Over Wintering Irises

I have a question for anyone who is an expert on Irises, or just someone with a really good knowledge of them. Is it possible to over winter common irises out of the ground all winter in zone 6? My nieghbor has dug her's up waiting on instulation of a pond, is it safe to over winter them out of the ground and inside a non-building?
Thanks for any help,
Sue D.
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snipped-for-privacy@peoplepc.com (Sue D) expounded:

They'd be much better off in the ground, isn't there somewhere you can just heel them in for the time being?
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Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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Irises are pretty tough guys. I have tossed bits of rhizome up as I'm working on beds and had them root wherever they landed. Many people have had the experience of throwing iris rhizomes in their compost piles and finding them with new leaves the next spring. Basically, the rhizomes should be touching the dirt somewhere - that is all they really need. They don't like wet spots however, so don't throw them in the part of your yard that turns into a lake with every rainstorm.......

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On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 00:06:45 -0800, "gregpresley"

All depends on what type iris your talking about if it likes wet feet or not. All of my Iris have been planted for years with 6 inches of water or more above their crowns..........they love wet feet and being submerged. They are Louisiana variety........As far as I can tell all varieties of Iris with the exception of Bearded types like wetfeet......and its this reason they are so popular in bog and water gardens. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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The best thing she can do is to put them in Pots for the winter, this should keep them alive and growing. Then once they are ready to be planted put them in a new bed. This is IF they are the Tall Beaded Iris, if they are L.A. Iris then they should be taken inside and placed in something like a bucket of water and placed where they get a bit of light from a window.
Being zone 6 I would think they are TBI's, in that case as said above, pot them up and place them outside then.
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I seriously doubt they'll make it if they're just potted up, they'll freeze solidly, thaw, etc. over and over and rot by the spring. Much better off to put them in the ground somewhere, not where they'll ultimately be, even in a shady corner, and then properly plant them in the spring.
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Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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And they can rot just as easy anywhere else. When I had to move all 300+ iris from one area to another I had to pot a lot of them up for the winter and then I put the pot 1/2 the way into the ground. Not only did I lose very few ( about 5 or 6 ) they still bloomed the next spring.
Many of the Iris growers I've chatted with will pot up new iris plants for their first winter and plant them only after the spring bloom time is past. And these are ones that sell iris too.
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Where are these iris growers? Near you? You were discussing a person who is in zone 6, which is where I am. My experience (rather extensive, I might add) gardening for over 30 years in zone 6 tells me that you shouldn't pot up anything and leave it on top of the ground for the winter, without protection. Yes, you can pot them up and heel them *in* the ground, but you absolutely can't leave them exposed on top of the ground. You will have dead plants in the spring, or plants so damaged they never florish again.
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Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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Well, some are down south in NM and Tx, One hobby grower is up in Canada, some are in the north midwest, heck they are all over the place, even one or two out here in Calif.
We have a chat every friday night on a MIRC server.
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