Making More Irises

Remember how beautiful your irises were just a month or so ago?  Mine were.  Now they are ratty looking.  They are looking tired and are browning.  That is as it should be.  In my area, that is a good time to think about making more irises by dividing them.

Last of the Irises
Last of the Irises

Are you dividing bearded irises this year?  You really should about every two or three years.  Remember that prize iris you paid a mint for a couple of years ago?  It is now a colony of fifteen tubers.  OK, that is an exaggeration, but you really could have 6 or 7 tubers.  Time to divide them, replant and share with your friends.

Last of the Irises 2
Last of the Irises 2

Right now I am in the middle of dividing all of my irises, so I thought I would talk a bit about how to divide and replant irises.  But first, a look back on how lovely the irises I have were just a little over a month ago..

Irises
Irises
I have about 40-50 different varietits.  These are just a few of them.
More Irises
More Irises
A few more.
Even More Irises
Even More Irises
And more.
And A Few More Irises
And A Few More Irises
So getting down to business.
How to Divide Irises
1.  You should lift the entire clump out with a pitchfork.
2.  Split the clump into several smaller pieces.
3.  Discard pieces that are damaged or rotten.  If the damaged part is small, you can cut it out and dip in weak bleach solution.
4.  Also discard the part that produced a bloom as it will not bloom again, unless there are still good babies that are too small to divide yet.
5.  Give away tubers to your friends.
6.  Trim back the foliage, leaving as much as you can to photosynthesize.
7.  Replant the tubers into soil which has been amended with organic matter.  They should be planted shallowly so that top of tuber is at or near soil surface. (irises often won’t bloom if they are planted too deep.
8.  It is good to plant three or four in a “wheel” shape, foliage facing out. Plant these at least a foot to two apart.
9.  You should plant them no later than 4 to 6 weeks before first frost date.
Here is also a brief video that shows the process of dividing irises.
I hope this has been helpful.  One of the wonderful things about dividing irises or any other plant is that you get to expand your collection of plants in your garden, and your friends get to benefit from any you want to give away.

43 Replies to “Making More Irises”

    1. Thanks for coming by and thanks for your comment.

      I haven’t divided my irises in three years and some of the clumps are humongous. I Really have to get all of them divided this tear….only about a third of the way through.

      Yael

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    1. Maureen,

      Thanks for coming by and thanks for following me. I have followed you as well. Will be interested to know how the deck decorating comes along.

      Yael

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  1. Beautiful Irises. I had no idea there were so many types. I don’t have any, not sure how they would do here in FL, but I remember them from my mother’s garden in Canada. Ann

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    1. Diann,

      Thanks and thanks for coming by my blog. Glad you enjoyed the irises and the tutorial. Hope it helps.

      Yael

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  2. I miss having iris ! ( well I have about two white ones where I am now but that doesn’t count…I used to have a bazillion from my grandmother ages ago )

    You have so many beautiful varieties!

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    1. Hi Debra,

      Irises are an addiction which I keep feeding. Hoping that you can increase your numbers. They really are lovely flowers, which are gone too soon in the season.

      Yael

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  3. I need to get out there and do this. Do you find that yours will still bloom next Spring? I would really like to buy more of the newer varieties, all of mine are at least 20 years old. Your collection is gorgeous! Wish we were next door neighbors so we could share!:)

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    1. Leslie,

      Thanks for coming by and for your comment. After I divide my irises, they will usually bloom the following year, but sometimes not if the tuber is not very large. I sometimes have to wait. Funny, I have a lot of newer ones, but have become attracted to heirloom varieties. I have no more room for irises, though, so I have to be good.

      Yael

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    1. Jeri,

      Thanks and thanks for coming by. Glad you enjoyed the irises. Hoping that you have a wonderful week.

      Yael

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  4. What a fantastic range of Lilies you have. Each one is an absolute beauty. You’ve provided some great information here as well as showing off the beauty of your Irises. Great job.

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    1. Bernieh,

      Thanks. I do enjoy the irises. I don’t quite like having to divide them. But it is worth it.

      Yael

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  5. You do have so many different colors. I’ve noticed the pretty blooms here on the Crape myrtles are starting to brown. But we’ve had enough rain to keep things nice and green this summer…so far!

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    1. Thanks. I really like Crepe Myrtle. Not many people grow it here, however, which is too bad. They are so pretty.

      Yael

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  6. Suzy,

    Thanks for coming by and thanks for your comment. I really enjoy my irises. We are fortunate to have a wonderful iris nursery not too far from where I live. Even when I don’t go there to buy, I go to see the terrific display gardens. Hoping that you have a nice week.

    Yael

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  7. You have stunning iris! Thanks for sharing your tutorial. It’s time I divide some iris – well, I’ll wait till the temperatures aren’t trying to kill me! lol

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    1. Hi Beth,

      Thanks for coming by. Thanks. I hear you about the temps. Hope it isn’t toooo hot. The irises can wait till a little later. Try to stay cool and garden before the weather heats up.

      Yael from Home Garden Diggers

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  8. Oh my gosh the color and variety are stunning. So pretty. Now I have a question. My MIL gave me some years ago and they never bloom. Grow like crazy but never bloom. I wonder if I have them in too shady of a spot.

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    1. Elaine,

      Thanks. It could be that they are in too shady a spot. They like sun. They could also be planted a little deep. Irises like their tubers to be just about at soil level.

      Yael

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    1. Beth,

      Thanks. Yes, you really do get to spread around the love with irises. And they are so hardy too. Love them.

      Yael

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  9. Wow, you really do have quite a few varieties of Irises! All of them are gorgeous. I think next year I should divide mine. Thank you for sharing all this wonderful info. with us.

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    1. Donna,

      Thanks and thanks for coming by. One nice thing about dividing them, is that you get more plants to put elsewhere or share.

      Yael

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    1. Athena,

      Thanks. It’s going slower than I had planned….Between workmen here and planting stuff that had been in pots. But I will get it done.

      Yael

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    1. Darla,

      Thanks for coming by. Should be cooler to wait till then. Hope this summer cools down a bit.

      Yael

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  10. I had no idea you needed to thin irises that way. What a wonderful, frugal plan. Your flowers are splendid- I’m sure you can always enjoy more of them.

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    1. Mrs. Petrie,

      Thanks for coming by. One of the really nice things about dividing irises, is that you can plant the divisions and have more.

      Yael

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    1. Judy,

      I have never grown tiger lilies, but I believe that the principle would be the same. I believe that you should wait until the foliage browns out a little, and then divide them. Find the best spot to separate them and cut or break them off, and then replant. To be sure, I’m sure there are sources specifically for tiger lilies. Good luck with them. They are lovely flowers.

      Yael

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    1. Mindy,

      Thanks for coming by and thanks for your comment. I don’t have a picture of the bottle border yet. I have only a very short section done. I have been making holes for the bottles, and then back filling the hole to keep the bottles in place. Now that it is summer, the ground is rather hard to work, so I will wait for rainer weather to work on it some more.

      Yael

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  11. Hi Yael,

    I’m having a little iris envy right now. 😉 Where do you get all the varieties? Any economical places? Some of yours just take your breath away!

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