A minor iris emergency

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  #1  
Old 02-19-09, 01:32 PM
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A minor iris emergency

We have an iris bed about 20 feet long and 5 feet wide. At the moment the leaves are five or six inches tall. There has been a major storm here and the ground is saturated. We have just learned that there is a major problem in the wall on that side of the house that will require extensive repair, some demolition, some heavy equipment, etc. Is there a way I can try to lift some of the irises to protect them and then replant when the contractors are finished? If so, how do I care for them in the meantime? If I just leave them and they are trampled, will they come back?

Thanks for whatever advice you can give.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-19-09, 02:20 PM
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I'm by no means an expert on plants but I do have a # of iris's planted on my property. They seem to be fairly tough. Mine usually pop up out of the ground early only to be killed back with a hard frost or even snow and always come back, no worse for wear.

I've also transplanted them at various times of the year and they have survived
I'd just dig them up and set them somewhere out of the way [along with the dirt they were growing in] maybe cover them with some leaves and let the contractors do their job.

I'm sure someone else will be along shortly with more info for you
 
  #3  
Old 02-19-09, 05:06 PM
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Hi Johannamarie,

You don't say which type of iris you have, but I'm guessing it's the tall bearded type. They are best dug and transplanted in late summer, but if the need arises due to construction, the best time to dig is before the construction starts. With that said, I'd wait until the ground drains and then dig them. You may not see blooms this year or next, but you'll save your plants. You can pot them up or put them in a temporary bed until late summer.

Here's how to dig and divide bearded iris.
http://www.napairis.com/division.html

Good luck with your construction project and don't forget to protect the roots of your trees from heavy equipment.
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distrib...ng/DK6135.html

Newt
 
  #4  
Old 02-19-09, 09:09 PM
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Smile Thank you very much

Now I'm feeling confident about protecting the irises and everything else that will be in the path. Losing a year of bloom will be OK, I just didn't want them all completely demolished. I'll start digging in the morning and rescue as many as I can. I appreciate your quick and helpful replies.

Newt, thanks to you I just learned why we lost a fine old tree this fall (three years after major construction within five feet of its base). It was heartbreaking. We won't make the same mistakes again.
 
  #5  
Old 02-20-09, 01:53 PM
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Johannamarie, you are so very welcome! I'm sorry to read about the tree you lost, but I'm glad that you will now be able to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Newt
 
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