The Q&A Archives: Mulching Irises

Question: Can I mulch irises? Everything I read says to expose the top half of the corm when planting but in beds where I've done that, the irises are getting choked out by weeds. I'd like to put down some shredded bark mulch.

Answer: Bearded Irises need to be planted just at the soil surface. In cold climates you can mulch in the winter to prevent heaving and thawing of the soil, which might uproot the plants, but mulches left on in the summer may retain too much moisture, which can rot the rhizomes. With that caution in mind, you can try leaving the mulch on the bed all year, but remember to water sparingly during the summer.

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