The Q&A Archives: Dividing Iris

Question: When and how should we separate a large bed of bearded and Siberian Iris?

Answer: Siberian, or beardless irises, grow from rhizomes with fibrous roots. To divide, dig after blossoms fade, cut down flower stalks, cut root clumps, and replant divisions quickly, keeping the roots as moist as possible during the transition. Bearded iris grow from rhizomes with fleshy roots. Dig in late summer or early fall and cut each rhizome into three sections. Plant the ends and discard the center section. To prevent dessication, cut the fan of leaves down to about 6 inches. Plant so the rhizomes are just below the soil surface. Water well to help settle the plants and remove any air pockets around the roots.

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