Irises forum: How to save my iris

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Auburn AL
Ccraville
May 20, 2018 8:01 AM CST
I have a ton of monkey grass I'd like to pull. However, embedded with are irises that I love. Is there a way to get that monkey grass out without destroying the flowers at the same time?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 20, 2018 2:22 PM CST
Welcome!

I would wait until after the iris have bloomed then start digging. As you pull the monkey grass, replant the iris.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 20, 2018 4:05 PM CST
I agree
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
May 20, 2018 4:47 PM CST
I agree, too. Your iris actually go dormant for a time, a few weeks after they've finished blooming. That would be an excellent time to just dig up the whole area, pick out the monkey grass, and plant your iris back where they were. Try not to let the iris roots dry out as you are weeding. Maybe do a small section at a time, so the iris plants aren't out of the ground for too long. Or keep an old, wet towel near where you're working, and wrap the iris roots in that while they're waiting to go back where they belong.
Elaine

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
May 20, 2018 5:51 PM CST
I'm not sure what Monkey grass is, does it spread by rhizome? If so you will have a challenge getting all of the rots out. If your are not averse to using chemicals, there is a product called Grass B Gon that will kill grass and not bother the irises. I couldn't grow irises here without it due to what we call quack grass. Just spray it on, the grass dies slowly the irises are unharmed. Won't bother day lilies, lilies, or peonies either.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 21, 2018 9:41 AM CST
Beware ! Read entire lable !
Some/all of that grass killer, will kill anything with elongated cells. Which iris are.
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Auburn AL
Ccraville
May 21, 2018 10:03 AM CST
Thanks for the help everyone!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
May 21, 2018 1:17 PM CST
I don't even try to keep it off the irises, and haven't had any show any affect from it.
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Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
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Lestv
May 21, 2018 2:12 PM CST
If your iris are bearded iris they can withstand being out of the ground for awhile. So if you dig them up and then remove the grass, they will be fine until you replant them. It is only non-bearded iris such as Japanese iris and Louisiana iris that need to be kept wet.
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Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln NE (Zone 5b)
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SonoveShakespeare
May 21, 2018 2:46 PM CST
Welcome! I would carefully pull out the grass with your bare hands. Or wait until the irises are done blooming. I have an iris bed that is full of grass and I have to weed it every two weeks. I might just get rid of the ones in that bed. They are common purples and yellow NOIDS that I dislike and I don't really care too much about them either. Thumbs down It's just too much work and is a waste of my time to take care of.
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Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
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crowrita1
May 21, 2018 4:03 PM CST
I'm not sure, but I don't think "monkey grass" is REALLY a grass Confused .....I *believe* it's a narrow leafed "broadleaf" plant..........I'd google it, read up on it, and go from there. If it IS a broadleaf, grass be gone won't kill it.
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
May 22, 2018 7:27 AM CST
In the South, monkey grass is Liriope. My guess is the iris will need to be dug out and the rest dug separately.

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