Iris Plants

Are My Iris Bulbs Still Viable?

scottishcanary added on May 24, 2012 | Answered

I have had a 5 gallon bucket filled with iris bulbs, without any dirt, stored in my cool, dry basement for 3 years. I haven't planted them because I'm not sure if it would be worth the effort. I've carefully inspected them and there's no mold at all and no other signs of disease or distress. The only thing that makes me think they might be no good is they're very dry-not to the point of crumbling apart-but very dry. When I squeeze the actual bulb, or rhizome, it still feels pretty solid. So I'd like to know if there's a chance that they'd still grow if I plant them? Thanks!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 25, 2012

There's no way of knowing for certain if they will grow or not other than planting them to find out. As long as they are still firm, I would think there's still a good chance. Stick them in the ground (well draining soil) and water generously and then see what happens. If they're any good, they should begin sprouting within a few weeks, if not sooner.

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