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Re: TB: Rot Question

Hey there Matt,
  Your problem with some of your new iris transplants sure sounds like rot to me.  Here in Michigan, that is the first thing I look for in my own new transplants, since they are very prone to rot after our long winters with much precipitation.
  You did a great job describing the "attack method" of the rot.  Here's what I do . . . 
  When I see the original transplant fan is not growing, I tug at those leaves.  If they come out of the rhizome, and I see and feel squishyness, then I know the plant is beginning to suffer from rot.  Sometimes if the day you're perusing through your garden, the full warm sunlight is enough to stop the rot in it's tracks >>> but who wants to risk it!  I use Comet Disinfectent household clenser.  Take a grapefruit spoon, or other clean object, and scrape out the mushy parts of the rhizome, being careful not to snap off those increases that are still light green, and have life in them!  Try to keep more dirt from getting on the rhizome, too.  Once clean, sprinkle the Comet directly on the exposed rhizome.  I have heard that Dial liquid (or wal-mart brand Equate) antibacterial soap (with Triclosan in it) also works, but I have not tried this method.  Bleach works well, but mostly in the mid-summer-rot for me.  
  I have salvaged 90% of my first-year transplants this way.  It helps if the iris does have some increases showing.  Currently, I have 4 of my own this spring that I put Comet on, Kitty Kay, Brown Sugar Spice, Infrared, and First Page.  Kitty Kay looks the worst off, since it is not showing increases.  
  Watch your rot-saved irises closely through the summer.  If they grow well, you probably won't have to worry about them much the next season, unless they're growing too deeply under the soil surface.  I find that the second year after planting, the transplants have acclimated to our climate, and they grow and bloom like normal (under most circumstances!).  
  Hope this all helps.  It may be too late for your 5 if the entire rhizome and increases are all mushy, so at least keep an eye on the other 35 transplants!
  Waiting for Spring>
  Adam Cordes
  *New Website!* www.mioiris.org
  President, Mio Irisarians
  Hillman, Michigan
  Zone 4 (and a half . . . )

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