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Beginner Flowers: Need info. on growing Iris and Poppy's

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DiamondLady
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 17, 2007
8:40 PM

Post #4094314

I ordered 2 perenniel grab bags from Springhill and received 2 Baboon Bottom Iris' (Iris germanica) and a couple of Royal Wedding Poppies (Papaver orientale) white. I am assuming it is OK to plant them now, since they held them to ship them until now. Is that correct? Is there anything special that I need to know about growing them? I read their files, but if there is anything else that you experienced growers can tell me about them?

Thanks,

Dana
DiamondLady
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 17, 2007
8:41 PM

Post #4094320

By the way, if I can't plant them immediately, do they need to be put in the frige like lillies do?

Thanks,

Dana
NatureLover1950
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

October 19, 2007
11:32 AM

Post #4100209

Not sure about those poppies (never grown any) but the iris are fine to put in now down here in the south. I just got several irises from a friend about a week ago. I went ahead and fixed the bed I wanted them in and planted them. They still look great. I would put some root stimulator in at the time of planting so they will put down good strong roots quickly though.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 19, 2007
3:38 PM

Post #4100861

Hi Diamondlady, your Iris's are what we call Bearded Irises due to the lovely flower shape and the little tuft's of flower that pokes out from the larger flowering head, they are lovely plants and yes, you can plant them now (late planting)
For this late planting and to protect them from wind rock (loosened by the wind) you need to plant the tubers with the roots spread out, make sure you face all the plants (tubers) facing the same direction and so that the tuber part will get the most sun, dont plant any deeper than just covering the roots and the hard tuber bit should be JUST covered in no more so that it will bake in the sun come next year and every other year, water them well so they get of to a good start, because you are planting at the end of the growing season, it is always advisable to cut the foliage down by half so that the wind cant blow them out from the planting holes, you will need to lift and divide them every 3 to 4 years as the new growth becomes spread out from the center of the old tubers, just cut off the new healthy tubers with a bit of root, they like a neutral type of soil with added manure/compost added and a spring feed each year, remember they only flower once per year so plant where you want to enjoy them, should you get a lot of frost and you find the tubers lifted a bit from the soil, dont push them down or you will break the new roots, just add some more soil around them.
Your Poppy's, you can also plant them out now, they need a warm sunny place and well draining soil that dont get too waterlogged, they are very easy to grow, dig a hole deeper than the roots, add some manure (they do like well fed) and place the rooted plants into the hole spreading out the roots if any are growing from the crown you received by post, you can also cut some of the top foliage off if you get frost in your area to stop them being rocked about while they are trying to become established, they usually have very large flower-heads on the delicate stems, it would be wise to deadhead them after flowering for the first year to let the plants grow strong making root rather than use a lot of energy going into flowering and seed making, seed growing is very easy for poppy's and if you wish more plants, then let just one seed head forn, when it is brown and dry, cut it off and shake the seed-head into an envelope so all the seeds fall into the container, you will latterly get hundreds of seeds from the 1 seed-head, they are very promiscuous plants and sometimes you get cross breading from your seeds, but you can end up with really unusual colours, feed your plants early spring when you see the new growth come through the soil.
Good luck, WeeNel.
planolinda
Plano, TX

October 21, 2007
2:59 PM

Post #4106986

weenel--just asked you about iris bulbs in another beginners forum--now i see you have answered my question here! thanks for the info but i did notice that in the glad bulbs you said to let the leaves dry off and for the iris i can cut off the leaves--is that right? so i can cut and plant right away rather than wait for them to dry off?
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 21, 2007
11:03 PM

Post #4108316

Hi Plantolinda, sorry about the confusion re different bulbs, Irises come in both bulbs and tubers this is depending on the type of iris you have, but for the type you have, I assumed that they were the tuber type, that is they have a bit of tough looking growth at the root end, not round and scaley and ball shaped like a bulb, so if they are the TUBER kind, then yes you can cut the foliage down by half, and you only plant the tuber just deep enough to cover the top of the tuber in no more as this tuberous root system needs to be in full sun so the sun can bake the tuber to encourage flowering, you do need to water them ofcourse, but the sunny spot is where they grow best, if in shade, you get foliage, but without flowers, the reason for cutting the foliage down in size for the tuberous Iris is because in most areas, they keep their foliage and because you are planting small bits of tuber, the wind will catch the tall foliage and cause it to rock about in the soil therefore the roots wont get a chance to get down into the soil, the new greenery will grow the following spring/summer but the roots will have had time to go down, sometimes in frost, the new planted tubers can be lifted up from the soil a bit so you just cover them with more soil rather than try push them back into the soil and break the new roots. however, IF you have Iris that are round bulbs, then you plant them deeper into the soil and when flowering is finished, like all bulbs, the foliage dying down naturally sends food and energy back into the bulbs for next years flower, once it has gone brown and looks like dried straw, you then remove the dead foliage as all the goodness has went back to the bulbs. hope this clears up the confusion for you, but you really need to look see if you have tubers or bulbs, some folks call tubers bulbs, without realising the difference between tubers and bulbs, so before you plant them, make sure you know as the bulbs get planted far deeper than the tubers do. good luck. WeeNel.
planolinda
Plano, TX

