Originally Published by Sandra Mason on 7/22/2000
The Greek goddess Iris walked a rainbow pathway through the sky and the flower named for her has a rainbow of flower colors. Iris is one of the oldest garden flowers. Iris is often seen as the only remnant of a long since abandoned home.
Although the most familiar type of iris is the bearded iris, the genus includes 200 or more species including some North American natives. Species are separated into two major groups – rhizomatous and bulbous. Rhizomes are horizontally growing underground stems that are used as food storage for the plant. The common bearded iris falls into this group as well as the beardless Siberian and Japanese iris.
Bulbous irises form a more typical bulb and include Dutch and reticulate iris. These are planted in October with other bulbs.
The best time to plant and transplant rhizomatous iris is late July through September. Iris loves the heat and drier weather of summer and the summer dividing will reduce the incidence of bacterial soft rot. Most rhizomatous iris should be divided every three to five years. If your iris patch is producing very few flowers, it’s time to divide and conquer.
When transplanting iris, first cut back the leaves to about one third of their height. Lift the entire clump with a spade or digging fork. Use a sharp knife to separate the rhizomes. Dip the knife in ten percent bleach after each cut. The new transplants should have a firm rhizome with roots and a fan of leaves. Remove and discard the old rhizomes and only replant the younger smaller rhizomes that grow off of the older stems.
Iris appreciates a sunny well-drained garden spot. When planting iris, dig a hole about five inches deep. Build a small mound in the middle of the hole. Place the rhizome firmly on top of the mound and let the roots fall down the mound. Cover the roots with soil so the rhizome is just slightly exposed. Do not plant the rhizome too deep or it may rot. Generally iris are planted 18-24 inches apart in groups of three to seven sections of one variety. Usually the rhizomes are planted so the leaf fans face in one direction.
While dividing the rhizomes be sure to inspect them for soft rot and iris borer. Iris borer is the worst insect problem irises ever get. The adult iris borer is a brownish moth. She lays her eggs in fall on the iris leaves. The eggs overwinter and hatch into caterpillars during April and May. The caterpillars first bore into the iris leaves. By the end of July the caterpillars move into the rhizomes to eat and mature. In early August the caterpillars move from the rhizome to the soil to pupate into a moth.
When dividing iris, the iris borer will be a mature pink caterpillar inside the rhizome. The rhizome may look fine until your fingers push through to a mushy mess. Bacterial soft rot often accompanies iris borer damage.
Fall sanitation is important in iris borer control. After the first hard frost, remove and destroy or bury the old iris leaves and plant debris to remove the eggs. In small iris patches the borer can also be controlled by squishing the caterpillar in the leaves in April and May.
With so many colors and types of iris available including rebloomers, include a few in your garden plan.
If you find you just have way too much produce, why not donate it to “Plant a Row for the Hungry.” Drop off your extra produce at Schnuck’s Grocery Stores in Champaign or Urbana each Saturday from 10am–1pm starting July 22. All produce goes to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.
- When and how do I divide irises?
- September is a good time
- Nola’s Iris Garden
- Bearded Iris Planting and Gardening Guide
- When You Receive Your Iris
- Prepare Your Soil
- How to Plant Iris Rhizomes
- About Sunlight and Water
- General Garden Care
- Dividing Your Irises
- Iris the Hardy Plant
- Dividing and Moving Iris – How To Transplant Iris
- Signs You Need to Transplant Iris
- When to Transplant Iris
- Steps for Dividing Iris Plants
- Steps for Transplanting Iris
- How to divide irises
- Replanting your divided irises
- Yard and Garden: Dividing Irises
- How to divide Iris in Spring…Because I know things can get away from us and we miss the optimum times to do certain garden chores. It works very well and you can still get blooms.
- Supply List:
- Find Dividing Point
- Divide Iris rhizome from mother
- Dig Out Iris Rhizomes
When and how do I divide irises?
September is a good time
Here’s the thing about writing a gardening column: There is so much great information to share and so little space to share it fully.
For that reason, I’m prone to offering lots of tips and suggestions, but not so much in the way of detailed guidance. It’s just hard to fit it all in! I always hope that readers who want to know more will seek out a knowledgeable source for assistance—Extension System experts, Master Gardeners, garden-wise friends and relatives, books, magazines and, yes, the Web. And, honestly, even if I had all the column inches in the world, I’d still encourage readers to track down experts who have loads more experience and knowledge than I will ever possess.
