growing bearded irises - Knowledgebase Question

Middlebury, Co
Question by rnct64
October 25, 2009
Why would german bearded irises grow but not flower? I have had several with plenty of foliage ,without any blooms. I even bought a beautiful new reblooming variety this Sprin when it was already almost in bloom. So I planted it,in the Spring the blooms were beautiful! Actually 3 on 1 stalk! In the fall ,again foliage without blooms!!

Answer from NGA
October 25, 2009


There are only a few reasons irises will not bloom. One is lack of maturity - which doesn't seem to be the case here! Another is lack of sufficient sunshine and a third is overcrowding with resulting competition for moisture, nutrients and sunlight.

Sometimes, if the plants are overfertilized, they will respond with lots of green growth at the expense of flowers. I would dig and replant them now (in October). You can amend the soil with some compost to help enrich the soil, and you can move them if they are not getting enough sunshine. Divide the plants making sure each division has some rhizome with some leaves attached. They should grow well and flower for you next year. Enjoy!

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