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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. 

If they are going to be replanted almost immediately, 
I'm not sure that they should be dormant. They are 
certainly more able to resist rot when growing.

> It has been my impression that irises
> (TB's at any rate) go dormant on their own regardless of watering
> pattern. True?

I think it depends on the cultivar. Some rebloomers don't have 
summer dormancy. For many iris I'm sure you are right.

> 
> 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? 

Depends a lot on the age of the clump. By the second or third year 12" or
so--first year around half that.

> I guess that is another way of asking how deep should it be
> dry before you water?

More than an inch, to let the outside of the rhizome dry off. 
Other than that, probably not too critical

Gerry, who took a while to learn that the "you don't have to 
water iris in the summer" rule that worked in Cincinnati doesn't 
cut it in the desert of Los Angeles.


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