Still, my ever-creative and reader-oriented editors at Alabama Living offered an idea on how to better address the questions my tips and ideas may evoke. So here’s a stab at it, starting with a question my sister recently asked after reading a tip in my July column: So how do I divide irises?
Though the ideal time to divide irises it just after they bloom, in most parts of Alabama it’s fine to divide and replant them (and many other perennials) throughout the month of September, so it seemed an appropriate question to tackle this month.
Over time, the rhizomes (main roots) of irises produce lots of “baby” rhizomes that need to be removed and relocated so parents and children alike can thrive, thus the need to divide irises. To divide them, carefully lift the plant clump and its rhizomes/roots out of the ground with a garden shovel or fork, then gently separate individual rhizomes from the clump by snapping or cutting them apart. If you have more than one kind of iris in your yard, you may want to group them according to their color and/or cultivar as you do this.
Wash any excess soil off the rhizomes, soak them for 10 minutes in a 10:1 water:chlorine solution, then rinse them with fresh water and allow them to air dry in the shade for at least 30 minutes. From this freshly cleaned and dried collection, select the healthiest rhizomes for replanting or sharing and discard any that look diseased, shriveled or just plain puny. Try to replant them as soon as possible, preferably the same day.
As you replant the rhizomes, don’t bury them too deeply. Iris rhizomes need to be close to the soil’s surface and either partially exposed or only lightly covered with soil to reach their full blooming potential next year.
Another question my column recently elicited was about cover crops. Cover crops, unlike perennial ground covers used in the landscape, are annual crops that are used to hold and build soil between planting seasons in vegetable gardens.
As the summer gardening season comes to an end, you can replant the area with cool-season vegetables (cabbage, collards, lettuces, garlic and onions, for example).
But if you’re planning to leave the space dormant this winter, consider planting it with crimson clover, rye, soybeans, hairy vetch, oats and other legume or cereal crops. These crops help hold the soil in place, build soil quality and, depending on the cover crop you choose, can add nitrogen to the soil, suppress weeds, help control some insect and disease pests and attract pollinators.
Cover crops will protect and enhance your soil all winter and, next year, can be used as “green manure” by mowing the cover crop in late winter or early spring, letting it dry for a week or two, then working the crop residue into the soil as you prepare the garden for the coming vegetable season.
More information on what kinds of cover crops to use and how to use them in vegetable gardens can be found through your local Alabama Cooperative Extension System office or in the Extension publications Cover Crops for Alabama (available here) or The Alabama Vegetable Gardener (available here).
And if you have gardening questions, send them on. If I don’t know the answer I will try to find someone who does, and your question may well be fodder for a future column!
Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at [email protected]
September Gardening Tips
- Make notes about what did and didn’t work in this year’s garden for use as you plan next year’s garden.
- Clean dead plants and debris from garden beds and the landscape.
- Add lawn and garden debris to the compost, along with any organic (non-meat) kitchen waste.
- Test your soil so you’ll know what amendments to add this fall and winter.
- Plant fall and winter vegetables and root crops, such as cabbage, collards, celery, garlic and onions.
- Continue to mow and irrigate lawn as needed.
- Fertilize azaleas and camellias.
- Plant winter grass seeds on bare areas.
- Plant perennials and biennials and spring-flowering bulbs.
- Divide perennials and thin or transplant irises and daylilies.
- Clean bird feeders and birdbaths and keep them filled throughout the fall for resident and migratory birds.
Nola’s Iris Garden
Bearded Iris Planting and Gardening Guide
Irises prefer a full day of sun, but will grow and bloom well if given six or more hours of sunlight. The best time to plant is after the Iris has finished the bloom season and before it starts new growth. In most cases, this will be between July and October avoiding periods of temperature extremes. The ideal time is when the summer heat has ended and cooler fall weather arrives. For climates with severe winters and early freezing temperatures, we recommend planting prior to August 15. This will ensure early root development. The bearded Iris is drought tolerant but will rot if too wet. Gardeners can avoid many problems by providing good drainage to protect the Iris from getting “wet feet”.
When You Receive Your Iris
When you receive your shipment of Irises you should remove them immediately to let them air out for a day or so before planting them. If you are unable to plant them within a day or two lay them outside in the shade. Do not put in a closed building where they might get too hot. Irises can remain out of the ground for a week or two but you should try to plant within three days of receipt. Water at planting time and keep moist but not soggy for the first month (see About Sunlight and Water section below).
