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Re: Re: Rot New Mexico

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Re: Rot New Mexico
  • From: dferguson@cabq.gov
  • Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 13:47:29 -0600

Hi Bill,

Sounds like you're interested in experimenting.  Here's some observations,
but they aren't from controlled experiments.

I have found in the past that uncovering the tuber, cleaning out the rot,
and leaving it open to air and sun will often be enough to save the tuber,
but if it rains (not common) or becomes humid and damp (even less common) I
will loose it regardless.  If the rot occurs in winter when it's cool, I
nearly always loose the plant.  If it occurs when daytime temperatures are
high, I will more often save the Iris.  If I dig up the tuber, I seem to
more often loose it.  The tubers dry much more rapidly and effectively
outdoors than indoors (hours or even minutes vs. sometimes days indoors),
and that seems important too.  On the other hand, the radiation from the
sun might be a factor, and I don't know how to separate that factor from
outdoor drying, at least not effectively.

In the last five years I've started using chlorine bleach on cacti with
similar problems (I dig them up and dip them in a bath for about 5 to 60
minutes, depending on the plant; usually for fungal disease, but sometimes
it is bacterial) and I have had much better results than with any fungicide
so far.  So, I tried it on Iris, and low and behold, it worked.  I don't
even bother to dig up the tubers now, but clean up the rot in place, make a
little catch area to hold the bleach around the tuber till it soaks in,
poor the bleach over the plant, and see what happens.  If the plant is too
far gone, it just dries up (but the rot is dead), and if it is salvageable
it usually starts to send out new roots and growth rather quickly
(sometimes within a few days!).  It almost seems that the bleach is a
growth stimulant.  I have not had any visible damage to the Iris plants so
far (though some of the softer annual weeds around them weren't very happy
at all).  Wish I could give dilution, but I just sort of do it.  Basically
it is enough Bleach poored into the water to make it so you can "feel" the
bleach on your fingers (may not want to use this method if you have tender
skin).  The dilution will vary with the concentration of the product used
too.  Perhaps I should come up with a recipe.


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