En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Saturday - May 30, 2009

From: Stroudsburg, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Moving non-native Iris Germanica in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am moving from Northeast Pennsylvania to North Carolina this fall or winter. I was told it was possible to save some of my bearded Iris plants by digging them after they bloom and allowing them to go dormant. Can I do this? How do I store them - I am expecting I could plant them in early spring. Thank you so much.

ANSWER:

Iris germanica, Bearded Iris, is widely cultivated but is probably native to the Eastern Meditteranean. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the use and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. Since the bearded iris falls out of our range of expertise, we have found a couple very good websites that should be able to help you make your decision.

Bearded Iris for the Home Landscape, a North Carolina State University Horticulture Information Leaflets by Erv Evans has some general information. If you pot the rhizomes up in pots when you get to North Carolina and keep them in a cool place, you should be able to replant them in the early Spring.

This Questions on Iris by Ron Smith, Horticulturist, NDSU Extension Service goes into even more detail, and also has a link to another website with Iris information.

For the final word, this AllExperts website Bulbs-Saving Iris Rhizomes, Expert Kenneth Joergensen suggests digging them, cleaning them up, make sure they are dry and putting in brown paper bags and storing in the refrigerator.

So, you have your choice of ways to do it, and can select what works best for your schedule. We would advise you to have them out of the ground for the shortest possible time, but in Pennsylvania you will, of course, have to dig them before the ground freezes.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Dietes bicolor leaves brown after freeze in Austin
January 31, 2010 - I live in Austin, and my butterfly iris (Dietes bicolor) that I've had for the last 6 years are all turning brown after the most recent freeze. Should I cut them back, with the thought being they wo...
view the full question and answer

Non-native lambs ears wilting in heat from Fredericksburg TX
October 19, 2011 - 3 days ago I had professional landscaping done in an area with plants that tolerate heat & sun well. We planted 7 healthy, large lambs ear & mulched. Everything planted is doing well except the lambs ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Bradford pear in Katy TX
April 24, 2011 - Hi. I have a Bradford Pear that I wrapped during the freeze at the base of the trunk during last years freeze. It is about 4.5 yrs old. The base has cracked and the top is dry and lifeless; however, a...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mint invading flower beds in Kendallville IN
April 26, 2011 - A few years back we were given two sprouts of something referred to as peppermint tea. We planted in our flower bed and now it has taken over. It seems to start slow in the spring but doesn't take lo...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant at UGA Trial Gardens 15 years ago
August 14, 2012 - Looking to identify a plant that was in UGA trial gardens about 15 years ago, large plant with purple flowers, fuzzy leaves like a lambs ear. Thought it started with a Thiobana or something like that
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center