Digging Your Irises

Below is a pictoral summary of our order fulfillment process from harvest to shipping our bare root plants to you:



We grow our irises in our own beds and harvest them as needed to fill orders.


Harvested rhizomes have their leaf fans and roots trimmed prior our triple wash process. The initial rinse removes bulk soil left on from harvest. The second rinse is a quick dip in a weak bleach solution to kill surface pathogens. The final rinse in clean water washes the bleach solution from the rhizomes prior to drying.



During this process we inspect rhizomes for damage, diseased or old plant material which can’t be removed by the bleach solution. Damaged material is removed, the rhizome trimmed if needed and rewashed before being set out to dry.  When removal diminishes the rhizome to where we judge it won’t survive or it falls below our standards for sale we dig replacements or substitutes at this time, expediting their processing to keep them with their batch.  Sometimes we leave old material attached as a shipping aid to be removed by the customer when received.  We make this judegment on a case by case basis.


Rhizomes are set out in the sun after washing to dry. This helps to further kill any pathogens with the UV exposure in sunlight, cures any cut surfaces and thoroughly dries the water off the plants prior to shipping.   With the cut leaf fan supported the rhizomes are given a quick shake to remove water from between the leaves then placed with leaf fan positioned to allow any remaining water to drain during drying.


All things being equal here is an example of a Before (left picture) and After (right picture) comparison. 


Our backup when we can’t sun dry is to place the rhizomes in our air-conditioned basement area on dry concrete floors or in our warm garage on a wood rack near the ceiling. Your irises are dried either way but sunlight is our preferred method.



After drying plants are sorted into bins according to their field numbers and labeled for boxing.  Subs, Extras and Bonuses are labeled respectively at this time and placed in a separate bin. You may see a 4-digit number on your packing slip such as "1802". This is our internal order control number to make sure we keep your order together and can track it back to the year you ordered a specific bunch of irises.  It also helps keep your order's place in line.


All boxes are carefully taped, packed and have Phyto-sanitation, live plant and shipping labels applied. We include a thank you letter with a general summary of what occurred with orders and make specific notes on the packing slip. General planting instructions are included as well.  We ship all plants as bare root divisions. All orders are sent via USPS priority by weight for 2-3 day delivery to your location!

Thanks and hope you enjoyed the tour! -Diversity Acres