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Transplanting Spurias

Transplanting is generally best when the plant has gone into rest period or is just emerging from its summer rest. In these photos Dave Niswonger shows how he digs and ships Spuria Irises.

Generally in August or September in Missouri the spurias have gone into a summer rest and begin to grow again when the fall rains appear. Dave's ground is a rich silt loam that at this time can be very dry and cracked.

Although the rhizome had been planted deeper, soil has settled and the rhizome was found growing just below the surface of the soil.

Here we can see a rhizome as it comes from the ground. Note last years rhizome coming off at an angle. This will be removed and returned to the hole where it may form a new growing tip next year. The white new roots are all towards the fan end of the rhizome.

Since if one were digging several plants it would be very easy to get them mixed up, Dave immediately tags each rhizome as it is being dug. The plants shown had been lined out the year before and show just one seasons growth.

For shipping all dirt must be removed. A brisk spray from the hose can accomplish this task. Dave also has a plastic bag handy so that the roots will not dry out. Once back to the house, Dave swirls the rhizome around in a bucket containing water with bleach. He then sets it aside in on his Sink in the basement to drain but does not rinse with water. As the bleach drips off it is still sterilizing the roots and rhizome. Dave uses a five gallon bucket of water to which he adds about a half cup of 5% bleach to make this bleach solution.


-- Main.RPries - 2009-10-14
  • When transplanting irises how long can they be kept out of the ground? I want to share my Spuria's with friends. -- JohnPetrotta - 2014-09-11
  • John: As long as they are kept moist they can be out of the ground for a month or so. There is an exception to the moisture. Spuria coming in the fall from some semi-desert climates can go so dormant that they can dry out without harm. But the safest procedure is to keep them moist (damp paper towels work). -- BobPries - 2014-09-12
Topic revision: r4 - 12 Sep 2014, BobPries
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