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RE: CULT: when to move bearded iris?


Yes, the address is from UALR in Little Rock.  I have been watching the
list for some time now and have picked up lots of good info.  I have
joined the Little Rock Iris Club but haven't made it to a meeting yet.
Between school, work, family, and church there is not much time left.  I
do intend to be at the annual sale. 

I don't have many iris yet.  I just started last fall.  I have 5 acres
of land and wouldn't mind if it was completely covered in iris.
A few people at work have been nice enough to share their iris with me
and they are coming along fine.  I don't know the names of any of them
but they did bloom this year.  I acted just like a kid at Christmas.

Thanks so much for the info.  Hope to hear from you again.


>-----Original Message-----
>From:	J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey [SMTP:storey@aristotle.net]
>Sent:	Monday, May 18, 1998 10:01 PM
>To:	Multiple recipients of list
>Subject:	RE: CULT:  when to move bearded  iris?
>Suzanne asks:
>>This is good to know since someone just gave me a sack of rhizomes.  My
>>question now is, when should I cut the iris back.  It looks like they
>>have finished blooming.  Does that mean it is time to cut them back or
>>do they start to die back first?  This is my first experience with iris.
>Hi, Suzanne! I noted UALR in your email address. By any chance is that UALR
>in Little Rock? If so, then here is the advice dispensed by your local iris
>You don't say whether these TB rhizomes are currently in the ground. If
>they are not, you should trim the fans to about 6 inches before planting
>the rhizomes, which you can do at any time. Trimming the fans makes the
>rootstock easier to handle while you're planting, and it also may help
>compensate for the roots lost when the plants were dug.
>Assuming the plants are already in the ground and have bloomed there:
>There's no compelling reason to trim back iris fans in Arkansas either
>after the flowers bloom or in preparation for winter. In some other states,
>trimming foliage is a precaution against insect depredation and wind
>damage, but not here. We only lop off the fans if they are diseased, for
>instance, if they have leaf spot, which many people's irises do have here.
>What you DO want to do after the plants bloom -- this goes for both
>dry-culture and water-loving irises -- is cut off the spent bloomstalks and
>gently pull away any fans that are yellowed, brittle-tan or soggy. Never
>rip off fans that aren't easily removed. Spent leaves will be the oldest
>leaves, the ones on the outsides of the fan. When the rhizome is ready to
>give up a leaf, it will come right off with a gentle yank.
>Sometimes bloomstalks can be removed by snapping the stem as you might snap
>off an asparagus stalk, but for some reason I haven't been able to do that
>much this year. All my bloomstalks have been a little too flexible for easy
>snapping. So I get a sharp knife and cut them off. Everyone does this his
>or her own way, but I take TBs off about 4 inches from the ground. Some
>people like to leave the leaves on the stem stumps; I don't, because they
>die back rather quickly anyway, and because they make little cups that trap
>water. So I take off the bloomstalk leaves.
>For LAs, I snip the stalk below the lowest bud socket, leaving as much
>foliage as looks healthy. Those leaves don't seem to die the way TB
>bloomstalk leaves will -- just my experience; I could be wrong!
>If you have leaf spot, use scissors to trim affected leaves a little bit
>below the lowest spots. Spot is contagious. Try not to touch healthy leaves
>after you've handled sick ones. Also, Janet Carson recommends dipping your
>scissors into dilute bleach solution between each cut. Don't compost those
>trimmings unless your pile stays very hot.
>Tom Dillard has written a teeny booklet, "Growing Irises in Arkansas,"
>which you might find useful. The Central Arkansas Iris Society gives these
>little booklets away to new members. Membership costs $3. We meet every
>third Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Garden Clubs Center of Little Rock at
>Kavanaugh and Lee. We have yummy snacks at every meeting.
>If your UALR is a UALR someplace other than Little Rock, disregard all of
>the above and ask the list for advice specific to your climate.
>All the best!
>Little Rock, Arkansas, USDA Zone 7b
>257 feet above sea level,
>average rainfall about 50 inches (more than 60" in '97)
>average relative humidity (at 6 a.m.) 84%.
>moderate winters, hot summers ... but lots of seesaw action in all seasons

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