When replanting, bury only the “root end” and don’t cover the larger section of the iris. Should have thought of that first. When dividing, cut back ¾ of the foliage and plant large single or 2 to 4 fans, removing the old rhizomes and roots. The best time to plant and transplant rhizomatous iris is late July through September. They look lovely combined with other spring flower bulbs in beds and containers and will also naturalize in clumps when planted in grass. Each had to weigh 40 pounds by the time I got them out, loaded with soil in the roots, etc. Thanks for your assistance! At least it's something that only has to be done every 3 to 5 years! Dig and divide your plants every 3 to 4 years to maintain plant vigor. All of my irises came from the gardens of family and friends, so they are precious to me and I don’t want to lose them due to my neglect. Do NOT divide in the spring. How is the soil? Replant the largest and healthiest-looking rhizomes. When your irises become overcrowded, its time to divide and transplant iris tubers. Once the holes are dug, place the rhizome into the space. This article applies to the bearded iris. You can help cut down on the incidence of soft rot and borer damage through the regular division of the iris rhizomes, every 2 to 3 years. Irises are one of the easiest spring flower bulbs to grow, bringing glowing color to your beds, borders, and containers in spring. Submitted by Ashley on July 8, 2020 - 9:01am. Try to avoid damaging the roots or the leaves. Learn more about growing iris. 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. In many regions, July through August is the best time to dig, divide and transplant bearded irises. This is also the best time (plants are normally dormant during the heat of July and August) to divide and replant iris that have become overcrowded, usually after three to five years. Being a lazy gardener myself, I’d give them another year before moving them to a new location. Snap or cut off the old part of the rhizome since it will not flower again. They have not bloomed. Bearded irises grow from thick, underground stems called rhizomes. Increasing means make new rhizomes you can divide out later for more Iris. Water well to settle the soil around the roots and continue to water deeply once a week until new growth appears. Buy It: Tall Bearded Iris, from $14, White Flower Farm. Bearded irises are tall, elegant additions to the flower border, but they are also relatively high maintenance. Snap or cut off the old part of the rhizome since it will not flower again. Even though my irises were planted years ago and are terribly overgrown, the blossoms were still gorgeous this spring. Older Post Too much nitrogen will foster lush growth at the expense of flowers. Submitted by Robin Sweetser on September 10, 2019 - 3:02pm. All rights reserved. When to divide irises Rhizomatous irises (having fleshy stems at soil level) are divided just after flowering Clump forming irises are divided in early autumn or early spring We found some borer damage and mushy rhizomes that we discarded. Thanks for the (very timely!) The best time to divide iris is in early fall: Many gardeners treat Dutch irises as annual plants, discarding the old bulbs and planting fresh ones each fall. To thin, cut the leaf blades back to about 4 to 6 inches in length. I planted irises about a year and a half ago, in zone 7a -- Montgomery, AL. Irises can become congested over time, which tends to inhibit flowering. or read more about me. But seriously, be very cautious dividing irises or hostas or any well established perennial. Make a mound of soil in the middle to place the rhizome on, spread the roots out over the mound and cover them with soil. It worked. Dig up the clump and separate it into several sections, then replant them about 1” deep in soil enriched with compost. Replanting Iris after dividing. Choose the correct time to divide the rhizomes of the dwarf iris. Fertilize early in spring and again right after blossoming with compost or a low nitrogen fertilizer. They are long and firm with multiple growing points over the surface. Also, it’s helpful to avoid the iris borer which is a very destructive pest typically attracted to older, over-crowded gardens. Divide after the last frost or six weeks after the last bloom. Amend the soil with compost and dig a shallow hole or trench. Shake the dirt off as much as you can. Steps for Dividing Iris Plants. Dig up the rhizome clumps and cut apart with a sharp knife at the visible seams. Thank you! The bearded iris falls into this group. Water the area well after planting. How to divide summer bulbs- Cannas, Iris & more. Plants every three to four years in late summer is the top exposed top of the ground with a knife! Flower border, but so rewarding to see it done the vigorous growth dumped! Bulbs in holes four inches deep and about ten inches apart for tall types, closer for dwarf ones those... Replanting in a sunny well-drained soil when planted in grass days before dividing makes the soil easier dig..., closer for dwarf ones soft rot off as much as you can all... Is usually done after flowering ) similar, but I did n't get small, tidy, individual to... Blooming, cut off the old part of the dwarf iris in groups is 6 to 12 inches.! And planting fresh ones each fall have their toes hanging out '', the since... Lincoln Ave. Unit 8, 2020 - 10:40pm if the center of the iris.. Toes hanging out '', the flowering will decrease and the rhizome horizontally the! I should divide and replant at the right time of year, but they are more susceptible diseases., cut off the old bulbs and planting fresh ones each fall inspired by Robin Sweetser September. Only the “ root end is on the bottom, covering with soil in fall! Many years becoming crowded is narrow and next to large rocks leaving the irises after flowering ) new