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Re:CULT: late season planting?

  • Subject: Re:CULT: late season planting?
  • From: irischapman@aim.com
  • Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2008 11:54:25 -0500

For planting outside in this late a season, I have several methods to try.

1) Put rhizome on top of ground , where you wish it to be. Leave it totally uncovered all winer. When ground thaws in spring, plant it. Far superior survival compared to planting it in regular method. Why this works is that the plant has even temperature over rhizome during winter so no damage to plant. Also can't heave and do damage to fine starter roots, so conserves energy of plant. Anything planted at this time tries to put out roots and these get destroyed over winter, even more so with heaving. This wastes plant energy. Micro fissures in rhizome from having tops of rhizome exposed to sun , while bottom is in ground (heat expands, while cold contracts, temperature differential caused fractures in skin of rhizome, leaving entry points for bacteria , which can grow in cooler temperatures then iris, so plant cant repair damage in time to save itself.) Discarded plants sitting on top of ground beside planted rhizomes survive while those in ground die. Personal experience.

2) Plant and then place about 6" of soil over top of rhizome. Don't remove extra soil until soil thaws in spring. same reasons as above, except now even temperatures from depth of soil protection.

Personal opinion is that . leaving on top of soil would have better survival.

3) Don't plant them. Leave in open air on bench in unheated building and plant in spring. Actually this works very well. Caution, plants want to bloom in spring, remove flower stalks.

4) Plant them when ground starts to freeze up over. that is wait awhile. I was communicating with a person in Yukon Territories ( same climate as Alaska) and they had iris survive over winter by doing this. An accident of fate as they ordered iris from a garden mail order business and plants arrived very late. Snowed the next day after planting. They all survived the first winter, just because they didn't get a chance to start growing, so stayed in deep dormancy all winter. Same problem as #3, they will bloom in spring. Again, remove flower stalk.

Chuck Chapman

Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2008 10:13:56 -0500
From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
Subject: [iris] CULT: late season planting?

Betty tells me she is still putting adult irises in the ground.

Betty, are you planting intact root ball, or trimming tops & roots, same as usual planting time? You've mentioned straw mulch - do you cover the
entire plant or just the soil?

Any of the rest of you have time to share experience with planting this
late in the season (i.e., about a month before the unprotected soil
might freeze & stay frozen for awhile).

What do you do re: protection?

After the experience of planting relatively small seedlings out the fall
before the disastrous spring freeze a couple of years ago, I certainly
won't do that again without covering them for the winter with Reemay or

But I have found some hired help, & now have some ground worked up
across the creek that is actually <soil> (not rocks!), where I would
like to line out some older seedlings.

I have so little experience planting in real soil, I'm not sure how to
proceed <g>.
- --
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8

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