How to Divide Bearded Iris Bearded iris grows from a thick, rootlike structure called a rhizome. Irises that are grown from bulbs are not suitable for division. The foliage is looking good, though. Noticed someone asked about dividing those. We found some borer damage and mushy rhizomes that we discarded. Next, brush of as much dirt as possible from the iris rhizomes. Wonderful guide to dividing and caring for Bearded Irises, thank you for sharing! Submitted by Carolyn T Fields on September 1, 2019 - 1:14pm. When the leaves die back in fall, dig up the bulbs and separate them before replanting in a sunny spot. Newer Post, © Copyright 2021 DutchGrown. This article applies to the bearded iris. Each had to weigh 40 pounds by the time I got them out, loaded with soil in the roots, etc. However, given a sunny, well-drained spot they will rebloom and will eventually need dividing. To divide your iris, start by lifting the clump of iris plants out of the ground with a spade or fork. These plants do best when divided every few years, and the process is really quite simple. Amend the soil with compost and dig a shallow hole or trench. Iris, cannas and rhizomes all look rather like sweet potatoes. Space the pieces 12 to 24 inches apart for tall types, closer for dwarf ones. Dividing Iris bulbs All rhizomatous iris and true bulb types require dividing eventually to ensure strong growth as well as allow plants to multiply. Weeks to feel better. Ensure the rhizome is erect while the roots are spread out. Learn when to divide iris bulbs for the best results. Carefully dig up the iris clumps with a spade. However, for larger varieties of iris plants, you’ll want to go with a larger distance than two feet. Know your iris. When replanting, bury only the “root end” and don’t cover the larger section of the iris. Pinched a nerve. Discover our iris collection, with a range of Dutch iris and dwarf iris in colors to suit every planting scheme. How to Divide Bearded Irises Dig the rhizomes up and check them for disease or insect damage. Then replant. Submitted by Mike on September 4, 2020 - 10:40pm. Dig up the rhizome clumps and cut apart with a sharp knife at the visible seams. The Process of Dividing the Iris Plant Rhizomes. Divide clumps of bearded iris plants every three to four years in late summer. I planted mine closer, for a more immediate display, knowing that I will have to divide them again sooner. Replant the newly divided rhizomes in a sunny well-drained soil. 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. Not sure if I should dig them up and plant on the west side of a north-south run of privacy fencing, where they would get almost all day full sun; they are currently opposite, on the east side of a north-south fencing, getting morning and until 2 pm sun. Submitted by Monica Frame on August 26, 2019 - 9:37am. Fertilize early in spring and again right after blossoming with compost or a low nitrogen fertilizer. Given that division can differ slightly between irises, it is important to know which irises you are... 3. The irises are getting crowded and encroached upon by sedum. They look lovely combined with other spring flower bulbs in beds and containers and will also naturalize in clumps when planted in grass. Steps 1. Too much nitrogen will foster lush growth at the expense of flowers. Dwarf irises, with their royal blue blooms supported on short stems, bring a bold splash of color to the garden in early spring. Thank you! Irises like a near neutral pH and even amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. However, if the center of the clump stops growing, it’s time to divide the plant. In Iowa, July or August is the best time to dig, divide, and transplant bearded irises. Should have thought of that first. If you want to know how to divide Iris then you can read all about that here. How to divide iris: Step-by-step instructions Dividing Iris Why: Division every 3-4 years is important for continual bloom and vigorous and healthy plant growth. Bearded irises grow from thick, underground stems called rhizomes. Big chore. The best time to plant and transplant rhizomatous iris is late July through September. Loosen around the clump as best you can. See the Almanac’s Iris Growing Guide. Identify any diseased rhizomes, and lay those out separately. If you are looking for an easy flower to grow to create a border along your house or need to fill up a flower bed quickly, then irises may be a flower to consider. Replanting Iris after dividing. Submitted by Robin Sweetser on September 10, 2019 - 3:02pm. I leave at least 12 inches so they new Iris can grow and increase. I also have Siberian Irises, which should be divided because their patch is becoming crowded. They are perennial and will bloom for several seasons. article on dividing and replanting bearded irises. The first spring, however, this year, only two flowers showed up after all that stress. Siberian irises form large clumps of grass-like leaves and enjoy cool, damp conditions. Dividing plants with rhizomes, such