The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Irises

Question: I have some beautiful bearded iris that were planted much too close to my house -- they don't get enough sun and are all leaning over, reaching for the sunshine. Can I transplant them to a sunnier spot now, or do I need to wait until fall? Their foliage is about 3 feet tall, but they haven't begun to send up their flower stalks yet.

Answer: If you transplant now, you may sacrifice this year's blooms. That may or may not be an important consideration at this point. It's usually best to wait until after the blooming period to move irises (generally late summer). Whenever you decide to move them, be sure to prepare the new bed first by adding some organic matter to help provide nutrients and good drainage. Plant the rhizomes just below the soil surface and water them in well.

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