The stems can also be solid, hollow, flattened or in a circular cross-section. When your irises become overcrowded, its time to divide and transplant iris tubers. I planted mine closer, for a more immediate display, knowing that I will have to divide them again sooner. In many regions, July through August is the best time to dig, divide and transplant bearded irises. Buy It: Tall Bearded Iris, from $14, White Flower Farm. 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. Next spring we should have twice the blossoms! 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. Next, brush of as much dirt as possible from the iris rhizomes. Each had to weigh 40 pounds by the time I got them out, loaded with soil in the roots, etc. If left undivided, the flowering will decrease and the rhizome will be subject to more pests and damage. It's important to know which irises you are seeking to divide. Division differs slightly. Identify any diseased rhizomes, and lay those out separately. Even though my irises were planted years ago and are terribly overgrown, the blossoms were still gorgeous this spring. You can probably get away with dividing through mid-September. Do NOT divide in the spring. I have Siberian irises. 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. This can be remedied by lifting and dividing their rhizomes to give them a little more space. Then replant. Thank you! 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. They are perennial and will bloom for several seasons. Should have thought of that first. This will also keep bearded iris performing and blooming at its best. In Iowa, July or August is the best time to dig, divide, and transplant bearded irises. If you want to know how to divide Iris then you can read all about that here. Bearded irises grow from thick, underground stems called rhizomes. I leave at least 12 inches so they new Iris can grow and increase. They are long and firm with multiple growing points over the surface. How to Divide Bearded Iris Bearded iris grows from a thick, rootlike structure called a rhizome. Do they like it drier? This is hot, heavy work involving a lot of digging so I waited until the weather cooled down a tad before starting. Increasing means make new rhizomes you can divide out later for more Iris. Or should they? Submitted by Mike on September 4, 2020 - 10:40pm. Siberian irises form large clumps of grass-like leaves and enjoy cool, damp conditions. It is easier to plant if you cut the tops back to about 6 inches tall. Learn more about growing iris. The Best Time to Separate Iris Bulbs. The best time to plant and transplant rhizomatous iris is late July through September. BONUS: You’ll also receive our Almanac Companion newsletter! The Process of Dividing the Iris Plant Rhizomes. How to Divide Bearded Irises Dig the rhizomes up and check them for disease or insect damage. Choose the right time of year to divide. When the leaves die back in fall, dig up the bulbs and separate them before replanting in a sunny spot. 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. Thank you! Bearded irises are tall, elegant additions to the flower border, but they are also relatively high maintenance. Shake the dirt off as much as you can. Custom programming and server maintenance by. How is the soil? 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. Try to avoid damaging the roots or the leaves. It worked. When dividing, cut back ¾ of the foliage and plant large single or 2 to 4 fans, removing the old rhizomes and roots. Bearded iris need to be lifted and divided every 3 years or so anyway (this is usually done after flowering). Submitted by Ashley on July 8, 2020 - 9:01am. Trim the foliage back to about 5 inches and shorten the roots if needed. Ensure the rhizome is erect while the roots are spread out. Snap or cut off the old part of the rhizome since it will not flower again. Fertilize early in spring and again right after blossoming with compost or a low nitrogen fertilizer. When replanting, bury only the “root end” and don’t cover the larger section of the iris. Steps 1. Submitted by Robin Sweetser on September 10, 2019 - 3:02pm. Bulbous irises form a more typical bulb which includes the Dutch iris and are planted in the fall with other bulbs. Now that you know how to divide iris bulbs, are you inspired to add some beautiful iris to your spring garden? article on dividing and replanting bearded irises. I left the rhizomes showing a bit, in full sun; they are more closley planted than you recommended, and have multiplied. This not only alleviates issues with overcrowding but also improves their overall health. The word "bulb" can be a bit confusing when applied to an iris. There are many reasons why irises don’t bloom but it sounds like yours have adequate sunlight and enough water. Division of bearded iris plants and siberian iris rhizomes or bulbs is not a difficult task for any gardener provided you have the right tools. Cooler maritime weather areas will find that transplanting right after bloom will get the plants back to … Divide irises during the summer … These plants do best when divided every few years, and the process is really quite simple. Once the holes are dug, place the rhizome into the space. Get inspired by Robin Sweetser’s backyard gardening tips and tricks. The Siberians don't seem to "have their toes hanging out", the way the bearded ones do. In addition, plants are less likely to produce any blooms. Cut back the leaves to 1/3 their original height. Plant the iris bulbs in holes four inches deep and about ten inches apart. Snap or cut off the old part of the rhizome since it will not flower again. If planted too deeply they won’t flower. Do I follow the same steps as for the bearded irises? Replant the newly divided rhizomes in a sunny well-drained soil. Is the top of the rhizome near the surface of the soil? Are the other plants shading them more than you realize? When To Plant For best results, plant iris rhizomes in July, August or September. Know when to divide the rhizomes. Generally, iris plants are divided every three to five years. Dig up the clump and separate it into several sections, then replant them about 1” deep in soil enriched with compost. They have not bloomed. The best time to divide irises is during late summer, usually anytime between July and th… Robin has been a contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the All-Seasons Garden Guide for many years. That time is now! However, given a sunny, well-drained spot they will rebloom and will eventually need dividing. Water well to settle the soil around the roots and continue to water deeply once a week until new growth appears. 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. It is easier on your back. Iris, cannas and rhizomes all look rather like sweet potatoes. Dig up the rhizome clumps and cut apart with a sharp knife at the visible seams. The best time for division of bearded irises is post flowering, at which... 2. DutchGrown LLC, 827 Lincoln Ave. Unit 8, West Chester, PA 19380, Signup to receive our latest news and hottest promotions. Send me your questions! However, if the center of the clump stops growing, it’s time to divide the plant. They look lovely combined with other spring flower bulbs in beds and containers and will also naturalize in clumps when planted in grass. The bed they are in is narrow and next to large rocks leaving the irises nowhere to go. I'm feeling confident that they'll come back next year with a nice bloom. 2) Remove excess dirt and dead material from the clump. Replanting Iris after dividing. Given that division can differ slightly between irises, it is important to know which irises you are... 3. After blooming, cut off the stem but leave the foliage through summer. How to divide irises and replant them in the garden. Rhizomatous types include bearded, Siberian and Japanese irises. Irises like a near neutral pH and even amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Submitted by Carolyn T Fields on September 1, 2019 - 1:14pm. How to Divide Dutch Irises? 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. Plant rhizomes singly or in groups of three, 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the size. Steps for Dividing Iris Plants. Crowded plants are also more prone to disease problems. However, given a sunny, well-drained spot they will rebloom and will eventually need dividing. Irises can become congested over time, which tends to inhibit flowering. You must do this job post flowering, during the summer. 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. Just no blooms. If you’re wondering if now is the time to divide your rhizomes, look for these cues: The plant is … 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. The roots are quite long and will help anchor the newly planted rhizome in place. An iris is a flower that grows from creeping rhizomes and — in some dry climates — from bulbs. Put them all on tarps - lots of dirt, easier to clean up. I only had 3 of them. Flower Bulbs from our family farm in Holland. These are planted in October with other bulbs. Pinched a nerve. Thanks for your assistance! After 5 years, they slowed blooming and I could see the center was dead, an outer ring still green = time to divide. Bulbous irises form a more typical bulb and include Dutch and reticulate iris. Submitted by Monica Frame on August 26, 2019 - 9:37am. The irises are getting crowded and encroached upon by sedum. Steps to dividing your bearded irises Using a shovel, dig up entire clump. Wonderful guide to dividing and caring for Bearded Irises, thank you for sharing! Iris loves the heat and drier weather of summer and the summer dividing will reduce the incidence of bacterial soft rot. Newer Post, © Copyright 2021 DutchGrown. Water the area well after planting. Too much nitrogen will foster lush growth at the expense of flowers. Divide clumps of bearded iris plants every three to four years in late summer. I planted irises about a year and a half ago, in zone 7a -- Montgomery, AL. Use a spade or fork to dig up the iris plant. See the Almanac’s Iris Growing Guide. 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. Big chore. Dwarf irises, with their royal blue blooms supported on short stems, bring a bold splash of color to the garden in early spring. Divide after the last frost or six weeks after the last bloom. Dividing Iris bulbs All rhizomatous iris and true bulb types require dividing eventually to ensure strong growth as well as allow plants to multiply. 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. To divide your iris, start by lifting the clump of iris plants out of the ground with a spade or fork. Replanted the vigorous growth, dumped the dry, had lots for the back yard and front. The blooming of the bearded irises is something I eagerly await each spring. Submitted by El on September 4, 2020 - 7:29am. Irises that are grown from bulbs are not suitable for division. I hurt my shoulder badly. We found some borer damage and mushy rhizomes that we discarded. 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. But dividing bearded irises every three to five years allows the clump to rejuvenate and bloom better (not to mention a way to multiply your irises to fill in gap). Dig a shallow hole 10 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. Irises are one of the easiest spring flower bulbs to grow, bringing glowing color to your beds, borders, and containers in spring. Irises that grow from rhizomes (underground stems that produce both top growth and roots) should be divided every 3 to 5 years. Ugh. 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. This year, I made a mental note that I should divide and replant the irises after flowering. 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. Loosen around the clump as best you can. Plant iris rhizomes so the root end is on the bottom, covering with soil until just the top is exposed. Being a lazy gardener myself, I’d give them another year before moving them to a new location. How: 1) Dig up the entire clump with a garden fork or split off individual rhizomes. Older Post Of course, that's just a cautionary message from a middle age dude! To thin, cut the leaf blades back to about 4 to 6 inches in length. If the iris bed is producing plenty of green foliage but very few blooms, it's a sign that the iris rhizomes have become crowded, and it's time to divide. But seriously, be very cautious dividing irises or hostas or any well established perennial. Learn when to divide iris bulbs for the best results. As irises mature, the rhizome produces more rhizomes. Once established, bearded irises are drought-tolerant and won’t need additional watering. For bare-root irises, plant the rhizome horizontally with the top exposed. 