Prepare Your Soil
A well-prepared bed for your Irises will result in better growth and bloom. Irises grow in average garden soils with a PH close to neutral (6.5 to 6.8). They like loose well-drained soil since they do not tolerate standing in wet soil. In heavy clay, we recommend raised beds or raised rows with lots of compost. Some say that adding coarse sand is good, but you will need to add at least 30% or you run the risk of creating concrete. We have had very good results with compost but, as with the sand, it takes a lot. Irises love compost but not too much green (compost with high nitrogen content). Although the Iris needs nitrogen, too much in the wet seasons will promote rotting. You should add compost to your bed as well as extra food (fertilizer) to promote the very best growth and bloom of your Iris. For new planting, well-rotted manure or well-rotted compost are good additions. A no nitrogen chemical fertilizer or super phosphate (or bone meal) can be dug into the soil at the rate of 1/2 ounce per square foot three weeks before the plants are set in. If adding at time of planting use 1/2 strength. It is best to double dig or rototill your Iris bed to ensure the mixing of the fertilizer and compost before planting your Irises.
How to Plant Iris Rhizomes
Now that you have your beds ready in a sunny location make a shallow hole about twice the size of the rhizome. Take a handful of the soil you removed and make a mound of soil in the center. Place the rhizome on top of the mound and drape the roots down the sides of the mound. Press the rhizome down to ensure that it makes firm contact with the soil. Any air pockets can collect water and cause rot. When you fill the hole with soil the top of the rhizome should be at or slightly above the surface for warm areas and slightly covered for areas with freezing winters. Remember that it is always better to have the rhizome too high rather than too deep.
In our viewing gardens we plant the Iris in groups of three, forming a triangle with the toes pointing into the center. The toe of the Iris is the opposite end of the fan (the Iris leaves). The spacing we use is 12” apart, with 18″ to 24″ between each group of 3 rhizomes. If you prefer to plant in rows, you should space the Iris 18” apart and all facing the same direction so rhizomes will increase in the same direction without crowding each other. Be sure to water your Irises well after planting them. It is a good idea to record the name and location of your Irises. When they bloom your friends will surely ask for their names.
In cold winter areas, mulch before it snows. Use straw or comparable material, but not with grass clippings as they compact too much and they promote rotting. Remove the mulch after the last hard frost is expected in your area to prevent rot from forming when the ground warms up.
About Sunlight and Water
Irises do best in full sunlight but will do well in slight shade. That is to say, they should have a good six (6) hours of sunlight a day. In areas of extreme heat and little water, some shade is good. There are three times when the Iris needs water. When the Iris is first planted until the roots have taken hold. At this time the soil should be moist but not waterlogged. You will know when the roots have taken hold by the new center leaves coming up. This usually takes 2 to 4 weeks. Once established you should reduce the watering until the winter or fall rains set in. During dry spells (over three or four weeks long) you will need to give them a good deep watering every 3 to 4 weeks depending on the temperature. The second time the Iris needs water is in the early spring. In almost all areas, “Mother Nature” will take care of this for you. In a rare case that you have no rain or snow and hot temperatures in the spring season, you should supplement the watering every other week. The third time is for the reblooming Iris. They will need more water in order to develop stalks and flowers in the summer and fall seasons.
Irises should be fertilized in early spring about 6 to 8 weeks before bloom, and again after the blooms are gone. Because phosphate is important, we recommend bone meal or super-phosphate and a light balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 6-10-10 depending on the amount of nitrogen in your soil. The most important part is to not use anything high in nitrogen as nitrogen promotes rot problems. We highly recommend that you test your soil. Soil test kits can be purchased at most hardware or garden supply stores. What you want to see is neutral PH (6.5 to 6.8), medium to low nitrogen, high level of phosphorus, and medium level of potassium. All fertilizers will list the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium on the container in that order. For example 5-10-15 tells you that the container has 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 15% potassium. Nitrogen is for the green growth such as grass. Your grass fertilizer is probably 25% or higher in nitrogen. Don’t use it on your Iris! Phosphorous promotes root development and since the rhizome is all root, it needs lots of phosphorous. Potassium improves the overall health of the plant, defends against diseases and helps plants withstand very hot or cold weather. In the fall it is a good idea to add bone meal or super-phosphate or both or fertilizer with no nitrogen such as 0-10-10.
General Garden Care
Irises are very hardy plants and really do not need a lot of attention. Keep your Iris beds weeded and remove old dried leaves. This will provide air circulation. After blooming, cut the flower stalks as close to the ground as possible. This will help the Iris to concentrate its energy in new growth production.
