Water iris'

koiguy1969

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I have an 18" x 24" root ball of iris' and i dont know what i should do to over winter it i just staked it off to the side and let it float thru the season.. Now eveything else has been done for a while, and i was told to sink it to the bottom just as we get to the first freeze but i was wondering if anyone had any other ideas on the subject. This being in a cold michigan winter...zone 5b
its already been cut back for a while now.
 
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iris can stay in the water as you've described. Just plunge it deeply into the pond--at least that's what I've done. If you are interested in dividing the plant, now is the time to do it. I think you can just leave 'em off to the side as well with no harm, but the roots need to be below the frost line. I'm not sure if your pond freezes in the winter, koiguy?
 

koiguy1969

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ive heard that too Stroppy, i dont know how to get it to the bottom, i had a tent stake in the root ball and another in the ground and tied it off at the edge of pond before, i plan on keeping it large and floating it center pond next year withy some ohter smaller plants as an island. i tried to sink it in a large mesh bag with a couple large stons but it just stretched out the mesh bag its so bouiant. iguess i could put it in a tub and put a couple rocks on top of it. would rocks right on top kill it?
 
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you can also stick it in a black plastic garbage bag and store it in a cool dark place. I've seen people do that, too.

The rocks might squish it, but iris is darn resilient.
 
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I posted the same question about all marginal plants (anything in 10-12" of water) on a local forum in Ottawa, Canada about what others do (our winter is harsh, zone 5a). Ponders here in Ottawa just cut them to the water level and leave them where they are.

This is what I am planning to do. No need to sink them lower in the pond. These plants live naturally in water that is not very deep and the roots create an enzyme that prevents them from freezing.
 

koiguy1969

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NEWDAY...does that include plants that arent in a planting media,but free floating (normally would be in soil, but arent) ? because my iris isnt potted.
 
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it's just for plants in a planting media under water. All free floating plants here are removed (water hycinth, parrots feather etc..). All my marginals are in baskets in Schultz aquatic plant soil sitting under water 10" under water. I cut everything even with the water level. This is the advice I got from others in my area that have overwintered here for many years with no problems with plants.
 

koiguy1969

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well normally an iris is potted (marginal) but when the roots get this large it will readilly float so this is how i left it, i'd preferr not splitting it.and yes i treat hiacynths and such as annuals . parrots feather i have growing in water in the window.
 
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