Tuesday, February 2, 2010

plant swapping

I've been browsing plant swapping sites online. I had not ever tried to propagate the plants in my yard, either by division, cuttings or seeds until this past summer when I carefully sprinkled the seeds of coneflowers and black eyed susans around the bed in places I'd like to see them this summer.  I don't yet know what will come of that project.  Last summer I also tried to do a plant swap with a church acquaintance, but I'm not sure that what I traded for is really what I wanted. 

There are at least a few dozen fluffy "bearded" iris that came with our house, in pastel colors I dislike.  They are too shaded to bloom much and even if they did bloom, I'd rather have the bold dark blue iris I keep down by my mailbox.  I've decided that I should get rid of them.  There are better plants out there.

Not aware that others could see my lists of 'haves' and 'wants', I started to add plants to the lists on one of the garden websites. (Thanks to Fairegarden who inspires me with her choices of plants!)  I put Shasta daisies, ajuga, salvia and a few others on my list of 'wants'.  I listed the iris as 'haves'.  And, suddenly, I have a request for some of the iris.  And I have no idea what I want (from her list of 238 offers) in the trade!  The woman lives in Minnesota, so spring is not right around the corner for her.  (General Beau Lee, Ph.D., Georgia’s Official Weather Prognosticator... made his prediction this morning at 7:35am in rainy, 40 degree weather. Beau reported that he did not see his shadow, foretelling an early spring.) She suggested waiting until April to swap our plants.  This is good, since it will give me time to find out how one prepares plants for shipment.  On the other hand, the iris may well be blooming by April and that may make their shipment more complicated.

I will continue to look up plants to see if anything on her list seems appealing.  So far, I'm contemplating sweet woodruff and Persian cornflowers.  Mostly, I want something that will stay alive!


  1. Hi Jill, thanks for the link love! Your iris should be mailed in March, I would say, no later than that. They need to be dug while dormant, and as you say, they will be growing in April. You could even dig them now. Cut any foliage off and wash the soil off the roots. Let them dry well! This step is important for the greatest danger to them is rot. Once completely dry, put them in a plastic bag with some bagged peat moss that is also completely dry. Wrap the plastic bag in bubble wrap, box and mail. I would use the three day priority at the post office. Good luck with the swap!

  2. As always, wonderful advice! The difference in our springs is huge, so I may ask her to wait until her spring to mail my trade here. I'm leaning towards sweet woodruff.