The Q&A Archives: Iris Plants

Question: Last year I acquired some of the tiny Iris (we call them Louisiana Iris or "flags"). I live in Zone 8 (Miss.). I cut the green growth back in November, however, the leaves have grown back & and very pretty. The frost doesn't seem to botherthem. Should I cut them back to the ground again in order to get them to bloom this spring?

Answer: No, don't cut them back. It is never a really good idea to cut the foliage back on bulbs, rhizomes, etc. The bulbs and rhizomes receive nutrients via the foliage to build up energy to give you those fabulous flowers (photosynthesis and all that). You should allow the foliage to die down naturally. They probably shouldn't be sprouting yet (mine are too), but we are hearing this sort of problem from all over due to the strange weather we are experiencing in the US. They won't progress any further than the weather allows so unless there is a period of consistently warm weather in your area (warm and consistent enough for them to really shoot out of the ground and form buds) they will be fine. Zone 8 really doesn't have that much longeruntil it really is spring so I really wouldn't be concerned if I were you.

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