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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: Ensata <Ensata@aol.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 05:34:30 -0600 (MDT)

In a message dated 98-05-18 11:39:09 EDT, Cynthia Kermode wrote:

<< Can I safely move each class as it finishes bloom , rather than waiting for
 textbook July-Aug recommendation for our area?>>

YES.  Most "textbook" writers keep writing what they have read without doing
much gardening.   They keep ignoring what the Original Textbook said: W. R.
Dykes, in 1911, said that ALL iris (except the Pacific Coast Natives) should
be dug and divided immediately after bloom.  
Barry Blyth just showed us slides of his commercial gardens in full bloom with
stalks at full height.  Then told us that they were all one year transplants.
They dig and divide ALL of their bearded iris every year.  I asked how soon
after bloom he did it.  I was pleased when he replied, "the next day !".

<< Can I divide clumps as usual down to  single rhizomes, or should I leave

You can divide them down if you wish.  The new increase fans are just ready to
start growing new roots and may be a little top heavy.  Look at each variety
when you dig them,  if common sense says that pairs would be a little more
stable in the new tilled soil, I'd leave them in pairs.  DO NOT move clumps of
soil with the plants!  We all know how transplants do better in new soil, than
if you plant them back into the old soil where they were growing.   

Now, you have a second or third opinion.   Don't just take my suggestion, try
several different methods and write back with the results to us all next

John Coble at Ensata Gardens
Zone 5,   Galesburg, Michigan

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