Iris division - Knowledgebase Question

Staten Island, Ne
Avatar for mlyledavis
Question by mlyledavis
July 23, 2010
Do I move entire iris clumps intact or do I cut each rhizome -if that is what they are called - and replant each rhizome as a separate plant?
Cover with how much soil?
Thanks for your advice.

Answer from NGA
July 23, 2010
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 you 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. When you look at the rhizomes you'll often find that the center is dead but both the ends have foliage attached. You can break the rhizomes to remove the dead centers and then replant the healthy ends. You might also add some compost or rotted manure to the soil prior to replanting. Place your divisions into the prepared soil. Make the holes deep and wide enough to take the roots without crowding. Set the rhizomes 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). Enjoy your garden!

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