Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rescuing a Sick Bearded Iris

This one was 'Diety'. It is a new rhizome. I noted the leaves were turning yellow, and on inspection saw that the leaves were rotted at the base. There are 2 options. Actually, 3. First, I probably watered too much. I've taken this lesson to heart, and with the start of cooler weather have stopped watering all of my iris starts and rescues. Time to let them meet the fall, anyway. Option two, it came with a bacterial or fungal infection. To that end, I sliced off the growing end, leaving this portion and a couple of buds. That may not be enough to grow, but why not try? Then, I let it dry for 2 days out of the sun. Yesterday I let it soak in a 10% bleach solution = 9 tablespoons water plus 1 tablespoon bleach, for about one hour. Then I let it dry overnight. Now, I will plant in a container in a well-drained growth medium. If it rots anyway, I'll throw it into the trash to avoid spread of disease. If it grows, that's a sign of how tough bearded iris can be. Option 3. I did see a slug in the container. If it was just slug damage, this may be an over reaction. This is a timely lesson to me, it's time to let nature manage the irises. I was taking extra care of them due to the heat, and starting new beds, and recovering irises from neglected areas. I don't want to overdo it and cause rot. So time to let them be. Except for removing weeds - that is a given.

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