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Re: Digging bearded iris

Donald Mosser asks...

>Here's my question: How long can bearded irises remain out of the ground
>after digging before there are adverse effects?  Assuming cool(~75 degrees
>F, this is cool in the Southern U. S. summers!), dry, indoor storage

A partial answer -- one cultivar -- good conditions; can be found from an
experience that I take the blame for. Don't try this with a $45.00 iris

A friend brought us an unidentified iris that he hoped that we would grow
and possibly identify. The iris, garden name 'Midnight;' a large, fat,
healthy plant was delivered after bloom season, Spring 1986. It was in a
brown bag and I chucked it into a corner of the basement till I could find
room to plant it.

Time passed...

At a chapter meeting in Nov 1987, our friend asked; Did 'Midnight' bloom?
Could you get any idea as to what it is? Aarrggh! I confessed; and when we
got home I pulled the bag out of a heap of mess in the corner. It was tiny
and shriveled -- but there was a tiny bit of green showing at one end. I
stuffed it into the ground in our 'sick bed' and in March 1994 it put up a
fan. It grew well, put out increase, and in Spring 1990 we identified it as

It is one of the most vigorous iris we grow -- it probably wouldn't have
survived otherwise. TBs are tougher than we give them credit for -- when
they went west in covered wagons they were often out of the ground for a

More recently, we had a SDB that was lost in the excelsior and not
discovered until 9 months after shipping. Put it in the ground and it lived
-- bloomed this spring.

Mike Lowe in Virginia who can't find his glasses at least half the time.

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