Discussions and Q and A about growing irises forum: Rot and the soil left behind

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Imagefloweraddictnc
Aug 20, 2010 8:17 AM CST
Name: Danielle Downing
North Carolina
I have a question regarding rot in TBs and the soil left behind. I had 40 + TBs that ended up with rot due to not weeding their area. The rot was yellow and smelly.

Will the rot spread to new TBs put in the same soil?

I thought I read somewhere that rot was contagious to future TBs and other plants.
Danielle
Imagefloweraddictnc
Aug 23, 2010 8:28 PM CST
Name: Danielle Downing
North Carolina
*bump*

I have about 7 TBs I need to replant. I need to know if I can replant in this bed or never again.
Danielle
ImagePollyK
Aug 23, 2010 9:46 PM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Good grief Danielle. Sorry we missed this.

I don't know the answer, but I cmailed Dee to see if she can help.

It appears from what I've read iris rot can spread easily. But is it just from wet conditions or is it actually soft rot--Erwinia. If it's from too much water, you're going to have to dry up the soil somehow. If it's actually the soft rot, I would think you would want to replace the soil immediately surrounding the irises with some new soil.

But I asked Dee to come over, and hopefully she can help.
Imagefloweraddictnc
Aug 23, 2010 10:01 PM CST
Name: Danielle Downing
North Carolina
It's no big deal. I am sure everyone is super busy, and the board has been busy lately. Smiling

I am pretty sure it was soft bacterial rot as it was yellow and smelly.

There hadn't been a drainage problem there before. The bed was specifically made for TBs.

I believe I planted them way too close. That combined with the way overgrown weeds and excess rain must have done it.

I wanted to know as that is my only bed where I don't have a ton of mulch. I have 5 TBs saved from the previous rotted bunch, and a pack of 3 TBs I picked up on a whim from Wal Mart (who knows if they will grow, but so cheap why not).
Plus, Dee has the leftover PNW co-op in mid Sept, I believe. Where I might pick up a few more because I will miss them in the spring.


Most of the rotted TBs where so disengrated, and covered with soil that I am not even sure if they're all out of the soil. There were no markers so no real way of knowing exactly where every single TB was.
Danielle
Imageirisloverdee
Aug 23, 2010 11:09 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Danielle

Soft rot, which is what I believe you have is caused by too much water. Can be rain, watering, too much fertilizer. Weeds as you know did not help..but they never do anywhere do they. You had a good reason so please do not feel bad.

If you can weed very good, mix in some sand to help with drainage, and then I would suggest that you make a drench of 20% bleach to 80% water, if you wish to plant iris in the bed again. Not that you really need to do this but if there is something else there, this will do the trick.

Sorry it has taken so long to reply but with getting the last of the orders and digging and replanting 3 acres, just not been much support to poor Polly these days.

Here in the PNW with 30" of rain in 3 months we had more rot than ever!

But I know I am adding sand this year, just to help.

I wish you luck with the ones left. Now did you dig them out cut out all the rot, let them soak in 20-80 bleach and then let them dry well before you do replant.

Let me know how this works for you.

D

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imagefloweraddictnc
Aug 24, 2010 9:26 AM CST
Name: Danielle Downing
North Carolina
Thank you Dee! I know you are terribly busy this time of year. I appreciate your help!


The ones that had survived where dug up. I cut/spooned out the rotten parts, soaked in a 10% bleach solution for 15 minutes, rinsed in clean water, and let dry in the sun for 2-3 days. I made sure I cleaned all my tools in the bleach solution too.

I have replanted two that I saved. This past week I saw new leaves sprouting up, dug those two up, cleaned out rotten parts, and followed the above. They are currently drying now.

It must have been the rain. I didn't fertilize them. Instead of smaller amounts of rain, it rained large amounts for days at a time. I haven't had to water the other plants that much so it must have been all this rain.

The area is well-weeded now. I will add some sand in, and soak the area with a bleach solution.

Or I may take all the mulch out of an area of bed I have in the front yard. I will still mix some sand into that bed if I do it that way.

Thanks again!!!!
Danielle
ImagePollyK
Aug 24, 2010 9:37 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Please keep us posted how it turns out for you Danielle. It'll be a learning opportunity for me too.
Imageirisloverdee
Aug 24, 2010 9:58 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Well I know I am doing 90% sand and 10% compost this year for the bearded, the beardless is the rich compost...