Dividing Your Irises
We recommend dividing your Irises after about 3 to 4 years as they become too crowded. The Iris needs room to grow new plants. If over crowed, they will be unable to divide and the bloom will suffer or stop. Over crowding also promotes disease problems from lack of air circulation. The best time to divide your Irises is about 6-8 weeks after bloom season, usually in July or August. Clumps can be thinned by removing the centers of the clumps leaving the newer growth in the ground or by digging the entire clump and saving the new rhizomes and discarding the old “Mother” plants or any rhizome that is not healthy or is soft. It is a good idea to keep all your plants carefully labeled when removing the entire clump. You can use a waterproof marker to write the name on the leaf of the plant. After digging your Irises, divide them by cutting the newer rhizomes with fans attached.
Iris the Hardy Plant
Above is the textbook guide to planting and maintaining your Iris. The truth is, the Iris is a very tolerant plant. When we purchased our ranch we were given about 500 Iris to line our 600-foot driveway. At the time we were remodeling the 100+ year-old house and had very little time to spend on the Iris planting. As it turned out we did very little in following the “correct” way to plant Iris rhizomes. We did not plant the Iris for over three months and were not sure if they were still alive when a family member volunteered to plant Iris rhizomes for us. The area we had to work with is in the foothills and is almost 100% clay soil. We did nothing to amend the soil, just dug a trench with the garden tractor and put the Iris in the trench and kicked and pushed the dirt over the Iris. The driveway is eucalyptus tree lined without the required 6 hours of sunlight. Besides that, nothing is supposed to grow under a eucalyptus tree. I think that first summer we only watered once, even in the months with temperatures in the high 80’s. Later in the summer I purchased some Iris from the local hardware store (you know, the kind in little bags that are dried out and take years to flower) and planted them myself knowing nothing of how to properly plant them. About the only thing I got right was to put the roots down. I planted them in an extremely wet area (a bog really) during the rainy season and I planted them way too deep.
So what happened? We now have a beautiful Iris lined driveway. Although the Iris took an extra year to bloom, we lost almost none to the lack of water, and only a few to gophers. We lost about half of the Iris I planted in the wet area, some due to root rot and others that never established due to the poor quality of plants. The point is, that the Iris plant is very tolerant of abuse, drought resistant, and, by the way, they are deer resistant!
If you have any other questions about your Irises, please feel free to E-mail us: orders[email protected], and we will gladly answer your questions relating to this bearded iris planting guide and iris gardening guide or any iris planting questions you may have about our gardening guide.
Dividing and Moving Iris – How To Transplant Iris
Transplanting iris is a normal part of iris care. When well cared for, iris plants will need ro be divided on a regular basis. Many gardeners wonder when is the best time to transplant iris and how should one go about moving iris from one place to another. Keep reading to learn more about how to transplant iris.
Signs You Need to Transplant Iris
There are a few signs that you should consider dividing iris plants.
The first sign that your iris need divided will be decreased blooming. Overcrowded iris rhizomes will produce fewer flowers than uncrowded iris rhizomes. If you have noticed that your iris are blooming less than they have, you may need to transplant the iris in your garden.
The next sign that you should consider transplanting your iris is if the rhizomes start heaving out of the ground. Overcrowded iris rhizomes will start to push on each other, which results in the entire root system of your iris plants literally pushing themselves out of the ground. The iris roots may look like a mass of snakes or a pile of spaghetti when they need to be divided. They may
even stop putting up foliage and the plants may only grow foliage on the outside edges of the clump.
When to Transplant Iris
The best time when to transplant iris is in the summer, after the iris have finished blooming, up until fall.
Steps for Dividing Iris Plants
To divide your iris, start by lifting the clump of iris plants out of the ground with a spade or fork. If possible, lift the whole mass out whole, but if you are unable to do this, carefully break the clump into smaller parts and lift these out.
Next, brush of as much dirt as possible from the iris rhizomes. This will make it easier to see when you are breaking the clumps apart.
The next step in dividing iris plants is to divide the iris rhizomes. Each iris rhizome should be divided into pieces that are 3 to 4 inches long and have at least one fan of leaves on the rhizome. Do not remove the roots from the rhizomes.
As you get closer to the center of the clump, you may find large sections of rhizomes that have no leaf fans. These can be discarded.
Check all of the divided iris rhizomes for iris borers and disease. The iris rhizomes should be firm and not soft. If the rhizome feels soft, throw it away.
