The Q&A Archives: My Moraea

Question: Please help,
My front yard is lined with white flower Moraea plants that do not look very good. They are larger plants with dead and yellow leaves. They are also spreading like crazy. How can I keep them looking better and under control.
Thank you,
Leanne Rocha

Answer: Plants belonging to the genus Moraea include Fortnight Lily, Peacock Iris and African Iris. These clump-forming perennials have the same cultural requirements as any iris plant. Provide full sunshine to part afternoon shade and rich, moist, well-draining soil for best growth.

After a few years in the garden the rhizomes can become overcrowded. As they compete for moisture and nutrients you'll notice that flowering slows (or even stops). Overcrowding can also promote disease problems. It's not unusual for the oldest leaves to begin dying back at this time of year so I don't think that dead or yellowing leaves indicate a serious problem.

You'll want to dig and divide your plants, and now's a good time to do it. Carefully dig the rhizomes out, cut or break off the ends to replant, and discard the old centers. Cut the foliage and the roots back to about six inches. Then amend the bed with plenty of organic matter and place the tops of the rhizomes so they're just a the soil surface. Water them in well. To help keep weeds down, lay 3-4 inches of mulch over the top of the soil surface.

Best wishes with your garden!

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