User avatar
kasimac
Full Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:57 pm
Location: Maine or New York

Iris rhizome seems to be in trouble : /

Hello all, hopefully someone will be able to help me with my Iris problem!

[img]https://i385.photobucket.com/albums/oo298/KingElfstone/CIMG0097.jpg[/img]

The middle Iris plant, as you can see, has alot of new growth! But its rhizome is becoming soft, not rotting soft, just sort of... deflated.

[img]https://i385.photobucket.com/albums/oo298/KingElfstone/CIMG0107.jpg[/img]

I know thats a bad picture, but if you just sort of step back to look at it, it should become alittle clearer..

Anyways, at first I thought it was because the rhizome was too wet, so I removed the topsoil from the top of the rhizome, it is still soft, but not as bad as it was.

Then I came up with another Idea, maybe there is too much new growth? And all the new growth is using up all the stored energy in the rhizome, and later in the year, fall, the plant will spend its time storing up more energy..


Anyway, the other two plants have also had alot of growth, but their rhizomes are rock solid. Then just to be sure I removed topsoil from those rhizomes as well..

I know they shouldn't be in pots, but I'm in college and don't have property to plant them on.

I just took another look at the middle plant, and at the very tip of it there is a small shoot, it has a few tiny leaves, maybe an inch long, and from under the leaves there are some roots being sprouted into the soil. I just poked it, and it seems like that tiny growth is attatched to the main rhizome by a dried up part of the main rhizome.. should I just cut off all the new growth from the main rhizome or what?

Anyone know whats going on, and if I'm doing the correct procedures?

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I grow several kinds of irises but have no detailed knowledge related to them. Over the years a few bulbs have gotten what I assume is some kind of soft rot and died. If the plant was mine, I would go under the assumption that it had bacterial or fungal soft rot, would cut the tuber in half and see if it looked diseased or had a bad odor. If it did, then I would trim of any bad looking rhizome, would thoroughly clean any retained parts of the plants and then would replant them in fresh soil. It would then perhaps be wise to isolate the plant from non affected ones. This response has worked for me in the past, but it may be worth your time to google soft rot issues, read any descriptions and see what actions are recommended.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

User avatar
kasimac
Full Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:57 pm
Location: Maine or New York

Ok, the tiny sprout that I had poked, I just pulled it off of the main rhizome, came off without a problem. It seemed as though the part connecting the two had dried up. Anyway, the tiny shoot had surprisingly deep roots, so I carefully pulled it up out of the pot and quickly replanted it in fresh, moist soil. I'm going to leave the rest of the plant alone and see what happens.

Though I would still like some more information from posters, just to be sure what I'm doing is correct.

And I did look up the softrot, it doesn't seem to be that, there isn't any smell either.
Thanks for your help

User avatar
Grey
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:42 am
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

Bulbing/rhiozome plants are still new to me, but I have seen this in my neighbor's irises grown outdoors. It seems that the new growth develops its own rhiozome, and almost feeds off the parent as it becomes soft. :?:

I've found these plants very hardy - some are even in boggy places and still manage to thrive, others in overly dry, hard clay soil, some half buried - irises are amazing plants. Keep an eye on it, glad you saved a sprout, and keep us posted too!

buddy110
Senior Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:13 pm

kasimac wrote:Ok, the tiny sprout that I had poked, I just pulled it off of the main rhizome, came off without a problem. It seemed as though the part connecting the two had dried up. Anyway, the tiny shoot had surprisingly deep roots, so I carefully pulled it up out of the pot and quickly replanted it in fresh, moist soil. I'm going to leave the rest of the plant alone and see what happens.

Though I would still like some more information from posters, just to be sure what I'm doing is correct.

And I did look up the softrot, it doesn't seem to be that, there isn't any smell either.
Thanks for your help
I would cut out any of the soft rhizone and replant. Don't put any soil over top of the crown and don't over water. They like to be dryer than you may think.

Good luck

User avatar
kasimac
Full Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:57 pm
Location: Maine or New York

So, just to update everyone, the Iris that was having trouble, now seems healthy, the rhizome still looks deflated, but when I poke it, it's solid.

The tiny sprout I cut from it is still alive, and doesn't seem to be in any trouble.

And! I now have 4 more Iris plants! A house near me was torn down, and the new owners of the property did some major work to rebuild the house higher up on the mountain side. So they created all this gravel everywhere, even ontop of the garden that was once there.

Fortunatly, I pay attention to the variety of plantlife on peoples properties and decided to rescue the Irises from their gravelly tomb that was about a foot deep.

So I dug them up ^^ It's a pretty old property, so hopefully my newly aquired plants will be of some older variety.

Anyways, thanks to all who answered.

User avatar
kasimac
Full Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:57 pm
Location: Maine or New York

Second update.

The iris on the right, in the picture above, had about half its rhizome under the soil, not too far down either, about an inch or so, I just recently uncovered that half of the rhizome and it was just as the iris with many sprouts, deflated.

I left it for the night, thinking it might stiffen up like the other one, I checked on it again in the morning.
I dug around it with my finger, and noticed it didn't have any roots! And the rhizome looked like a dried husk.

So then I thought about how this could be an infection caused by the constant dampness of the rhizome just like the first iris, so I cut that half of the husk away, looked at it from a side angle, and saw that there was a definate discoloration between "infected" and healthy hard tissue.
It wasnt much, just a slightly deeper shade of yellow.
Wasn't any smell to it either.

I cut it that once, but there is still some "infected" tissue on the rhizome with the plant, I don't want to cut any closer to the plant, and I'm not sure how far in the rest of that infection is. Should I leave it? and hope that the plant can handle it, now that its rhizome is at the proper depth?
"Wait.. his character is the last remnant of this elven culture?... Sigh*
Even though we hate him guys, we MUST protect the gene pool!"

I feel the same way about plants : )

Return to “Perennials”