The Q&A Archives: Why Don't My Iris's Bloom?

Question: My iris's have not bloomed for the past 3 years. The leaves grow but no flowers ever grow and bloom. The blubs have worked themselves up to the top of the soil over the past few years. Do I need to dig them up and plant them deeper? If so, when would I do that? Do I need to separate them?

Answer: The most common cause of nonblooming is overcrowded conditions. Second is lack of sunshine. You can dig and divide your iris now to give them a fresh start. We generally recommend waiting until late summer after the blooms have faded, but since yours are not flowering at all, it won't hurt to dig and replant them now. After removing the plants, amend the soil with some organic matter and dig it in well. Iris rhizomes grow on both ends. You can snap the ends off of each rhizome and replant, tossing away the older center portion. Bury each rhizome an inch or two beneath the soil surface and water them in well. Next spring your iris should bloom for you.

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