Friday, February 26, 2010

Bearded Irises Transplanting Tips

Divide your bearded irises during the months of July through August as this time will allow the roots to be established before a hard frost.

Crowded purple irises

Irises that are grown in a tight space will have small blooms or no blooms, these irises are also susceptible to disease and borers.  I

If irises are planted too close they will need to be divided within a year, otherwise irises need to be divided and transplanted every 3 to 4 years.

Growing irises is easy, once they are established in your garden they will bloom for many years however; you must check the iris periodically for overcrowding. It is also important to keep the iris bed free of weeds, leaf matter and debris.

Dividing and Transplanting:

Before digging up the iris rhizomes that need to be divided get the iris garden ready by cutting the leaves to 1/3 of their height.

Dig up the iris with a spade or a pitch fork.  Gently remove the entire iris clump without breaking the roots.  Shake the dirt from the root and then use your garden hose to wash away the dirt from the roots and the rhizome.  By removing the dirt it will enable you to inspect the rhizome.

Inspect the rhizome for soft spots or worm holes, as this is an indication that the iris is infected with borers (grubs).  This generally occurs when irises are overcrowded or there is leaf matter covering the iris bed.

If the damage is small then you can treat the rhizome by cutting off the soft spot with a sharp knife and then soaking the irises in a solution of 10% bleach mixed with water. Soak the irises for a half hour.  Then allow the irises to air dry in shade.  Plant the treated irises in a separate garden.  Do this so you can watch the irises for further infection.

Divide large healthy irises by cutting the young rhizome away from the clump with a sharp knife.

Transplanting Irises
Remove Leaves from Iris Garden
Remove leaves and weeds from iris garden
Grow irises in a garden bed that is located in full sun.  The soil must be well drained and mixed with organic matter such as compost or manure.  Keep the iris garden weed, leave and debris free. 

Irises grow best when they receive 6 hours of full sun followed by part shade.  If you reside in an area where there is extreme heat (mid 90’s to 100’s) then afternoon shade would benefit the irises.

Plant the rhizome in soil no deeper than one inch. Set the rhizome on the soil, spread out the roots, and then cover the roots with soil.  It is best to leave the upper part of the rhizome exposed so that it can absorb nutrients. If irises are planted too deeply then there will be no flowers in spring and the rhizome will rot. Water transplanted irises.
Maintain your irises and get beautiful spring flowers

Learn more about irises by viewing this videos: