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iris in pots- what medium?


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Erika25-Jun-06 10:27 AM EST 5a   
Michelle. L.25-Jun-06 12:55 PM EST 5b   
Erika26-Jun-06 12:01 AM EST 5a   
Michelle. L.27-Jun-06 01:48 AM EST 5b   
Erika30-Jun-06 08:19 PM EST 5a   
Michelle. L.01-Jul-06 01:22 AM EST 5b   
Erika01-Jul-06 11:45 AM EST 5a   
Michelle. L.02-Jul-06 01:50 AM EST 5b   
erika02-Jul-06 04:52 PM EST 5a   
Michelle. L.02-Jul-06 08:49 PM EST 5b   
Erika08-Jul-06 02:49 PM EST 5a   
Michelle. L.09-Jul-06 02:12 AM EST 5b   
12-Jul-06 10:03 PM EST   


Subject: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Erika
Zone: 5a
Date: 25-Jun-06 10:27 AM EST

a friend recently gave me some iris bulbs, and i'm going to plant them in pots. i would like to know whtat you guys would use for medium, i have read so many conflicting things to date. can i just use a good potting mix? i've read that bark helps create too wet an environment if mixed in, but then why would it be used for orchids? (i'm rather confused. obviously, i'm a newbie at gardening)


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5b
Date: 25-Jun-06 12:55 PM EST

I don't think your iris's will survive over winter in pots. Are you sure they are iris's?? Iris has rhizomes not bulbs, unless they are those tiny ones that bloom in the early spring. the rhizomes like to be dry and be sure to plant with the tops above the soil.


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Erika
Zone: 5a
Date: 26-Jun-06 12:01 AM EST

i think they are actually rhizomes, my friend calls them bulbs. i'm sure theyare irises- she dug some of hers up for me. are you saying part of the rhizome should be above the soil? is there any way to overwinter them i pots ? i live in a third flor apt, so i can't plant them in the ground. i am giving most to my mom, though, since she can plant in the ground and her thumbs are much greener.........


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5b
Date: 27-Jun-06 01:48 AM EST

Hi Erika, i would not think they would survive over winter in the pots on your balcony.. being in an apt. do you have a storage area in the basement that remains cool but does not freeze? That should be okay, my tender plants in pots go into a shed I have outside but although cold does not freeze [ we have our pipes for the house in there] and in the early spring I just bring them back out and they are fine. or maybe your mom has somewhere she could overwinter them for you if she lives relatively close. And yes.. iris rhizomes have to be planted with their tops above the soil. If they are covered they will just rot. Just dig a shallow hole with a little "hill" in the middle and place the rhizome on the hill with the roots on either side of the hill to be firmly covered and the rest leave above ground with just a little soil around the sides to make sure it is firmly in place. Good Luck.


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Erika
Zone: 5a
Date: 30-Jun-06 08:19 PM EST

ican have my mom put them in her basement, also i have a closet that stays rather cold since it's not near the heater (electric, not furnace). should i mix some sand or something into the potting mix to make it drain better? i'm so afraid of any plants staying too wet after my experiences with suicidal orchids. thanx for the advice Michelle, you've been a big help:)


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5b
Date: 01-Jul-06 01:22 AM EST

I don't think you need to put in any sand.. you don't need to water except just check every month or so and if REALLY dry then just a dribble.. when you bring them out in the spring then water well.. anyplace you put them the ideal temp. is to be anywhere from 0 degrees and no higher than 5.. that way they stay dormant but do not freeze. If you can grow orchids then I am a BIG fan of yours.. that is a good term for them.. suicidal.. what finicky plants they are, I have given up. They sure are beautiful though. By the way, you might already know this but if you have any questions and don't get a reply from someone then just go to this site on Sundays at 10 [ or 1:00 Eastern] and go on the Live Chat, they are very helpful I have found. just a thought.


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Erika
Zone: 5a
Date: 01-Jul-06 11:45 AM EST

well, so far i haven't been able to grow ordhids, i've tried three times, but i can't stand to keep my apt. as warm and humid as they like it, and i don't have the money to keep buying new ones, much less build they greenhouse they seem to absolutely need. i guess i just have to live with looking at pictures of them! anyway, i'm a little confused now- how does 0-5 degrees translate into not freezing? does soil freeze at a lower temp? and does wind chill have any effect? we have pretty harsh winters, and my mom keeps her basement well above 5 degrees and her garage isn't heated.


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5b
Date: 02-Jul-06 01:50 AM EST

Anything below 0 would definetely be freezing but at the temp. I said it would be cold yes, but enough to keep the plant dormant but not kill it, especially being in a pot, the plants in the ground below the surface have that as added protection.. wind chill is a huge factor.. maybe that closet you mentioned would be best, but also maybe try a couple in her garage. Another idea is if your mom has some extra space in her garden or if she has a veggie garden, why not just bury your pots in the ground there till spring, then take them up?? that would work too.


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: erika
Zone: 5a
Date: 02-Jul-06 04:52 PM EST

when should i bury them? that's what sounds safest to me, i especially don't want them to die as they are from a friend suffering from cancer, kind of a sentimentally and childishly superstitious thing.......


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5b
Date: 02-Jul-06 08:49 PM EST

I am so sorry to hear about your friend.. i hope he or she gets better!!! And that is not a childishly superstitious thing.. i would feel the same way, burying the pots would be the safest way to go, bury them in late fall just before it freezes, [so you can dig still] so depending where you live, and your winters, probably sometime in late October/ early Nov.. when you bury them just leave the tops above ground.. don't completly bury so you can't see them.. it's just so the pots to the rim are in the ground. they will be fine. Hope this is of some help to you, sorry to have confused you earlier but this way takes any guessing away..and is easy.


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Erika
Zone: 5a
Date: 08-Jul-06 02:49 PM EST

will i need to cover the plants for the winter or is it just that the rhizome must not freeze?


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5b
Date: 09-Jul-06 02:12 AM EST

Nope, you don't have to cover, the rhizome stays at surface level .. just sink the pot up to the rim in the ground.. what you want is so the area with the roots don't freeze, the rhizome will be fine, they are always exposed or they will rot and die.


Subject: RE: iris in pots- what medium?
From:
Zone:
Date: 12-Jul-06 10:03 PM EST

thank you so much for all your help- it makes more sense than when i'm reading books or web info that was obviously not written for a beginner gardener. i just hate losing plants, and i really don't want to lose these! thanx again!


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