In this picture, the irises on the left show balding. The fans look big and healthy but there are no live roots on the rhizomes, only old roots at their back ends. One has a shoot at the back which might make a new plant, but a clump with rhizomes like this will eventually die. The irises on the right have healthy rhizomes with live roots at the front, or fan end, where new roots grow. Interestingly, these two seedlings grew in the same row about five feet apart, but they are not related. The ones on the left have Mastery as pod parent. Mastery never did well for me and bloomed out this spring. The ones on the right have Pond Lily as the pod parent. Pond Lily is an excellent grower here.
I have been digging 17 month old seedlings that didn’t make the first cut. My adobe ground this morning is hard as cement. It will get irrigation tonight and be too muddy to dig for several days.
Anyway, as I was hacking out a bunch of Mastery seedlings, I found many of them had symptoms of balding. I wondered if the hardness of the ground had something to do with this phenomena. Perhaps their roots just can’t grow in such hot, hard ground. Next came a bunch of rejected Pond Lily seedlings. The ground was the same but the roots are entirely different. I really don’t want to let that ground stay too dry or too hot, so it gets watered once a week. It has a lot of compost in it. That is just like adding straw to brick. It makes it stronger. There used to be a brick yard in Glendale where they made bricks out of this stuff.
Francelle Edwards Glendale, AZ Zone 9