. If someone else has shriveled product, why should I buy their possibly even probably dead plants?

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