I dug out Iris rhizomes yesterday in order to put them somewhere else, I was surprised by their quantity and couldn't put all of them to their new destination due to space limitation.

So, now I have plenty of them dug out and before deciding what to do with them I need to store them somehow. How do I do that ideally?

2 Answers 2


(1) Dry them. If it's sunny outside, place them in a sunny spot outdoors. When they are dry, then lightly brush off the excess dirt.

(2) Cure them. Find a cool, dark, dry, but well ventilated place where they can "cure" for a couple of weeks.

(3) Dust them. To prevent rot, you can dust them with an anti-fungal powder. (I admit to skipping this step often, but then I live in a dry climate.)

(4) Wrap them. Wrap each iris rhizomes in a piece of newspaper; place these in a box. I use stackable open weave plastic bins.

(5) Store them. Again, you'll want a cool, dry place.

(6) Check them. As you have probably gathered by now, rhizomes are subject to fungus and rot. Every so often, check your stored rhizomes. They should feel firm. Discard those that seem soft or mushy so those don't spoil the whole lot.

  • 1
    How long can I keep them at step 6?
    – Patrick B.
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 16:39
  • @PatrickB. I've never tested the long end of the tail. If you are checking them periodically, though, you'll be able to tell. Fresh rhizomes feel firm. When they start to age, they dry out and become lighter. We used to divide my mom's iris in the early fall. What she didn't use the next spring would come my way. If I couldn't use them, there were always friends who were happy to take them in!
    – GeneJ
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 17:45

I'd pot them up in soil/compost and keep them as container 'plants' if I wanted to keep them, to keep the rhizomes turgid. I usually bin quite a few, because they do spread so easily, bit if you think you might want them, that's what I suggest.

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