The Q&A Archives: Iris

Question: I just purchased 10 iris from a local landscape company. They came in 1 gal. containers. Each had greenery of at least 10 in. I planted with just enough soil to cover the bulb. Do I leave the foliage intact or should I cut back? Also, may I mulch iris? May I expect them to bloom next spring? Do I need to cut back the fans on the iris already established? It is still green and makes a nice border.

Answer: There are iris that grow from bulbs and iris that grow from rhizomes. Those that grow from bulbs should be planted 3-4 inches deep. Those that grow from rhizomes should be planted just below the soil surface. So, if yours are rhizomes, you planted them correctly. If they're actually bulbs, you may need to add some soil, or dig them up and replant them. Once they're properly situated, you can add organic mulch, like bark chips, to help supress weeds around them. You can leave the foliage on until it yellows and withers naturally. If any leaves are damaged or begin to deteriorate, cut them off. You can expect your iris to bloom for you next year.

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