Steps for Transplanting Iris
Once the iris rhizomes have been divided, you can replant them. First, trim all of the iris leaf fans back to about 6 to 9 inches tall. This will allow the plant to re-establish its roots without having to support a large amount of foliage at the same time.
Next, plant the iris rhizomes in the selected location. This location should receive a good deal of sunlight and should be well draining. Dig a hole where the rhizome will settle into the ground just below the ground level. If planting several iris near each other, point the rhizomes away from each other and space them 18 inches apart.
Spread the roots out around the rhizome and then cover the roots and the rhizome with dirt. Water the newly transplanted iris plants well.
How to divide irises
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The front garden in my first home featured huge, gorgeous bearded irises that framed both sides of the front door. The massive blooms were a deep purple hue, and you had to be careful not to brush them with your clothes as you went into the house. Sadly, that house and garden were torn down after we sold, but luckily, I had divided some irises and gifted them to my mom, who in turn gifted some to me once I moved into my current house. These beauties live on in my front garden. Now it’s time to divide again, so here are a few tips that explain how to divide irises.
Even though they produce a rather short-lived bloom, irises remain one of my favourite ornamental plants. And I’ve found them to be pretty hardy and drought tolerant. Years ago, when I divided my first bunch, I was in the middle of overhauling my whole front yard, so they sat in buckets of water, as recommended by my neighbour (some for a few weeks!), before I was able to replant them. Once nestled safely in their new garden home, the irises all survived the winter. One thing to note, however, is that irises may not bloom the year after they’re divided or transplanted, but be patient. They should eventually rebloom for you.
My first iris via my first home’s garden, via my mom’s last garden, now in my current garden!
Mid- to late-summer is a good time to divide bearded irises. You want to make sure that the roots have ample time to grow before winter. You can usually tell that your irises are ready to be divided when a clump looks overgrown, with rhizomes starting to grow into each other and popping up from the soil. They also may not produce as many blooms. Every three to five years is a good rule of thumb for dividing irises.
A mess of rhizomes is a clear indication it’s time to divide your irises, especially when they’re pushing each other out of the soil!
I’ve read articles recommending using a garden fork, but I use a rounded spade as that’s what I have in my tool shed, and I find I don’t risk splitting any errant rhizomes. What I’ll do is I’ll put the tip of my shovel in the soil a few inches from the clump, dig down, and lift, going all the way around in a circle doing this until I’ve managed to loosen a clump. I’ll pull out the clump and then by hand, I’ll carefully separate the rhizomes, tossing any dead leaves or rhizomes without leaves attached into my compost-destined garden trug as I go.
This is a good time to amend the soil, though you want to make sure you don’t add too much nitrogen, as it can cause soft growth and make the plant susceptible to disease.
For the rhizomes you decide to keep, cut the leaf fans back so they’re about four to six inches long. This helps the plant focus on growing roots before winter.
Replanting your divided irises
Irises like sunny spots in the garden that get about six or more hours of sunlight a day. They’re also pretty drought tolerant, so a nice option for sunny areas of the garden. Irises also like well-drained soil. Though they enjoy a slightly acidic soil, they thrive in most conditions.
To plant, dig a shallow hole and create a mound in the middle where the rhizome will sit. Place the rhizome on the mound with the roots in your hole. Cover the roots and then place a thin layer of soil over the rhizome. You want the rhizome itself to be just below the surface, lightly covered in soil. Push any errant roots under the soil with your finger (they tend to pop up sometimes!).
I use scissors to cut the fan, before replanting my irises.
Plant rhizomes about 12 to 24 inches apart. If you plant them closer together, you just may find yourself dividing them sooner, but if you’re okay with that, then plant them as you will!
Yard and Garden: Dividing Irises
AMES, Iowa – Recommendations for when to divide irises depend on the species. Follow these tips from horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to maintain a colorful, attractive iris planting. To have additional questions answered, contact Hortline at [email protected] or call 515-294-3108.
When should bearded irises be divided?
Bearded irises should be divided every three to five years, as the plants quickly become overcrowded and don’t bloom well. July or August is the best time to dig, divide and transplant bearded irises.
How do you divide bearded irises?
Bearded irises grow from thick, underground stems called rhizomes. In July or August, carefully dig up the iris clumps with a spade. Cut back the leaves to one-third their original height. Wash the soil from the rhizomes and roots with a steady stream of water. Then cut the rhizomes apart with a sharp knife. Each division should have a fan of leaves, a healthy rhizome and several large roots. Discard all diseased or insect damaged rhizomes.
