Iris care and Cannas - Knowledgebase Question

kalamazoo, MI
Avatar for dfgquilter
Question by dfgquilter
July 9, 2006
HI.... I was just looking at my Irises and wondering if I can cut them back now to little fans. I never know quite when to do this.
What is the rule of thumb? I know they are supposed to be somewhat yellow, but some leaves never seem to turn yellow.
Please help.... thanks, Dorian
PS. Also, when a canna flower is done blooming and brown, do I just take the blossom off, or should I cut back to some leaf or something?
Of course, I want to encourage more blossoms. Will they continue into the fall, if done correctly?

Answer from NGA
July 9, 2006
Mid-August is the recommended time for digging and dividing irises. At that time you can cut the foliage down to 4-5" tall fans. If you're not digging and dividing, you can simply allow the foliage to die down naturally and then pull it from the rhizomes in late fall or early winter. The bottom line is that it isn't necessary to trim the foliage down into little fans - it's just easier to handle the plants for digging and dividing when the foliage is short.

To deadhead your cannas, simply cut off the flowering stalk as near to the foliage as possible. Cannas will respond by producing a new flowering stalk.

Best wishes with your garden!

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