Irises forum: cutting back iris leaves

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Nov 8, 2013 10:08 AM CST

Help!! My new gardener cut back my bearded iris leaves to 1-2" above the rhizome, Nov. 1. I'm in Zone 7 (Northern California; we have snow & freezes every winter). Are these going to come back next spring----and more importantly--will they bloom??
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Nov 8, 2013 10:26 AM CST
They should be alright. I wait for a hard freeze to cut them back. Makes spring clean-up much easier. If the plants were growing well they should bloom next spring. Welcome to our iris group. Welcome!
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Mary Ann
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Nov 8, 2013 10:30 AM CST
Hi ChooChoo! Welcome! to our group!!

As Paul said -- your Irises should be fine. Some of mine are doing this naturally (losing the big leaves) as winter approaches. As long as the rhizome is healthy, you should be in good shape.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. (
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Nov 8, 2013 10:34 AM CST
Yup ! you're ok. In fact, I'm going to cut back iris today. I try to cut them about 4"-6", but 2" is OK, too...Arlyn
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
Nov 8, 2013 1:45 PM CST
New growth is for next spring, but I would tell gardener to go easy on the iris next time.
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
Nov 8, 2013 3:03 PM CST
Most definitely tell them not to cut so short next time. 4" to 6" as Arlyn said is ideal. At one inch, they may have cut into the tiny increases starting which would be bad. Those little guys need all the help they can get.

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