Iris is producing very little flowers - Knowledgebase Question

Nazareth, Pe
Avatar for fox_carl
Question by fox_carl
July 2, 2010
These are very special to me, and never did produce alot of flowers in June; but now are producing maybe a dozen flowers. Last year I fertilized them. Please advise, April

Answer from NGA
July 2, 2010
Irises will refuse to bloom if they are not getting enough sunshine or if they are overcrowded and competing for moisture and nutrients. It is a good idea to dig up rhizomatous irises every 4-5 years so you can separate out the weak and diseased ones. Then at the same time to can amend the soil a bit. They'll love you for it! After blooming lift the entire clump with a spade and separate it into small clusters of rhizomes (this is what the roots are called). Choose only the largest and healthiest-looking ones for transplanting. Put them in a bucket while you work the soil for the new planting. You might also add some compost or rotted manure as they enjoy rich soil. Good drainage will help you avoid borers. Place one or several of the divisions into the prepared soil. If you plant them in a circle be sure to have the leaves facing outward. If you don't do that, they will soon be crowded again. Make the holes deep and wide enough to take the roots without crowding. Have the rhizomes set so they are just below the surface of the soil. This should do the trick. Remember to dead-head them (remove the flowers after they bloom).

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