Irises forum: Spacing for Irises

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Name: Sherri Page
Granite Falls, WA (Zone 7b)
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SherriRaye
Aug 15, 2017 7:44 PM CST
I've read that when planting irises they should be spaced about 1 to 2 feet apart. I'm wanting my iris blossoms to be close together and I've seen them that way in iris display gardens and fields. Does it harm the plants to be as close as 6 inches apart from each other?
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Aug 15, 2017 8:21 PM CST

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With spacing, they will be growing on top of each other within just a year, maybe two if you are lucky.
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography
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Totally_Amazing
Aug 15, 2017 8:30 PM CST
If you plant your rhizomes 6 inches apart, you will need to divide them more often. Two mature flowering size rhizomes could converge within a couple of years. Once the rhizomes are climbing on top of each other the roots may struggle to anchor into the dirt which can lead to less or no flowering and stalks that fall over easily in the wind. I have planted some of my rhizomes about 6 inches apart temporarily to buy myself time to create new beds. They are growing fine Smiling
Name: Sherri Page
Granite Falls, WA (Zone 7b)
Irises Bookworm Clematis Dragonflies Butterflies Garden Art
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SherriRaye
Aug 15, 2017 9:24 PM CST
Totally_Amazing said:If you plant your rhizomes 6 inches apart, you will need to divide them more often. Two mature flowering size rhizomes could converge within a couple of years. Once the rhizomes are climbing on top of each other the roots may struggle to anchor into the dirt which can lead to less or no flowering and stalks that fall over easily in the wind. I have planted some of my rhizomes about 6 inches apart temporarily to buy myself time to create new beds. They are growing fine Smiling


I did what you mentioned. I was a little over zealous with my iris order this year so I went ahead and planted them close together. I just finished adding a new bed and was wondering if I need to spread them out or if I could leave some of them close together. I will take your and Kent's suggestions and plant them farther apart.
[Last edited by SherriRaye - Aug 15, 2017 9:25 PM (+)]
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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
Aug 20, 2017 2:03 PM CST
Unless you want to move them quickly I would space them at least a foot apart- especially the TBs. Otherwise by spring their fans will be crowding each other out.
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Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Aug 20, 2017 5:19 PM CST
Six inches would mean you MUST/WILL have to dig them up every year. If you do not, then you will loose the ability to differentiate between different cultivars.
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Aug 21, 2017 1:49 PM CST
At 18" on diagonal it has taken 2-3 years for the clumps to start merging. Less distance=more work separating them.

Will be nice looking being close though, just split apart after blooming if growing together.
Name: Sherri Page
Granite Falls, WA (Zone 7b)
Irises Bookworm Clematis Dragonflies Butterflies Garden Art
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SherriRaye
Sep 3, 2017 1:59 PM CST
This is my new iris patch that I added to plant all my new irises since I ordered too many for my existing flowerbeds. They may still be a little crowded but not like they would have been before I made this one. Thanks for all the input.

I like flowerbeds with lots of curves and garden hoses are perfect to use to design the beds. They're pliable and stay where I put them. Also, they are easy to move around to get the exact shape I want for the flowerbed. What methods do some of you use?
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Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography
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Totally_Amazing
Sep 3, 2017 8:38 PM CST
Looks great Sherri Thumbs up My garden beds are too narrow to be creative like that.
Name: Sherri Page
Granite Falls, WA (Zone 7b)
Irises Bookworm Clematis Dragonflies Butterflies Garden Art
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SherriRaye
Sep 4, 2017 7:07 AM CST
Totally_Amazing said:Looks great Sherri Thumbs up My garden beds are too narrow to be creative like that.

For the most part this flowerbed is only 3 to 4 feet wide except at the end with the larger circle. That way I can easily work in it from either side.
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
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iciris
Sep 4, 2017 8:43 AM CST
My island beds are curved also. I like the more informal look of the curves. I also used the hose to outline the island beds. Then rode the riding lawn mower next to the hose to make sure the curves were not to tight to make mowing the lawn a hassle.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Sherri Page
Granite Falls, WA (Zone 7b)
Irises Bookworm Clematis Dragonflies Butterflies Garden Art
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hummingbirder Birds Region: Pacific Northwest Bee Lover Garden Photography
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SherriRaye
Sep 4, 2017 5:03 PM CST
iciris said:My island beds are curved also. I like the more informal look of the curves. I also used the hose to outline the island beds. Then rode the riding lawn mower next to the hose to make sure the curves were not to tight to make mowing the lawn a hassle.


I talked to my husband before attempting the new flower bed since he does the mowing. The previous bed is too close in some places but we knew that we would be relocating this older bed - so no problem. As soon as the recently planted grass comes up I'll remove the hose although I kind of like it there. Love the use of hoses for designing the flower beds. Lovey dubby

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