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Re: Iris Dormancy

John I Jones wrote:
> I recently read in a local Iris club bulletin that if you were going to
> dig and separate an iris clump, that you should withhold water for six
> weeks to make tham go dormant. It has been my impression that irises
> (TB's at any rate) go dormant on their own regardless of watering
> pattern. True?  ........ Not here.  My plants are lush and sending plenty of new increases up.  In fact some of the ones I transplanted a 
month ago are growing wonderfully.  Beardless iris - I make sure they 
are wet before I dig them.  I know, it can be a muddy mess, but the 
transplant shock will be less. 

> Another question: How deep do iris roots (TB"S) typically go, and is
> that the depth at which one should be concerned about the availability
> of moisture? I guess that is another way of asking how deep should it be
> dry before you water?

Depending on the variety, and the condition of the soil, I have had some 
roots grow to over 16 inches long.  In this area, they go down around 
5-6 inches deep.  There are usually plenty of "shallower" roots to help 
them obtain moisture.   I use a moisture meter in different locations to 
guage when to water.  I am developing a watering plan taking into 
consideration rain amounts, temp. and the biggest---WIND! 


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