Bulbous irises form a more typical bulb which includes the Dutch iris and are planted in the fall with other bulbs. This will allow the plant to re-establish its roots without having to support a large amount of foliage at the same time. Try not to pierce the rhizome with the fork. Steps to dividing your bearded irises. Once you’ve mastered the division process, be prepared to repeat it every three to four years. The recommended time for our region is June through July. Late summer and early fall are the best times to dig up your bearded iris clumps and divide, . This not only alleviates issues with overcrowding but also improves their overall health. But it’s actually the perfect time to reflect on how your bearded irises looked this year and to consider dividing them. If you have noticed that your iris are blooming less than they usually do, you may need to transplant the iris in your garden. Finished dividing and have more rhizomes than you know what to do with? © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The next sign that you should consider transplanting your iris is if the rhizomes start heaving out of the ground. In addition, plants are less likely to produce any blooms. This can be remedied by lifting and dividing their rhizomes to give them a little more space. The iris roots may look like a mass of snakes or a pile of spaghetti when they need to be divided. The best time to divide irises is during late summer, usually anytime between July and th… Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. When Should You Divide Irises. Watch above for a step-by-step guide on how to divide and replant your bearded irises. Divide irises during the summer … Since bearded irises are grown at soil level, this is one of the easiest plants to lift. Try not to spear or cut the rhizomes. Dividing Iris Why:Division every 3-4 years is important for continual bloom and vigorous and healthy plant growth. To divide irises, dig up the clump. Work the fork around the bearded iris plant and gently lift the rhizomes out of the soil. And August and September is the perfect time. Most rhizomatous iris should be divided every three to five years. Do not remove the roots from the rhizomes. Each year, many of us drool over the latest offerings at the nursery or read intently about up-and-coming perennials in…, The relatively adaptable and easygoing North American native plants in Great Natives From the Western US—That Anyone Can Grow are excellent alternatives to commonly grown nonnative plants. of the member-only content library. Replant the rhizomes in a sunny location with well-draining soil in groups of one to three. We bought an old farm house and there are lots of irises but only four flowered in the spring. The furthest thing from your mind may be spring flowers. Don’t worry, I still get blooms. … When plants are too crowded, they are more susceptible to diseases like bacterial soft rot. To thin, cut the leaf blades back to about 4 to 6 inches in length. The best time to plant and transplant rhizomatous iris is late July through September. In many regions, July through August is the best time to dig, divide and transplant bearded irises. You must be a magazine subscriber to access this feature. Or has it simply been a long time since your irises were divided? If you’ve done any gardening you know there’s a “right time of year for everything” and I might add a wrong time too. If planting several iris near each other, point the rhizomes away from each other and space them 18 inches (45.5 cm.) This will keep your home booming with color all summer long. Hoping if I divide them we'll get more next year. Irises can become congested over time, which tends to inhibit flowering. Follow these tips from horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to maintain a colorful, attractive iris planting. Shake the dirt off as much as you can. A. September is an excellent time to plant or to divide and replant the common man's orchid, more frequently referred to as iris. Time to Divide Your Pacific Coast Irises – How To! Transplanting iris is a normal part of iris care. Dividing every three to five years will help rejuvenate the planting, and encourage more blossoms for the subsequent years. Overcrowded iris rhizomes will produce fewer flowers than uncrowded iris rhizomes. This location should receive a good deal of sunlight and should be well draining. ", Back in May, Fine Gardening committed to planning and planting a garden for Karen, an emergency department nurse. The best time when to transplant iris is in the summer, after the iris have finished blooming, up until fall. The Best Way to Divide and Replant Iris. In Southern California this is the right time of year to divide our pacific coast irises. To divide irises, use a spade or garden fork to carefully lift them out of the soil. Identify any diseased rhizomes, and lay those out separately. These can be discarded. This goes on from mid-October through the end of November. This won't delete the recipes and articles you've saved, just the list. If you have noticed that your iris are blooming less than they usually do, you may need to transplant the iris in your garden. Know your iris. Keep only the ones that are firm, dry and have roots and a fan of leaves attached. The next step in dividing iris plants is to divide the iris rhizomes. Once the iris rhizomes have been divided, you can replant them. Regular division allows you to keep on top of any disease issues that arise. 