The Q&A Archives: Cutting Off Iris Stalks

Question: Should you cut off the flower stalk from iis after the blooms fade or leave it standing with the leaves until autumn?

Answer: You can trim iris stalks back once the flowers have faded. This prevents the plant from setting seed and thus directs its energy to rebuilding the rhizomes for better garden performance. Or you could deadhead each bloom individually and leave the stems standing. However, this results in an untidy look and does nothing to benefit the plant. In fact, it is always a good idea to remove any faded or discolored material from an iris bed as soon as it occurs, because it might invite disease problems if left in place.

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