The Q&A Archives: Iris Not Blooming

Question: The bearded iris growing on the west side of our home has only bloomed once in the five years I've had it. Last year I read that the foliage should be cut down in the fall, which I did, and this year the foliage is healthy, but there is only one flower bud on the large clump. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: Bearded iris need full sun for peak bloom. If the plants are getting plenty of sunshine, I suggest you dig up the clump and divide it. Bearded iris tend to become crowded and lose their blooming vigor after several years. Add compost to the planting hole to provide nutrients; don't overfertilize with a nitrogen source, which will produce lots of foliage at the expense of blooms.

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