Any time you have a question if I do not answer go to [email protected] as those I try extremely hard to answer within the same day.

Let us know how this works out for you.

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

ImageAndi
Oct 27, 2010 12:24 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
and the beloved Winston the pug
I had this problem last year, which was much colder and wetter than usual.

I have mixed cottage plantings in my small garden. I removed the affected iris, moved the soil to another part of the bed, moved the irises to the edge of the flower beds, added some small rocks (I have TONS of rocks) at the garden level, then added more soil/compost/peat so that the irises were planted at a higher elevation than the other plants. My irises are much happier this year.

I cut the soft parts from the affected iris, washed it in bleach-water, let it dry and planted it in a pot while I waited for nice weather to rework the flower bed. I dusted it a few times with generic comet while drying. (I read that somewhere while figuring out what to do about the iris. I am trying it on my stored gladiolas this winter.)

People debate about adding sand to dry soil. I find that sand makes my soil too heavy. I prefer small rocks, which I have in abundance, and compost. If applicable, I also add coffee grounds and crushed egg shells. I have rocky soil with deposits of clay, your soil may be different.
Imageirisarian
Oct 27, 2010 3:40 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
Interesting. We have rocky soil with deposits of rocks. Sad
Imagedoglover
Jul 1, 2011 8:46 PM CST
Name: doglover
Illinois
to everyone listening: I am also having trouble with too much rain and root rot.Sounds like all of the USA had too much rain this year. I have never heard of using generic comet. Do you just sprinkle this over the already planted iris or do you use this as a dust to put on the iris before you plant them? Is this suppose to help or try to prevent iris bores? I used Bayer Tree and Shrub protect last year, cost me a fortune for the large area I had to cover to try to prevent the iris pest, any other suggestions on what also works well and is cheaper? Also, are you soaking the area that has already been planted with iris with a bleach solution, or just the new area that will be used to plant new iris? Interested!
Imageirisloverdee
Jul 2, 2011 8:39 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
I found a product called agri strep which is strepamycin for the garden, stopped the rot dead and new growth many times started. Applied twice this year already because of all the rain here.

Spendy at 1# for 37.00 but you store in freezer when not in use, and you only use 1/2 t per gallon...so in the long run it is really cheap

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imagenaomimade
Jul 19, 2011 8:19 PM CST
Name: Naomi DiVincenzo
Colorado Springs
zone 5b
Hi Dee, for the 20% bleach to 80% water application, you're talking about a bed with NO iris in it right? Can this be done in a bed with growing plants?
Imageirisloverdee
Jul 19, 2011 8:27 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Yes Naomi, if you dig the iris up and some of the dirt, I mix a drench of 50/50 for the soil and pour it on and let it dry out...take the iris get as much of the rot off as possible, do a 80/20 bleach and clean the iris, let dry for several days and then you can replant as long as the iris and the soil have both had time to dry out.

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imagenaomimade
Jul 19, 2011 8:50 PM CST
Name: Naomi DiVincenzo
Colorado Springs
zone 5b
oh, ok... good think I asked! ! was going to water the bed with the stuff! ... but then I thought that might be a really dumb thing to do... I'd better ask to be sure before I have a disaster on my hands.. &:-)
You're box is in the mail btw... &:-)
Imagedoglover
Jul 20, 2011 8:42 AM CST
Name: doglover
Illinois
Does anyone else have any comments about the generic comet? I was wondering if this could also be used as a cheaper method to dust lilies with before planting and after planting to keep critters away. Any ideas?
jlkapps
Aug 12, 2013 6:10 PM CST
Name: Judy
north Texas
I was told by a well respected member of our local iris society that any of the kitchen cleanser products (Comet, Ajax, etc) with BLEACH in them can be used to dust the rhizomes after you've cut away the rot and to sprinkle it in the soil when you replant. I, too, had a severe case of rot in one large bed this year. I've dug ALL the rhizomes, treated them and replanted in other beds and am going to heavily dust that bed and mix in a bunch of dried compost to improve the drainage, replant new rhizomes and hope we don't have so much spring rain next year!
ImageSpringGreen
Jan 22, 2017 8:29 PM CST
Name: Betsy
Utah
Colloidal silver washed over Iris growing in soil prevents rot from occurring also building a mound to plant on or a slope where the water drains off. You can make thousands of gallons of silver water with two silver coins and a 9 volt battery,

When the water dries a thin misty silver dusty residue is left on the iris rhizome which will continue to protect it.

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