To plant in heat or not?

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

I ordered a lot of new irises this year, and they are being delivered in this heat wave. is it better to just let they sit in the house or should I plant now and water? Shade?

South Hamilton, MA

This will be difficult if you have many. Pot them up & plant later. If the rhizomes are large having them loose in the house might be ok. Watch them for detioration.

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

I suppose I could pot them all together in a few larger containers, because I know I don't have enough individual pots. What would too much deterioration look like?

South Hamilton, MA

They would start drying up. If you leave them out, make sure it is in a dry place with good air circulation or they will have bugs. Do a few in the indivdual pots you do have & see how they go.

Kansas City, MO

I have received 2 orders this week and will receive a 3rd one on Friday. What I did was plant them in planters. This accomodates a number of them per oblong planter. I have done this for years. I plant them in the soil they will be planted in and enriched amendments, calcium, compost etc. Then I put them in a place where they will get alot of shade in the beginning. I do not allow them to dry out. When they need water I water conservatively. Temps are high 90's to 100 right now and in the sun they are up to 120 according to my thermo.

I watch for new growth and that is a sign the roots are liking what they are in. They will put on new roots and take off within a couple of weeks. I watch for the new growth that goes beyond the cuts the grower made to the fans. Sometimes it even takes less time. Then when the weather is favorable I plant them in the ground.

Last year I planted them in the ground and created artificial temporary shade by using some tomato cages. My tomato cages are busy this year and the weather is more extreme. Either way has worked well for me, though.

This year the roots on both orders have not been dry and I expect really good results.


McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

i was thinking of using some long cardboard boxes lined with plastic, and also a couple "cages' of woven wire - long and narrow, and then something for shade cloth. Guess I will try both and see which is better. Thanks!

South Hamilton, MA

Thank you for helping irisawe.

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

I am thinking that maybe I will just plant in a shady spot for awhile. What do you think about this idea?

Gilbertsville, KY(Zone 7a)

I purchased 1 gal plastic pots last year and planted new purchased rhizomes and those received from trades immediately upon receipt. This allowed me to properly prepare the iris bed during the balance of the summer and then planted them in the fall well after new roots were established and the weather was much cooler. I was rewarded this past spring with exceptional bloom, and increases on all rhizomes I handled this way, and I'm now in the process of repeating this again this year. So far, I have potted 46 newly purchased rhizomes from 3 orders, and ~ 200 rhizomes from clumps that I've dug and divided so far. I still have 3 other orders to receive yet. Also, I still have about another 150 clumps to dig and divide.

South Hamilton, MA

With the heat dome coming, take it easy.

Taylorsville, KY

Hey, DD95172, you have the right plan! I always plant my new purchases in pots, with good potting soil mixed with a little of my heavy clay. I used to leave them that way until the next spring, but I found that if I just wait til late fall, they are just as good. When I take them out of their pots, they have lots and lots of great roots. I carefully plant them without disturbing the roots as much as possible, then cover the roots well. I almost always get bloom the next spring! I have planted as late as mid-November! It is just too hot during July and August to work in the beds, yet I don't want the rhizomes to be dormant too long. So your idea is great. Plant in pots when you get them, wait for it to cool off to fix your beds, then plant from the pots to the beds. If you have a lot of plants, like you do, it is also easier to have ALL of your new ones and the transplants arranged the way you want them before you plant them. Especially when you get extras!

Sue - Taylorsville, KY

Nashville, TN(Zone 7a)

I just plant the new ones in their bed each year. We're having the same heat wave/drought that we have every summer. I water the new ones two or three times a week in the evening so they have the moisture overnight. When I see new growth starting, I stop watering unless weeks go by with no rain. I can't remember ever losing any doing this. I lose them in Jan/Feb. when it stays cold and wet the whole time.......

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

Great info everyone. This thread has helped me as well. Since my new bed is not ready yet, I'm glad to know they will be OK in pots, which is where I have them.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

I currently have some NOIDS in pots that I brought back from my sisters place in Ohio last month.

If I run out of pots, I use gallon milk jugs. I cut off a section of the top about 1/3 the way down, leaving the handle. I then poke a couple of holes in the bottom, add a bit of gravel for drainage, and fill with my soil mixture. I currently have a bunch of daylilies in the milk jug pots, and soon several iris.

When I go to plant the ones in the milk jugs, I either cut it open, or pop them out - depends on the plant and what is simplest.

Sharpie pens are NOT good enough labeling on the jugs....

I also do the same thing with plastic kitty litter bins. I use a piece of scrap plywood, slide it down the middle & 'split' the bin in two, therefor allowing me to plant two in each bin. The larger litter bins can get pretty heavy though ~Jan

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

Well, despite the advice, I decided that pots and potting soil for 40+ new rhizomes were not for me, so I have them all planted out. One patch is shaded with a sheet on metal hoops, one is in the shade and the last one is in the shadiest part of my iris bed. None seem to have died yet!

South Hamilton, MA

Irises do like at least 1/2 day of sun. 'Shadiest part of the garden' doesn't sound like a good idea. Found a borer today, rather small so may be a late summer brood. I followed the damage down the leaf & found it just above the rhizome. Squooshed nicely as I had my gloves on.

Pleasant Grove, UT

We've just been in the 90's. I plant mine and put a milk case over them for shade. I've also used shingles on the south and west..

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