Bearded Iris - Knowledgebase Question

Kennesaw, Ge
Question by greenekj
May 13, 2010
This is the first season my irises have bloomed (2nd spring). They didn't stay in bloom as long as others in the neighborhood. Do they require a lot of sun (mine only get about 3hrs/day)? How many times will they bloom in a season? How do I propagate them? Please help, We really enjoy them and would like to create a bigger garden with them.


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Answer from NGA
May 13, 2010

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Bearded irises bloom best in full sunshine and they generally need about 3 years in the ground before they are established enough to bloom well for you. I think you'll need to move yours to a sunnier spot after they have finished blooming. They bloom only once, in the spring, and they grow from underground rhizomes so you can dig and divide them to get more plants. Wait until flowering has finished, then cut down the flower stalks, dig the rhizomes with a garden fork so you don't damage them and look for a natural place along the rhizome to divide the plants. Usually each rhizome has two fans of foliage: one at each end. You can break or cut the rhizome between the fans of foliage. Replant the rhizomes so they are just barely beneath the soil surface and water the plants in well to help settle the soil. They should bloom for you next spring. Enjoy!

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