Bearded irises perform best in fertile, well-drained soils and full sun. In clay soils, incorporate compost or sphagnum peat moss into the soil prior to planting. When planting bearded irises, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the rhizome and roots. Build a mound in the center of the hole. Place a rhizome on top of the mound and spread the roots in the surrounding trench. Then cover with soil. When planted, the rhizome should be just below the soil surface. Finally, water each plant thoroughly.
To obtain a good flower display, plant at least three rhizomes of one cultivar in a group. Space the rhizomes 12 to 24 inches apart.
When should Siberian irises be divided?
Siberian irises don’t have to be divided as often as bearded irises. It’s advisable to divide Siberian irises when clumps become crowded, plant vigor declines or clumps have formed solid rings with bare centers. Siberian irises can be divided in early spring or late summer.
How do you divide Siberian irises?
When dividing Siberian irises in early spring, dig up the entire clump when new growth has just begun to appear. Divide the clump into sections with a soil knife or spade. Each section should have several growing points and a good root system. Replant immediately. Siberian irises perform best in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. When dividing plants in late summer (August), dig up the entire clump, cut back the foliage to 6 to 8 inches and divide the clump into sections with each division containing several fans of leaves and a good root system. Promptly replant the divisions.
Photo credit: Anka100/iStock/Thinkstock
How to divide Iris in Spring…Because I know things can get away from us and we miss the optimum times to do certain garden chores. It works very well and you can still get blooms.
In an old picture album my mom has there is a photo of me as a baby sitting on a blanket on the lawn of my Grandmothers house. Behind me are dozens of colorful Iris lining the fence. These were my Grandmothers pride and joy. They were the older versions, she called Flags, sweet scented and tough as nails. Maybe that is where my love of Iris began….and now I have my own collection.
Today I am going to share with you how to Divide Iris in Spring. It is a simple yet effective way to separate those Iris you missed last Summer and Fall. You find a clump that is overcrowded and struggling and you want to divide it. Let’s face it, sometimes things get away from us and we don’t do our garden chores at the optimum times.
I can see so many garden enthusiasts shaking their heads already. You don’t divide Iris in Spring!
Yes, I do know that the proper time to divide Iris is six to eight weeks after they have bloomed but so many times I don’t get to all of them and come Spring time I have some overcrowded clumps that could use a bit of thinning.
But rest assured I have used this method for years with 100% success.
If you wish to get access to the free downloadable cheat sheet for dividing Iris in Spring fill out form below, further down in this post.
Handy Garden Tools
(the smaller shovel is easier to get in to small spaces plus it is just easier on my old lady back)
Find Dividing Point
Here is my clump of Iris that needs to be divided. The center is obvious and you have rhizomes fanning outward from it.
Decide which rhizome you want to remove and follow it back to the center. With your garden knife cut the rhizome off where it attaches to the mother rhizome.
Divide Iris rhizome from mother
You may need to dig around the connecting area to get a good view of it, then slice as close to the mother rhizome as you can. Take your shovel and dig up the rhizomes freed from the mother.
Dig Out Iris Rhizomes
Dig down deep to get underneath the roots of the rhizomes, this way you preserve any blooms that may be already forming on them and it may go ahead and bloom.
You can see I left a nice sized hole where I dug it up from.
The rest of the plant is undisturbed, it will bloom just as if nothing has happened. (just to the left of the tip of the arrow)
Find a nice spot where you want to place your dug up Iris, dig a shallow hole and mix in a bit of Bulb Fertilizer (this is the one I use) into the soil.
I placed the freshly dug up Iris in my Secret Garden I am developing in my back yard. You can see it there next to a Foxglove I transplanted. This coming Summer they should both give me lots of lovely flowers!
Want to download a cheat sheet of how to divide Iris in Spring. Just fill out this form for access!
If you are already a subscriber the emails you receive have the password included.
One thing I do enjoy about Iris is they are constantly reproducing giving me loads and loads of plants to move about to fill in empty spots or trade friends for more colors. There are so many!
I have toured two Iris Farms the past couple of years and I shared all the beautiful blooms here IRIS FARM VISIT
and here SUPERSTITION IRIS GARDEN
For more great garden posts with out of the box tips and tricks see my Garden Page.
More Garden Posts You Will Enjoy
How to Divide Iris
How to Plant Iris for Tons of Blooms
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I wish you Happy Gardening and a Flowery Spring!
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