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Re: moving iris question

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: moving iris question
  • From: Arnold Koekkoek <KOEKKOEK@dordt.edu>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 09:54:12 -0700 (MST)

Sharon's statement about moving to NE Washington automatically meant 
the state to me, since that's the state I call home.  Washington, DC, 
never even occurred to me.  However, to get to the topic.  You've 
gotten enough advice about iris-moving and probably don't need any 
more to confuse the issue.  Suffice it to say that, as you are 
already well aware, iris are very tough, hard to kill unless they 
cost you an arm and a leg, in which case they will find some way to 
expire after a move like you contemplate.  If you are from someplace 
south--and I know you said that long ago, but I don't remember it 
anymore--you could be through with most or all of your gloom by the 
time you have to dig.  That would be ideal, and you'd be getting them 
into the ground at the beginning of growing season in Washington.
    Some of the amaryllis advice that's been given isn't helpful if 
you are going to go north, where you can't leave them outside in the 
winter.  Here in Iowa, this procedure works well.  Amaryllis in pots, 
such as people get around Christmas time, are just kept growing in 
their pots after the bloom stalk is cut off.  When it's warm enough, 
set them outside to harden off, if possible at first in shade and 
every couple days into more and more sunlight.  After a week or so, 
knock them out of the pots and plant directly in the garden.  Keep 
them well watered and fertilized all summer; they can take the direct 
summer sun all day.  In the fall, the day the weather forecaster 
tells you it's going to freeze tonight, dig them up, knock off as 
much dirt as you can without hurting the bulb, and lay them out to 
dry in your basement, on a layer of newspaper or whatever.  When the 
leaves are dried up you can cut or pull them off.  Store the bulbs in 
a dark, cool, dry part of your basement, either until they start to 
sprout or until you want them to, several weeks in any case.  When 
you want them to start growing, pot them up again, and off you go.  
In a while you'll get new bloom again, and after they are done you 
let them hang around until they can go outside once more.  I have 
some friends who don't bother potting at all, just plant outside when 
it's warmed enough, directly from the basement.
    I hope this lengthy explanation doesn't insult your intelligence, 
but I wanted to tell you what works here in the cold north.  NE
Washington state isn't going to be appreciably, if any, different. 
    Satisfy the curiosity.  Precisely where in Washington are you 
moving.  A couple members of this iris-l live in north central WA,
which wouldn't be too far away.
Arnold Koekkoek
NW Iowa  Zone 4

Arnold Koekkoek                         Home Ph. (712) 722-0724
Assoc. Prof. of History                 Off. Ph. (712) 722-6326
Dordt College                           e-mail koekkoek@dordt.edu
Sioux Center, IA 51250

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