as the beareded iris, helps them perform their best, and bearded iris usually need to be divided about every 3 or 4 years. When your irises become overcrowded, its time to divide and transplant iris tubers. Replanted the vigorous growth, dumped the dry, had lots for the back yard and front. That time is now! I hurt my shoulder badly. This is hot, heavy work involving a lot of digging so I waited until the weather cooled down a tad before starting. Leave the foliage over the summer until it dies back naturally in fall, then dig up the Dutch iris bulbs, discard any damaged ones and replant them in a new location. When To Plant For best results, plant iris rhizomes in July, August or September. DutchGrown LLC, 827 Lincoln Ave. Unit 8, West Chester, PA 19380, Signup to receive our latest news and hottest promotions. Water the area well after planting. There are many reasons why irises don’t bloom but it sounds like yours have adequate sunlight and enough water. Even though bare rhizomes can survive out of the ground for 1 to 2 weeks without any damage, it is best to replant them right away. Split iris between late July and the end of September, and use the divisions to start a new iris bed, or give them away to family and friends. How is the soil? Water well to settle the soil around the roots and continue to water deeply once a week until new growth appears. But seriously, be very cautious dividing irises or hostas or any well established perennial. The best time to divide irises is during late summer, usually anytime between July and th… 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. Bulbous irises form a more typical bulb which includes the Dutch iris and are planted in the fall with other bulbs. The strappy leaves seem healthy but it is a bed with other plans (shrubs and perennials) that need more water than is suggested here. Plant rhizomes singly or in groups of three, 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the size. The bearded iris falls into this group. We found some borer damage and mushy rhizomes that we discarded. An iris is a flower that grows from creeping rhizomes and — in some dry climates — from bulbs. The Best Time to Separate Iris Bulbs. Here’s how to divide irises—with step-by-step pictures. Put them all on tarps - lots of dirt, easier to clean up. If planted too deeply they won’t flower. Crowded plants are also more prone to disease problems. After blooming, cut off the stem but leave the foliage through summer. Robin has been a contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the All-Seasons Garden Guide for many years. It's important to know which irises you are seeking to divide. The roots are quite long and will help anchor the newly planted rhizome in place. The blooming of the bearded irises is something I eagerly await each spring. Irises can become congested over time, which tends to inhibit flowering. The stems can also be solid, hollow, flattened or in a circular cross-section. Replant the largest and healthiest-looking rhizomes. This not only alleviates issues with overcrowding but also improves their overall health. 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. 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. Once established, bearded irises are drought-tolerant and won’t need additional watering. I have Siberian irises. Custom programming and server maintenance by. Older Post If your irises are suddenly blooming less than in past years, it is likely time to divide them. To thin, cut the leaf blades back to about 4 to 6 inches in length. Do NOT divide in the spring. Plant iris rhizomes so the root end is on the bottom, covering with soil until just the top is exposed. If you’re wondering if now is the time to divide your rhizomes, look for these cues: The plant is … All rights reserved. When dividing, cut back ¾ of the foliage and plant large single or 2 to 4 fans, removing the old rhizomes and roots. I am moving in the near future and want to take my Irises with me as they were also gifts, I wasn't sure how to go about it, but now I'm a lot more confident about tackling the project. Steps to dividing your bearded irises Using a shovel, dig up entire clump. How to divide summer bulbs- Cannas, Iris & more. Dig and divide your plants every 3 to 4 years to maintain plant vigor. Increasing means make new rhizomes you can divide out later for more Iris. I planted irises about a year and a half ago, in zone 7a -- Montgomery, AL. Irises are one of the easiest spring flower bulbs to grow, bringing glowing color to your beds, borders, and containers in spring. Iris loves the heat and drier weather of summer and the summer dividing will reduce the incidence of bacterial soft rot. Trim the foliage back to about 5 inches and shorten the roots if needed. The bed they are in is narrow and next to large rocks leaving the irises nowhere to go. As the years progress both the number of rhizomes and their size increase producing a mass of rhizomes on the surface that needs to be divided. Of course, that's just a cautionary message from a middle age dude! Steps for Dividing Iris Plants. They have not bloomed. Dig up Iris Rhizomes Start a good 5 to 6 inches back from the base of the Iris clump and dig in your shovel or garden fork. Ugh. Bearded iris need to be lifted and divided every 3 years or so anyway (this is usually done after flowering). Shake the dirt off as much as you can. 