This is kind of a "two-fer." How small a piece of rhizome will live, and grow, and does rooting hormone work on iris. I'm using Fabian (historic), and a yellow NOID, historic. I cut off the side increases on Fabian, and cut the "growing "end off, then sliced the remaining chunk of rhizome into 3/8" slices( some may be thicker, or thinner...didn't use a ruler!) One batch was dusted with hormone, and the other was left alone. I did the same with the yellow, except I also( copying Jerry's experiment) just tossed 1 rhizome on top of the ground. I used no fertilizer, or alfalfa pellets. I didn't even water them yet, as the dirt, ..er..SOIL, was fairly damp. I'll water in a few days. The side increases were almost marble sized, and the "main" one almost golf ball size. Arlyn
The reason I'm so interested in this ,is that there are some of the "historics", that are very rare. I would like to "increase' them faster, and get them passed around to others as quickly as I can. So many ,really neat, old cultivars have been lost already! Some are just "gone', and some have just lost their name, but I think it's a shame that so many folks discard the "old" ones......Arlyn
That's why I didn't water after planting. I only let them dry till they were "dry-to-the-touch", though. I planted them in an area that didn't have heavily amended soil- not a lot of compost added- so, it's reall very sandy, with excellent drainage. Hopefully , as we don't have a big rot problem anyway, this should work. Time will tell.....Arlyn
not really any progress here, as I have not kept these watered as well as the other beds. It's been dry enough that I think they have stayed in a dormant state. I'll have to start a watering program, and keep it up, I guess....Arlyn
I dug up the small "wafers" today, just to check, and they are still firm, but no root growth on any of them. The larger chunks(those with leaves) are just beginning to start a few roots. And the chunk I just tossed on the ground is starting some small roots, and also it appears that there are a few leaves starting along the "top" of the rhizome. I stuck everything back in, and will water again tomorrow. We'll see, I guess!...Arlyn
After seeing your experiment I found that my beloved Expect Wonders had rot and it was threatening extinction. So, I cut off the rot and treated what was left. I cut the rhizome into pieces and looks like I am getting two little increases on one chunk and one more on another. I am so glad you shared your experiment because that is what came to mind when I found out E.W. was in trouble. I may still need to replace it but would rather see it come back in my growing conditions. I only had it two seasons and it only bloomed the first one.
I wanted the "worst case conditions" for the experiment, and I sure got 'em! I planted them in sand, and then sort of forgot them, so next year, there will be a "repeat", in better soil, and better care. I am expecting growth from these this fall, when more moisture is available. The soil these are in is nearly pure sand, and even the weeds struggle to survive. I will say they the few SIBs I planted there are growing like weeds, but, they are pretty well mulched in with pine straw, and had large root systems when they were planted. I would say if you've got some side growth, the battle is won! No doubt the iris was "set back", and may not have large enough increases to bloom next year, but, if it lives, bloom WILL come!...Arlyn
Here's some pics, 2 months after planting, and forgetting ,my "experiment". Compare to the pics from July 1st. I'll repeat next year, with better soil, and more care, but I'm thinking the spring will bring some growth to these, as the rhizomes, even the "wafer-sized pieces", are still nice and firm, and don't appear to be either rotted, or mummified...Arlyn
The little sprouts did not make it so I lost Expect Wonders altogether. The other pieces also dried up in spite of watering and protected shading from sun. I have many losses this year that happened to second year plantings that had looked established. I lost several Last Laugh clumps, Expect Wonders and Rainbow High, amongst others. It has been an off year for sure.
I experienced a car accident that has really affected my ability to tend to them so it is not a pretty sight around here. I talked to the insurance company who is handling my claim about whether insurance would cover my loss of gardening ability this season and they said to hire someone and submit the invoices. I will look into this.
Not the best year. We learn in good and bad years. It is all a lesson.
I sure hope you're getting along alright! A person's health is much more important than some plants. You are right about the weather adversely affecting the iris, too. It's been a constant struggle keeping things watered....Arlyn
Thank you all for your kind expressions. I just am not able to get around well. One of my knees is especially troublesome and I am still seeing an orthopedic specialist. My back is weakening and causing increasing less mobility. I haven't the stamina I had even a few months back so it is just looking glum right now. I needed to prepare a bed for seedlings and they are in solo cups and I do not know what I will do with them as colder weather encroaches. Many didn't even get into the cups and the heat took them out completely. So, instead of joy the garden is full of anxiety of unfinished business and failed attempts. I just do not know how this will turn out. I had some plans that came to a sudden halt.
Anyway, I am looking at minimizing maintenance requirements and that means many need to go altogether.
I will keep my must haves which are primarily Keppel. I am thankful to have what I have.