Iris Dividing

By Mona Kneuss

It is almost that time if you have Iris that need to be divided, as early August is the date to strive for. Iris need six weeks after replanting, before the growing season stops to set new roots for winter.

So, let’s get started.

Iris in full glory

Iris in full glory

  1. Clean all weeds and debris from bed.
  2. Dig your iris making sure to clean excess soil from the roots.
Soil to remove from Iris

Soil to remove from Iris

3. Then separate the rhizome (roots) apart to single fans (plants). The middle rhizome is this year’s bloom. You can see the cut bloom stalk in the picture below.  The outer ones are the new plants.

Rhizome

Rhizome

4. Check your rhizome make sure it looks healthy with no damage, holes, or rot.

Bottom of root

Bottom of root

5. You will now need to trim the foliage back to a smaller fan shape leaving a good 5 to 6 inches.  Take any dead or dying foliage off.

One fan ready to replant

One fan ready to replant

6. Now you can get your area ready by digging a slight hole and making a mound in the center of it, then place your rhizome on the mound and position the roots down around the mound. Cover the roots with soil and continue to put soil just to the top of the rhizome. When you are done your rhizome should be partially covered.

Planted Iris

Planted Iris

7. As you continue to plant, space your plants 6 to 8 inches apart with all of the fans facing the same direction.  This is so the rhizomes will not crowd each other out as they grow.

8. Now, it is time to water your plants in.  You should water them in well to get good soil to plant contact.

                                    Now it is time to watch them grow!

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