Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
#83399 Jul 6th, 2007 at 10:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1
Clare Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1
Hi, I'm a learning gardener! I bought a house from an older lady who has LOTS of shrubs and perennials. She has a lot of iris which are pretty in the spring, but now the leaves are huge and kind of take over the beds. Can I cut them down or should I just leave them?

Clare #83401 Jul 6th, 2007 at 11:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 16,245
TweetyBird
10k Posts
Offline
TweetyBird
10k Posts
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 16,245
It's better to leave them. They are gaining energy from the sun and feeding the tuber (root) for next years blooms.


[Linked Image from agardenersforum.com]
[Linked Image from agardenersforum.com]
Wrennie #83402 Jul 6th, 2007 at 11:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 16,245
TweetyBird
10k Posts
Offline
TweetyBird
10k Posts
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 16,245
Welcome to the forum by the way!! grin


[Linked Image from agardenersforum.com]
[Linked Image from agardenersforum.com]
Wrennie #83408 Jul 6th, 2007 at 12:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 114
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 114
Hello clare

If, as it seems, your irises are taking over a particular spot and getting a bit overcrowded, the other thing that you might like to think about is dividing them. You do this by digging them up and cutting the newer bits of the rhizome away from the old bits (you replant the new bits and chuck out the old bits). Its best to do this a couple of months after they've flowered.

You can get a lot more detailed advice direct from the American Iris Society (AIS) website: www.irises.org/index.htm

starfish #83446 Jul 6th, 2007 at 04:42 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,540
The Man
3k Posts
Offline
The Man
3k Posts
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,540
Welcome Clare! You could divide them, and can easily have a larger patch of irises! From what I know, all perennials (like hyacinths, tulips, irises, etc...) you should let the leavs die off naturally so that they can continue providing nutrients to the rhizome/tuber/corm, etc.


[Linked Image]

Helping the world one seed at a time

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. Mary Ann LaPensee
kennyso #83456 Jul 6th, 2007 at 05:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 108
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 108
Hi, Clare. I agree--if your plants have outgrown their space, you can divide them easily. But also, I have cut some off of my iris leaves when they get really gross-looking. When they get brown on the tips, and start dying, I'll cut them off right under the brown part. I've even cut them at an angle, before, so they look more natural!! This leaves enough leaf to feed the tuber, but doesn't look so bad.

I also clean mine out 2-3 times a year. Irises are self-mulching, which can make them look kind of trashy, so I pull all of the dead leaves out, and I even pull out any leaves that have brown streaks all the way down. I've also discovered diseased tubers by doing this, and saved my irises.

You probably know to dead-head your irises after they bloom. This makes the plant healthier, and it doesn't put so much energy into making seeds. When an entire stalk is finished blooming, I'll cut it off to the ground.

I agree that they can kind of take over the landscape. But if you can clean them out and trim them a little, you'll enjoy them longer.


"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." Jonah
gardenermom #84010 Jul 7th, 2007 at 09:38 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 102
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 102
When they do die, you can cut the leaves back in a fan shape so they will be ready to bloom next year. If you want to transplant them or thin them, the best time to do so is after they die back. This is when they are dormant. I am acutally thinking of moving mine after they are dormant this year because mine don't get enough sun where they are now.

manderlyh #84053 Jul 7th, 2007 at 11:14 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,477
Deep Purple
2k Posts
Offline
Deep Purple
2k Posts
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,477
always leave the greens on the bulbs/rhyzomes after the flowers have come and gone. leaving the greens on is what feeds the bulb for the following year. you can cut off the flower stalk after the flower is spent.

iris are best split/transplanted or just transplanted in the early spring or in the fall. i prefer fall because it's easier to position the rhyzome so that it will grow in the direction you want because you can see the leaves and what direction they are growing in.

if you want to neaten things up a bit, you can cut the leaves back a bit - say a third off the ends. no more than that tho, or the bulb won't get enough nutrition to be able to bloom the following year.


Zone 6b
Joclyn #86845 Jul 10th, 2007 at 11:11 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 102
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 102
How far apart do you guys think irises should be? I have a very small bed with about thirty plants! I think I need to divide them at the end of this year.

manderlyh #86862 Jul 10th, 2007 at 11:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,160
Official Taste Tester
10k Posts
Offline
Official Taste Tester
10k Posts
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,160
Bulbs are typically divided every 3 years. And about 6 inches apart should be fine unless you want to go longer between divisions lol.


[Linked Image]

Link Copied to Clipboard
Seasonal Ticker
Gardening Links
Gardening in December
Gardening in January
Gardening in February


Shop at Amazon and Support AGF
Are you shopping online? Click this link first and A Gardeners Forum will receive a commission for your referral at Amazon.com (shopping through this link to Amazon will not have any impact on your prices at Amazon).
Like Us on Facebook
Forum Statistics
Forums65
Topics14,225
Posts235,783
Average Daily Posts9
Members15,950
Most Online10,356
Nov 2nd, 2019
Top Posters(30 Days)
JunieGirl 104
Tina 74
Random Gallery Image
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5