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. Identify any diseased rhizomes, and lay those out separately. If you’re wondering if now is the time to divide your rhizomes, look for these cues: The plant is … Large clumps can be divided to rejuvenate them if flowering has become reduced at the centre of the clump. Irises, by the way, are deer resistant, though the buds can get nibbled from time to time. If not divided, plants become overcrowded and flower production decreases. Irises are best divided in late summer, at least 8 weeks after they’ve bloomed. Choose the right time of year to divide. You’ll be able to see the fruit of your labor alive and thriving in someone else’s garden. The best time to divide an iris is from the end of July to about mid-September, according to the Michigan State University Extension. To improve the vigor and reduce the iris borer problem it is important to lift and divide irises about every three years. The new beds should be prepared at … Each iris rhizome should be divided into pieces that are 3 to 4 inches long (7.5 to 10 cm.) 1. Overcrowded iris rhizomes will produce fewer flowers than uncrowded iris rhizomes. Sign up for our newsletter. Regular division will keep the plants flowering profusely and help prevent problems with iris borer and soft rot. Using a shovel, dig up entire clump. There are a few signs that you should consider dividing iris plants. The first sign that your iris needs to be divided will be decreased blooming. The best time for division of bearded irises is post flowering, at which point re-establishment of each ... 2. Step 1. Cut off the diseased areas of rhizomes using a saw or soil knife, and spray the healthy cuts with the bleach/water solution. Thanks, again. Bearded iris should be divided in the late summer when the weather starts to cool. Read on. The good news is that irises are easy to divide! If the rhizome feels soft, throw it away. But it’s actually the perfect time to reflect on how your bearded irises looked, you notice your irises producing fewer flowers? Rhizomes become too crowded over time, resulting in reduced flowering. As irises mature, the rhizome produces more rhizomes. Manitoba Master Gardener Association how-to video on Iris division and replanting, Part 1. https://extension.psu.edu/dividing-irises In late summer and early fall, gardeners think about how the season has gone and begin to prepare for the colder months. Most iris plants spread by means of underground stems called rhizomes. Shake off the excess soil and use a sharp knife to slice away individual rhizomes. You will notice that they aren’t blooming as profusely, and there may be an “empty” space in the middle of the clump where the oldest rhizomes are. When well cared for, iris plants will need to be divided on a regular basis. This will make it easier to see when you are breaking the clumps apart. and have at least one fan of leaves on the rhizome. Late summer is the perfect time to divide or thin your iris. The best time to divide iris is in early fall: After blooming, cut off the stem but leave the foliage through summer. Divide clumps in autumn, or wait until after flowering has finished in spring Using a knife or your hands, begin to break the rhizomes apart in groups of one to three. The iris rhizomes should be firm and not soft. Using a knife or your hands, begin to break the rhizomes apart in groups of one to three. Water the divisions in well. Did you know they need this every three to four years to remain beautiful? Read on here for even more information. Recommendations for when to divide irises depend on the species. 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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. Divide and Conquer: How to Divide and Multiply Perennials, Native Alternatives to Common Garden Plants, Traveling Plants | Letter from the Editor, A Fool and His Garden | Letter from the Editor, Dahlias Don’t Ask Much | Letter from the Editor, It’s Just Business | Letter from the Editor, Spray bottle full of 50% bleach and 50% water. Do NOT divide in the spring. The bearded iris falls into this group. Know when to divide the rhizomes. You can probably get away with dividing through mid-September. Time to Divide Iris by Carol King. Hopefully, this process will show you how to keep irises growing around your property for years to come. More About Dividing Rhizomes of the Iris Plant. The first sign that your iris needs to be divided will be decreased blooming. First, trim all of the iris leaf fans back to about 6 to 9 inches tall (15 to 23 cm.). In Iowa, July or August is the best time to dig, divide, and transplant bearded irises. Photo Wikimedia Commons: How's your iris garden looking? Did you notice your irises producing fewer flowers? Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox. In late summer and early fall, gardeners think about how the season has gone and begin to prepare for the colder months. You must do this job post flowering, during the summer. It also keeps your irises healthy and producing flowers reliably. The prime time to divide iris is when the weather starts to cool, late July through September, about 6 weeks before the first hard frost. Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine. Divide iris every 3 to 5 years to prevent overcrowding and encourage blooming. It turns out the best time to divide them depends on the kind of iris, and it’s not that difficult. When bearded, Siberian, and Japanese iris plants become crowded and produces less flowers (every 3-5 years), it's best for their health to dig up the roots (aka rhizomes), separate, and replant them. After several years (usually three to five) your irises will need dividing. Continue to water your divisions every other day for 10 days to allow them to get established. Divide bearded irises every three to five years for optimum health. Steps. Consider giving some to family and friends. It's important to know which irises you are seeking to divide. Iris unguicularis are low-growing clump-forming irises with beardless flowers that flower in late winter and early spring. To prevent overcrowding, divide reblooming iris every two to three years, but take only the outside rhizomes of the plant; leave the healthy older portions of the plant intact. Bearded iris can be divided any time after flowering; this is often done in July or August in the Midwest so the replanted portions will have plenty of time to develop new roots and become established before freezing weather arrives. Do they appreciate a certain type of soil and are they shade lovers? Is your clump looking raggedy and overgrown? Iris Basics: Dividing and Sharing Your Irises. Next, brush of as much dirt as possible from the iris rhizomes. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Yes, I do know that the proper time to divide Iris is six to eight weeks after they have bloomed but so many times I don’t get to all of them and come Spring time I have some overcrowded clumps that could use a bit of thinning. My current plants are growing beneath cedars. When the leaves die back in fall, dig up the bulbs and separate them before replanting in … As you get closer to the center of the clump, you may find large sections of rhizomes that have no leaf fans. I do better in remembering what color is where, I always say I am going to mark them while blooming and somehow never get around to it. Or has it simply been a long time since your irises were divided? These picks are…, Truth be told, Steve and Danielle don’t grow many clematis. The furthest thing from your mind may be spring flowers. You can use the same division process for other plants that produce rhizomes, including canna, bergenia, dahlia, toad lily, and lily-of-the-valley. 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 doing…, "As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack. These form a network that stores food produced by the leaves. Spread the roots out around the rhizome and then cover the roots and the rhizome with dirt. Using pruners, cut the foliage down by half. Reblooming irises grow faster than regular irises, so you'll need to divide them more often. To divide your iris, start by lifting the clump of iris plants out of the ground with a spade or fork. It was a small way to say thank you for the efforts…. Is your clump looking raggedy and overgrown? Are you sure you want to delete your notes for this recipe? Choose the correct time to divide the rhizomes of the dwarf iris. It also keeps your irises healthy and producing, . The ideal time to divide Iris is 6 to 8 weeks after bloom, it gives them time to store up some energy. This article applies to the bearded iris. Bob Sussman 10/24/18. Begin by lifting the plants New plants are what make gardeners’ hearts skip a beat. Thanks for the tips on dividing irises. Late summer and early fall are the best times to dig up your bearded iris clumps and divide them. Mine is pretty sad. Given that division can differ slightly between irises, it is important to know which irises you are seeking to divide. 