October 22, 2007
10:11 PM

Post #4111891

thanks--yes they are tubers--i just love being able to ask all my questions and have such expert advice!! thanks again
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 22, 2007
10:42 PM

Post #4112013

you can chop some of the foliage from the tuberous Iris when you plant, you'll soon become expert yourself before long, we all started out the same way as you, that is we had to ask questions, read books and trial and error was the way to go, good luck, hope the bloom well for you next year, the get better as the years go on till you have to divide them up and start all over again with your new cut off tubers. Weenel.
DiamondLady
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 23, 2007
4:05 AM

Post #4113369

Thank you WeeNel for your fantastic response! I really wasn't expecting that much detail, but I am sure glad you were willing to give it to me!! I have yet to have a chance to plant them and probably won't be able to for about another week. Are they OK just sitting out, or do I need to store them in some special way? What type of bulbs, etc. need to be refrigerated if they are not being planted immediately?

Thank you again,

Dana
planolinda
Plano, TX

October 23, 2007
10:21 PM

Post #4115959

weenel--you will be glad to learn i have just purchased a book on plant propagation A-Z!!
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 23, 2007
10:28 PM

Post #4115983

If you cant plant the Iris or other plants at this time of year and you need to keep them foe a week or two, then I would suggest you need to heel them in somewhere so they dont dry out at the root, by heeling in, that means you gust dig or scrape away some soil in a sheltered place outdoor for a week or so till you get the time to plant them in the bed/position you really want them to flower, then you will have to move them whenever you can soon as possible, that stops the roots drying out and helps then stay accustomed to outdoor growing conditions.
As for placing bulbs in the refrigerator, I have never done this as I feel it is a bit risky, every fridge has a different temp say in the salad box or the top shelf etc and it gets some people mixed up with cool conditions and really cold conditions, if I cant get out into the garden to plant my bulbs, I just put them into pots with some dampish (not wet) compost till the weather or I get the job done, when I plant the bulbs say in about a week or two, then they are still plump, healthy and the compost from the pots goes into the planting holes or around the top like a mulch. maybe someone who does the bulbs in the fridge can be a bit more specific but the bulbs we buy have already been treated to cold, been possibly treated for travel from growers to consumers, so I am always loathed to give bulbs any other treatment other than get them into soil/compost as soon as possible, the very least you could do is remove the bulbs from the plastic bags they come in if they are like that and store them in a dark, cool place for a couple of weeks, make sure the dont dry out and either go brittle or soft to touch. hope this helps you out a bit, as this is the right season for bulb and perennial plants go into the ground. Good luck. Weenel.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 23, 2007
10:36 PM

Post #4116013

Hi plantolinda, so pleased you want to increase your propogation skills, you will love it, there are so many different ways to propagate and once you get the hang of the basics, you will then find a better or easier way that suits you, but by then, we will all be asking you for advice, so good for you I am always so pleased when people want to try new things for the garden, I would just add that gardening books can be quite costly and sometimes to advanced for what we as novices want to learn about, so always check out your local library first to make sure you have the right book to suit your needs, I have to admit, I always drop hints about a certain gardening book when birthdays or Christmas is coming around, Santa really is so helpful he he he, good luck and happy propagating. Weenel.
planolinda
Plano, TX

October 23, 2007
11:02 PM

Post #4116100

i love using the library but thought this is one i would maybe like to have around when i need it--but i got a great bargain at one of those 75% off book stores so it was only 4.99 and then i got one book same price for free!! of course i chose another garden book--both have pretty pictures too
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 25, 2007
5:53 AM

Post #4121178

Geeeeee stop, you are going to end up with book shelves like I have, bulging with gardening books, Oh yes, bargains as my husband would say, buy one book because it is cheep, that's a bargain, buy 3/4 because they are cheep, that's the booksellers dream, not a bargain, well it is the same with plants, cant pass a bargain, a sick looking plants calls out to me "save me please"
do you think to qualify as a gardener, you need to be a bit green yourself, well maybe dont answer that we already know the answer. good luck, bet your book case will be full in a year OR so, that's a great way to spend the cold winter evenings, all snuggled up with gardening books and writing wish lists and things to do when spring comes around. Happy reading. WeeNel.

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