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. Next season’s plant emerges from the fan end of the rhizome so when replanting, face it in the direction you want plant growth to travel. At least it's something that only has to be done every 3 to 5 years! Buy It: Tall Bearded Iris, from $14, White Flower Farm. With the heat, humidity and mosquitoes of August you many not feel like working in the garden at this time of year, but a little time spent dividing crowded clumps of bearded iris now will pay great dividends in the future. The best time to divide Siberian iris is in summer, after blooming. Tried different methods to separate clumps and get rid of the dead areas and after failing and struggling many times, I settled on a handsaw! Lift the plant carefully so you don't damage the rhizomes. We had enough leftover rhizomes to plant another bed on the other side of the stone wall. My goal was to rework the iris beds, add some compost, get rid of the invading sedums and tree roots, and divide and replant the crowded rhizomes. Cut back the leaves to 1/3 their original height. Choose the correct time to divide the rhizomes of the dwarf iris. Keep reading to learn more about replanting bearded irises. How to divide irises and replant them in the garden. In climates with hot summers, plant the rhizome just below the soil surface. Flower Bulbs from our family farm in Holland. BONUS: You’ll also receive our Almanac Companion newsletter! Snap or cut off the old part of the rhizome since it will not flower again. You must do this job post flowering, during the summer. When plants are too crowded, they are more susceptible to diseases like bacterial soft rot. It is easier to plant if you cut the tops back to about 6 inches tall. Choose the right time of year to divide. Divide after the last frost or six weeks after the last bloom. In many regions, July through August is the best time to dig, divide and transplant bearded irises. Snap or cut off the old part of the rhizome since it will not flower again. Try to avoid damaging the roots or the leaves. The word "bulb" can be a bit confusing when applied to an iris. Also, it’s helpful to avoid the iris borer which is a very destructive pest typically attracted to older, over-crowded gardens. Even though my irises were planted years ago and are terribly overgrown, the blossoms were still gorgeous this spring. Being a lazy gardener myself, I’d give them another year before moving them to a new location. Cooler maritime weather areas will find that transplanting right after bloom will get the plants back to … I should have grabbed that saw first thing. This can be remedied by lifting and dividing their rhizomes to give them a little more space. Get inspired by Robin Sweetser’s backyard gardening tips and tricks. Or should they? 2) Remove excess dirt and dead material from the clump. As irises mature, the rhizome produces more rhizomes. Dig the rhizomes up and check them for disease or insect damage. After 5 years, they slowed blooming and I could see the center was dead, an outer ring still green = time to divide. Generally, iris plants are divided every three to five years. Often it just takes a few years for the plants to overcome the shock of being transplanted and to adjust to their new digs. Submitted by El on September 4, 2020 - 7:29am. Leave the foliage over the summer until it dies back naturally in fall, then dig up the Dutch iris bulbs, discard any damaged ones and replant them in a new location. Once the holes are dug, place the rhizome into the space. Know when to divide the rhizomes. This year, I made a mental note that I should divide and replant the irises after flowering. Just no blooms. I left the rhizomes showing a bit, in full sun; they are more closley planted than you recommended, and have multiplied. In addition, plants are less likely to produce any blooms. It was sweaty work, even on a cool day, but so rewarding to see it done. The best time for division of bearded irises is post flowering, at which... 2. For bare-root irises, plant the rhizome horizontally with the top exposed. Divide irises during the summer … However, given a sunny, well-drained spot they will rebloom and will eventually need dividing. Next spring we should have twice the blossoms! How to Divide Dutch Irises? A good rule of thumb for planting Iris in groups is 6 to 12 inches apart. Wait until flowering is over before dividing the iris clump, discarding any old, woody rhizomes and replanting only young, healthy plants into freshly-prepared soil. They are long and firm with multiple growing points over the surface.
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