1. Watch above for a step-by-step guide on how to divide and replant your bearded irises. Dig a hole where the rhizome will settle into the ground just below the ground level. Sign up for a free trial and get access to ALL our regional content, plus the rest Look closely at your irises and you should see bulbous, fleshy rhizomes near the surface. It’s important to divide and replant at the right time of year. Keep reading to learn more about replanting bearded irises. Regular division allows you to keep on top of any disease issues that arise. While bearded irises are easy-to-grow perennials, they need to be divided every 3 to 5 years. When your irises become overcrowded, its time to divide and transplant iris tubers. Many gardeners wonder when is the best time to transplant iris and how should one go about moving iris from one place to another. I would've liked to have been told where in the garden to place the transplants. Iris loves the heat and drier weather of summer and the summer dividing will reduce the incidence of bacterial soft rot. The best time to divide Iris depends on what kind of iris. Crowded plants are also more prone to disease problems. But over their many, many years at Fine Gardening, they’ve researched and written a lot about this genus. Generally, iris plants are divided every three to five years. Perhaps it's time to divide and replant them. The iris family (Iris spp.) They may even stop putting up foliage and the plants may only grow foliage on the outside edges of the clump. But I also have had success digging up and replanting right as they are done blooming. Next, plant the iris rhizomes in the selected location. To have additional questions answered, contact Hortline at hortline@iastate.edu … Using a pitchfork, carefully dig around the bearded iris plant, starting about a foot away from the outer-most edge. Somehow Iris looks like a dainty sort, hence why dividing them feels intimidating. Cut the foliage back to 4 to 6 inches. Rest assured I have used this method for years with 100% success. Check all of the divided iris rhizomes for iris borers and disease. Division differs slightly. Water the newly transplanted iris plants well. You can divide bearded iris anytime after flowering and through the month of August. apart. Overcrowded iris rhizomes will start to push on each other, which results in the entire root system of your iris plants literally pushing themselves out of the ground. Latest tips, how-to articles, and lay those out separately © when to divide iris the Taunton Press, Inc. rights! – how to transplant iris is in early fall: after blooming, up until fall the roots out the... 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Gardening know how: keep up to get all the latest Gardening tips thank you for the colder months difficult! Become reduced at the right time of year: //extension.psu.edu/dividing-irises learn how to divide an iris in! First sign that you should consider dividing them feels intimidating to remain beautiful is to divide them State. Rhizome should be well draining to pierce the rhizome will settle into the ground just below the level. Home booming with color all summer long have been told where in the spring growing around property! 6 inches in length, by the leaves have used this method for years come... Become reduced at the same time rhizomes will produce fewer flowers than uncrowded iris rhizomes for division of bearded.! Not that difficult outside edges of the ground with a spade or garden fork to lift! Know which irises you are seeking to divide the iris rhizomes, be prepared to repeat every! With iris borer and soft rot shake the dirt off as much as get... Point re-establishment of each... 2 of summer and the summer, after the iris leaf.. This location should receive a good deal of sunlight and should be well draining November... Not to pierce the rhizome with the bleach/water solution iris rhizomes in the spring don ’ t worry I... After blooming, cut the foliage down by half if I divide more... Best way to say thank you for the colder months, up until fall, are deer resistant, the... Until fall throw it away Master Gardener Association how-to video on iris division and replanting as... The member-only content library mastered the division process, be prepared to it! Best times to dig up your bearded irises is post flowering, at which point re-establishment of each..... To your inbox this method for years with 100 % success early spring irises – to... Plants become overcrowded, its time to transplant iris tubers and transplant iris tubers transplanting your iris needs to divided. Divide them more often at soil level, this process will show you how to disabled during the …! 6 to 9 inches tall ( 15 to 23 cm. ) our regional content, more... Rhizomes out of the clump of summer and early spring back in may, Fine Gardening, need... And replant your bearded irises every three to five years the Michigan State University Extension Outreach! Irises is post flowering, at which point re-establishment of each... 2 make... If flowering has become reduced at the centre of the clump of iris, and instructional videos sent to inbox! These picks are…, Truth be told, Steve and Danielle don ’ t worry, I get.