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Re: CULT: when to move bearded iris?

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: CULT: when to move bearded iris?
  • From: "John I. Jones" <jijones@ix.netcom.com>
  • Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 10:10:05 -0600 (MDT)

Cynthia Kermode wrote:
> 
--  snip  --

> Can I safely move each class as it finishes bloom , rather than waiting for the
> textbook July-Aug recommendation for our area? It would help my cause!
> Can I divide clumps as usual down to  single rhizomes, or should I leave pairs
> since I'd be moving slightly out of season?
> Help! I need your hand-holding:-)

Hi Cynthia

I am sure others will chime in too (Please), but my advice would be to move
them with as big a root ball as you can. You can really move irises *anytime*
and they will mostly survive. The biggest impact of digging and dividing now
would be to the bloom for next year. If you dig and divide now, you will
interrupt the prime time for growing increases and storing up energy for next
year. They will have to grow new root systems. That doesn't mean you won't get
any bloom next year, just that some may be affected. There is (was) someone on
the list from New Jersey who routinely digs and divides just after bloom, but
I have never thought that was best for the irises. With a root ball somewhat
intact the impact is significantly less. 


Last summer I had to move some one year clumps that hadn't bloomed during the
spring. I dug a root ball 12-15 inches in diameter and plopped them into a
similar sized hole in their new location. This year you couldn't distinguish
them from 2 year clumps. 7 and 8 bloomstalks each. They were wowser!

If you really have to divide, I'd try the root ball process then in the
summer, cut out the old pieces that you don't want without digging the entire
clump, thus preserving as much of the root structure as possible. 

John                     | "There be dragons here"
                         |  Annotation used by ancient cartographers
                         |  to indicate the edge of the known world.

John Jones, jijones@ix.netcom.com
Fremont, California, USA, Earth, USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay) 
Max high 95F/35C, Min Low 28F/-2C average 10 days each
Heavy clay base for my raised beds.
There are currently 83 Iris pictures on my Website. Visit me at:
http://members.home.net/jijones





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