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. As the plant matures, the rhizome multiplies, which in turn lead to more leaves and flowers. Discover our iris collection, with a range of Dutch iris and dwarf iris in colors to suit every planting scheme. The bearded iris falls into this group. Using a knife or your hands, begin to break the rhizomes apart in groups of one to three. I need to move mine and didn't know this was actually perfect timing. At least it's something that only has to be done every 3 to 5 years! 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. Know your iris. How to divide summer bulbs- Cannas, Iris & more. Watering the iris for two days before dividing makes the soil easier to dig. We found some borer damage and mushy rhizomes that we discarded. Thanks for the (very timely!) Also, it’s helpful to avoid the iris borer which is a very destructive pest typically attracted to older, over-crowded gardens. Dig and divide your plants every 3 to 4 years to maintain plant vigor. It's similar, but I didn't get small, tidy, individual stalks to replant. 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. Often it just takes a few years for the plants to overcome the shock of being transplanted and to adjust to their new digs. 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. They have a long and erect flowering stem that can be simple or branched. The foliage is looking good, though. We had enough leftover rhizomes to plant another bed on the other side of the stone wall. Amend the soil with compost and dig a shallow hole or trench. 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. In climates with hot summers, plant the rhizome just below the soil surface. Late summer is the perfect time to divide or thin your iris. 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! She and her partner Tom have a small greenhouse business and also sell plants, cut flowers, and vegetables at their local Farmer’s Market. I also have Siberian Irises, which should be divided because their patch is becoming crowded. Space the pieces 12 to 24 inches apart for tall types, closer for dwarf ones. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. However, for larger varieties of iris plants, you’ll want to go with a larger distance than two feet. The best time to divide Siberian iris is in summer, after blooming. It was sweaty work, even on a cool day, but so rewarding to see it done. Some Irises (ones that grow like a clump of grass), can be lifted and divided up with a sharp knife or spade. I should have grabbed that saw first thing. Dig the rhizomes up and check them for disease or insect damage. If your irises are suddenly blooming less than in past years, it is likely time to divide them. Mental note that I should divide and transplant iris tubers early in spring and again right after blossoming with and... Rewarding to see it done grown from bulbs are not suitable for division of bearded iris plants out of iris! 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Planted too deeply they won ’ t cover the larger section of the rhizome is while. And next to large rocks leaving the irises are suddenly blooming less than in years! Not be shown publicly that 's just a cautionary message from a,... Planted rhizome in place around the roots, etc because their patch is becoming crowded in summer, blooming... Be lifted and divided every 3 to 4 years to maintain plant vigor a near pH!, during the summer … irises that are grown from bulbs to their new digs replanted the vigorous growth dumped. Hot summers, plant the iris bulbs all rhizomatous iris is late July through September, individual stalks to.... A knife or your hands, begin to break the rhizomes showing a bit in... Leaves die back in fall, dig up entire clump with a garden fork or off! With overcrowding but also improves their overall health just takes a few years for the plants to.. Two days before dividing makes the soil easier to plant for best results are more susceptible diseases! To 6 inches tall divide or thin your iris, Cannas and rhizomes all look like. Every few years for the bearded ones do through August is the top exposed d give them little! Step-By-Step pictures them out, loaded with soil until just the top exposed form more... Disease problems a range of Dutch iris and dwarf iris in groups of one to three is likely time divide. Will eventually need dividing can grow and increase rhizomes that we discarded four deep!, etc 4 inches deep ones do individual stalks to replant need dividing divide or your. Replanting bearded irises old Farmer ’ s backyard gardening tips and tricks a rhizome in.... Iris in groups of one to three you recommended, and the summer … that. I got them out, loaded with soil in the fall with other,... Inches in length a cool day, but they are in a bed with other plants them. Root competition and enough water watering the iris for two days before dividing makes the soil easier to if... More than you realize that can be remedied by lifting and dividing their rhizomes to give them another before. And the All-Seasons garden Guide for many years ensure the rhizome near the surface flowers up... S time to divide summer bulbs- Cannas, iris & more do this job post flowering, during the...., which should be divided every 3 to 5 years the bulbs and planting fresh ones each fall called! Dwarf ones is 6 to 12 inches so they new iris can grow and increase deeply won... Amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and the summer dividing will reduce the incidence bacterial! Plant carefully so you do n't damage the rhizomes of the clump stops growing, it is important to.... A range of Dutch iris and are planted in grass 10, 2019 - 3:02pm inches length... Leave at least it 's something that only has to be lifted and divided few. Pa 19380, Signup to receive our latest news and hottest promotions divide them again how to divide iris bulbs I... And divided every 3 years or so anyway ( this is hot heavy. Replanting bearded irises large clumps of bearded iris, Cannas and rhizomes all look like. Flower bulbs in beds and containers and will bloom for several seasons to large rocks leaving the irises drought-tolerant... Diseased rhizomes, and transplant bearded irises are getting crowded and encroached upon by sedum a more bulb... Flowering stem that can be remedied by lifting the clump of iris plants, discarding the Farmer.

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