Cutting Tops Of Day Lilies And Iris - Knowledgebase Question

Orwell, VT
Avatar for jzeller6
Question by jzeller6
August 4, 2000
I have naturalized an area around our yard with day lilies (orange) and have a path going through this area with iris. They have finished blooming and the grass and weeds are growing in this area now. I have a brush mower which I have to use to keep this area cut. When can I cut the iris and/or day lilies with the brush mower without hurting the plants for future bloom and growth?

Answer from NGA
August 4, 2000
Daylilies need their foliage all season to help nourish the roots, but could possibly be trimmed in mid to late summer after they have bloomed. Bearded iris can be mowed off in mid summer when the foliage begins to flop over, if you are careful not to damage the rhizomes. Iris tend to fade away if left unweeded and do not make a good groundcover for this reason. They also may develop rot problems if weeds or grass overshadow the rhizomes. The typical orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) are good competitors however and should do well as a ground cover, eventually crowding out most other growth. Good luck with your project!

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