Digging irises - Knowledgebase Question

Thornwood, Ne
Question by bennie35gray
May 2, 2010
My irises have not bloomed for several years, possibly because there is only sun there in the afternoon. Could that be it? Can I transplant them to a better location now or must I wait till later in year? Also, I have read varying reports on planting them. Should the corms be buried slightly or should they sit on top of ground. Thanks!

Answer from NGA
May 2, 2010


Overcrowding and lack of sunshine can keep your irises from blooming. Since they are not blooming at all you can dig and divide them. The rhizomes should be set just barely beneath the soil surface when you replant. Before digging and dividing, prepare the new planting bed by working in some compost or other organic matter to a depth of 6-8 inches. Find a sunny spot for your irises and you'll get more blooms.

Irises grow from elongated rhizomes. You can dig them with a garden fork and you'll see that the foliage is growing on the ends of the rhizomes but the older center will be bare. You can break the rhizomes apart, removing the dead center and replanting the ends where the foliage is attached. Each rhizome with foliage attached will grow into a flowering plant. After planting, water the area well to help settle the soil and then lay a mulch over the bed to help suppress weeds. Best wishes with your project!

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