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Q.Rose, Peonies And Irises

Zone 18901 Doylestown PA | Anonymous added on May 30, 2023 | Answered

Hi -Family Heirloom Questions. I have a very old rose bush. It was my Grandfather’s from his yard and it it probably close to 100 years old. I have loved and nurtured this rose and have moved it three times. It is a very thorny rose. It gives me about 10 roses for the entire year. My yard now is getting very swampy and I’m trying to keep the rose bush safe and free from all the other plants that are multiplying like crazy. I am hoping to move within the next 6 months but that may not happen. So after all that background my question is, can I transplant my Grandfather’s rose in a container and how do I care for it over the winter if I don’t move? Secondly I have three peony bushes that also came from my Grandfather’s garden – when is the best time to move them and can I put them in pots and what to do over the winter? Third I have irises – I read all the instructions on how to divide, and store – how long can I store them without replanting or can I put them in container pots? Thanks for all your help on this – all the info I’ve read from your site has helped me greatly and I wanted to ask you your thoughts. Donna

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 31, 2023

Yes, roses do well in containers but they must have several drainage holes. When winter comes, even though heirloom roses are generally very hardy, I would move it to a garage or basement and only water about once a month.

Peonies can grow in containers, but they need a large container. When winter comes, move it inside to a protected area about 40 degrees F, same as the rose bush. Transplant your peonies in the fall.

Irises can be moved into pots and kept outdoors, but they do well lifted in the summer, dried and stored for up to a year or more.

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