Irises forum: How do you divide your Siberian Iris?

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Oct 17, 2014 8:40 PM CST
I have 2 huge clumps of siberian iris that have grown in the same spot for years. Short of taking a chopping axe how do you guys divide them? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Teresa
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Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
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grannysgarden
Oct 17, 2014 10:08 PM CST
I don't grow SIBS so I don't know how to divide them. I wonder if they would do well in my zone.
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Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Oct 17, 2014 10:16 PM CST
I have been told that 2 people, each on one side of the clump with a garden fork can be a useful solution.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
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Henhouse
Oct 17, 2014 11:18 PM CST
That's what i would have suggested too Lucy.. If that doesn't work , get out the hatchet.
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
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bluegrassmom
Oct 18, 2014 3:22 AM CST
Yes, I think a hatchet might be safer than an axe lol. I wonder why the roots are so tough and entwined?
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
Oct 18, 2014 7:58 AM CST
I just dig them up[, and pull them apart. If you're pretty strong that works just fine.
[Last edited by PollyK - Oct 18, 2014 9:20 AM (+)]
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Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
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Linneaj
Oct 18, 2014 8:25 AM CST
I take a shovel full and hose it down. Wait a few minutes and start pulling hard. Wet roots pull apart way easier than dry ones.

My son put a clump in a bucket of water and forgot them. A few days later when I got to them, they were sad. I lost most of that clump - unless they surprise me next Spring. So hosing and waiting 3 minutes before one pulls them apart is better. If some break off unceremoniously, just plant the broken pieces. Sibs are tough.
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
Oct 18, 2014 9:20 AM CST
Sibs are for sure tough, except for the $50.00 ones, LOL

I forgot to say I have a bucket of water and swish the roots in it to get the dirt off before dividing. It's a dirty job, so be prepared.

I divide them into 6 fans each, normally, then replant, with some amendments.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Oct 18, 2014 5:59 PM CST
Ours have not been divided for so long, they can all grow together.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Oct 18, 2014 7:04 PM CST
I have a couple of clumps that are larger than a bushel basket! They are stunning when they bloom tho. I did notice in the center of one they are beginning to die in the center. A sure sign they need to be divided.
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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Muddymitts
Oct 18, 2014 7:36 PM CST
Yup. Sad
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Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Oct 19, 2014 6:37 AM CST
Ditto what Mary Ann said. Have fun. But I've found if dying off in the center, it's easier to divide.

Lucy, get your husband out there dividing. LOL
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
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bluegrassmom
Oct 19, 2014 12:06 PM CST
I cannot see my DH ever dividing or planting anything lol. My son will, plus his upper body strength makes it look easy!

I have to take Tylenol before much yard work because I know I am going to pay for it soon after. My hands are the worst Angry
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
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Linneaj
Oct 19, 2014 1:25 PM CST
For pain and stiffness; turmeric, paprika, ginger and cardamom in a cup of regular tea with a spoon of raw honey usually allows me to over work. Recently, I have had severe muscle pain. Doh! What do I tell my clients and my grandson who gets leg pain? Magnesium! I like magnesium maleate 833 mg. Ha! Pretty good today - gonna go pull out some 100 year old baseboards. Rolling on the floor laughing
Don't make fear based decisions.

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