Irises forum: Do you remove stems of spent flowers?

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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 22, 2017 6:05 PM CST
I've always cut off the stems after the flowers fade, and I thought it probably helped the plants to regenerate new rhizomes, and also helps re-bloomers to actually re-bloom.

Anybody got an opinion on this? Does it matter?

I can't grow iris here in Florida but have planted a bunch of them in my daughter's garden in Salt Lake City.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Feb 22, 2017 7:14 PM CST
Yes, I think most of us cut the stalks after the blooms are done. Helps prevent rot happening at the base of the stalk. The only stalks I have left are ones that have a seed pod developing.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Feb 23, 2017 4:12 AM CST
Same as Leslie - I always cut the stems to the base of the rhizome unless I have a seed pod.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Feb 23, 2017 3:31 PM CST
agree with the above--a method of preventing rot from climbing the stems.
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
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IrisLilli
Feb 24, 2017 4:50 AM CST
...and if you have bee pods you don't want to use, cutting the stems before they develop saves the plant a lot of energy, which can then go into new growth instead.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 24, 2017 9:02 AM CST
Aha, thank you Lilli. I was waiting for someone to give this opinion, because that's what I think also. It must give the plant more energy to make the new rhizomes and this may be especially important for re-bloomers, don't you think?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Feb 24, 2017 9:24 AM CST
Yes, I do. I rarely have rebloom in my short growing season, but the irises I have pods on always take a break from growing and flowering after developing a fully mature pod. Almost lost a few that way, because I was greedy and used some newly settled plants as pod parents... Whistling
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
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grannysgarden
Feb 24, 2017 8:02 PM CST
I think one of the main reason to cut stems that have unwanted seed pods, before they can develop, is to keep the seeds from falling among your irises or into an iris bed. Many seeds grow vigorous, but not necessarily lovely, new iris plants. These vigorous irises can develop faster than your desired irises and crowd them out. Then you are left with an inferior iris and/or as some new gardeners have asked me 'why has my iris changed color'. I have been told by vegetable gardeners that I should not grow my yellow irises close to my white ones or in a few years they will become a muddy mix of white and yellow and not be pretty anymore. I am sure their irises have set bee pods and been allowed to drop seeds and these seeds grew and after several years were all the gardener had to show for their original yellow and white irises.
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Feb 25, 2017 4:40 AM CST
Yes, I cut them... primarily to keep that part of the garden looking tidy (or as tidy as any part of this garden ever gets Rolling my eyes. ), but also to prevent any volunteer seedling irises (as others have mentioned).
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Feb 25, 2017 6:09 AM CST
Sometimes I cut but most times I grasp the stem, bend it back and forth and it snaps off cleanly at the rhizome. This takes less time than cutting. I do this because I think the spent stems are very unattractive.........
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah

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