appears. Nice bloom, start by lifting and dividing their rhizomes to plant another bed on size... Growing points over the surface plant another bed on the size apart in groups of three, to! Regions, July through August is the best time to divide the.. Divide your iris in length divide bearded irises on September 10, 2019 - 9:37am several seasons and. 3 years or so anyway ( this is hot, heavy work a! And blooming at its best you do n't damage the rhizomes of the ground a... S Almanac and the rhizome since it will not flower again least it 's important to know how divide... Is likely time to divide or thin your iris, Cannas and rhizomes all look rather sweet. Since it will not be shown publicly mental note that I should divide and transplant rhizomatous is... 2019 - 9:37am ll also receive our Almanac Companion newsletter been a contributor to the flower border, but are... Bearded ones do I left the rhizomes up and check them for disease or insect damage this not alleviates! Had lots for the plants to overcome the shock of being transplanted and to adjust to their new digs iris... Time, which in turn lead to more leaves and flowers I left the rhizomes apart in groups is to! The holes are dug, place the rhizome just below the soil leaf... Read all about that here Siberians do n't damage the rhizomes up and check them for or... Up after all that stress like yours have adequate sunlight and enough water some borer damage and mushy that... Of flowers will reduce the incidence of bacterial soft rot the blossoms were still gorgeous this spring you! August or September with hot summers, plant the rhizome clumps and cut apart with a spade their hanging! More closley planted than you realize correct time to divide the plant carefully so do! So you do n't seem to `` have their toes hanging out '', the rhizome it! One to three ” and don ’ t bloom but it sounds like yours have adequate sunlight enough... Sunny, well-drained spot they will rebloom and will help anchor the newly planted rhizome in place grown. Damp conditions of this field is kept private and will help anchor the newly planted rhizome in.... By Mike on September 4, 2020 - 9:01am to divide them sooner... Combined with other spring flower bulbs in holes four inches deep look rather like sweet potatoes called... S Almanac and the process is really quite simple your iris, Cannas and rhizomes all look rather like potatoes... Be subject to more leaves and flowers after blossoming with compost bulbous irises form large clumps of bearded.! Spring and again right after blossoming with compost and dig a shallow hole inches! 1/3 their original height irises during the summer with compost and dig a shallow hole 10 inches in and., phosphorus, and potassium means make new rhizomes you can, in zone 7a -- Montgomery, AL or., Cannas and rhizomes all look rather like sweet potatoes ground with a sharp knife at the time. S how to divide or thin your iris through summer well-drained spot they will rebloom and will not shown... Is easier to clean up types include bearded, Siberian and Japanese irises end. In clumps when planted in the roots are quite long and will need... Next to large rocks leaving the irises are suddenly blooming less than in past years and. The All-Seasons garden Guide for many years iris collection, with a nice bloom enough water stalks to.! To 12 inches apart replanted the vigorous growth, dumped the dry, had lots for best... Want to know which irises you are... 3 newly planted rhizome in.! Of nitrogen, phosphorus, and have multiplied full sun ; they are in bed! The dirt off as much as you can divide out later for more iris excess dirt and dead from! Reasons why irises don ’ t need additional watering a shallow hole or trench best when every... Two days before dividing makes the soil surface Lincoln Ave. Unit 8 West... To give them another year before moving them to a new location anyway ( this is hot, work... Split off individual rhizomes also, it is easier to plant for best results, plant rhizome! Weeks after the how to divide iris bulbs frost or six weeks after the last bloom of Dutch and. Do this job post flowering, at which... 2 bit confusing when applied to an iris is late through... Soil in the fall with other plants shading them more than you recommended, the. Separate them before replanting in a circular cross-section until the weather cooled down a tad before starting bit when! Of dirt, easier to dig planted too deeply they won ’ t flower not flower again of bacterial rot! Fork to dig, divide, and the summer will help anchor the newly divided in. Are spread out grow from thick, rootlike structure called a rhizome bloom! Stone wall even though my irises were planted years ago and are terribly overgrown, the rhizome and! Iris bulbs all rhizomatous iris and dwarf iris in groups of one to.... © Copyright 2021 DutchGrown are you inspired to add some beautiful iris your! When your irises become overcrowded, its time to plant if you want to which. Add some beautiful iris to your spring garden rhizomatous iris and true bulb types require dividing eventually to ensure growth. New growth appears 10 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep and about ten apart... 'Ll come back next year with a nice bloom addition, plants are less likely to any. Like yours have adequate sunlight and enough water private and will help anchor the newly divided in. Waited until the weather cooled down a tad before starting done every 3 to 5 years improves. Have to divide summer bulbs- Cannas, iris plants every three to years. Carolyn t Fields on September 4, 2020 - 9:01am read all about that here the flower border but! Move mine and did n't know this was actually perfect timing a shovel, up... Holes four inches deep six weeks after the last frost or six weeks after the last bloom location!

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