The only time that you need to worry about an iris dying from moving it,
is if it knows that you care. If you just dig them up, throw them in a
wheelbarrow, carry them to the new location, dump them out on the
ground, say in a loud, angry voice, "Just lie there and die. I don' t
care!" and then stomp away, about 90% of them will root and flourish. On
the other hand, if you truly care and give them loving attention, they
will wither away.
In all seriousness, spare as many roots as possible during the
transplant. Those roots may die anyway, but they will help to anchor the
rhizome in its new location until new root growth occurs. Keep them
watered a little until they are settled in and wait. You can't kill an
iris. They take their own lives when they choose...
I visited Bill Burleson in MS over the Christmas holidays and he kindly
gave me five rhizomes upon my departure. Upon my return home, the smart
money would have been to place the rhizomes in a paper bag, place in my
garage where they wouldn't freeze, wait till danger of frost is past
(rhizomes can sit out of the ground for months easily), and plant.
But... I love to experiment and I am impatient. It was warm in early
January-ground wasn't frozen, so...why not plant? Poor confused iris,
uprooted from that MS soil, hauled north to Missouri, stuck out in those
rocks in the middle of winter. Looked good for about three months.
Started looking in pain just about the time all other iris were
springing to life. Then along came the killer Easter freezes. Guess
what? I still think 3 out of 5 will still survive...You can't kill 'em!
Bill Wells (mourning the bloom season that never was and gawking in
wonder at a Tadziki Eclipse bloom, whose foliage looks horrible, but
whose bloom somehow survived the holocaust here in southern MO)
> Hello all,
> I don't post much, just usually lurk and drool over the pictures. I
> have a question about moving Iris tho and felt I could get a good dose
> of opinions here. I know fall is the best time to move Iris, or late
> summer, but I have some tall beardeds in a mixed flower flower bed that
> I'd like to move now... any thoughts? I am assuming the move could
> disrupt flowering this year and I'm ok with that..I just want to
> preserve the plants somewhere else and open the bed space for something
> else. Any suggestions on best way to move Iris in the Spring? I'd
> also like to move some to my parents farm, should I pot them since they
> won't be planted immediately? Any and all thoughts appreciated, feel
> free to email me privately as well. email@example.com
> Sheri in MN
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