Step-by-step guide on dividing and transplanting Bearded Iris for healthy growth and blooming.

Step-by-step guide on dividing and transplanting Bearded Iris for healthy growth and blooming.

Planting Bearded Iris in winter can be a rewarding experience, but after a few years, the clumps will need to be lifted, divided, and then replanted. The bulbs of Bearded Iris can become overcrowded, resulting in poor flowering and weakened vigor. To divide the bearded iris clump, you will need a shovel, signs of overcrowding, and a solid plan of action.

First, you need to inspect the clump of bearded iris. If the foliage is thin or has fewer flowers than usual, it might be a sign that the clump is overcrowded. You will need to dig the clump out of the ground with a shovel and lift it carefully. Then, trim the foliage back to about five inches and inspect the rhizomes for any signs of disease or insect damage.

Next, use a knife to divide the rhizomes. Begin by cutting between the divisions, making sure to only trim away any damaged parts. It’s important to have clean and sharp tools for this job. Once you have divided the rhizomes, you can begin the replanting process.

Choose a suitable location that provides full sun and well-drained soil for the bearded irises. Don’t plant them too close to other plants or grass-like stems, as this could result in competition for resources. Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the roots and place the irises in the hole. Cover the roots with soil and water the plants thoroughly.

In conclusion, dividing and transplanting bearded iris ensures their continued health and vigor. By dividing the clumps every few years, you encourage new growth, increase flower production, and maintain the overall health of the plants. Remember to use clean tools, inspect the rhizomes, and replant the divisions in well-drained soil. With proper care and attention, your bearded irises will continue to grow and produce beautiful flowers in the spring.

Irises dividing

Dividing irises is a common experience for gardeners, as it is necessary to maintain the health and vigor of the plants. The best time to divide irises is in the spring, preferably after the last frost and before the coast of the growing season. Division involves lifting the clump of irises and separating the rhizomes, or underground stems, into smaller sections.

When dividing bearded irises, it is important to lift the clump carefully with a shovel or garden fork, being careful not to damage the rhizomes or roots. Once lifted, the clump can be divided into smaller sections, usually at least 3 to 4 inches long, that have healthy rhizomes and roots.

Before planting the divided irises, it is a good idea to trim the roots and rhizomes to about 6 inches in length. This will help stimulate new growth and make transplanting easier. It is also important to remove any signs of disease or pests, such as borers or rot.

When planting the divided irises, choose a well-drained location in full sun. Siberian irises and Pacific Coast irises, which are beardless types, have slightly different planting needs. Beardless irises should be planted with the rhizomes just below the soil surface, while bearded irises can be planted with the rhizomes slightly above the soil surface.

After planting, watering the newly divided irises is important to help them establish. Water the transplanted irises sufficiently to moisten the soil and continue to water regularly throughout the growing season. However, be careful not to over-water, as irises prefer slightly dry conditions.

By dividing and transplanting bearded irises, you can maintain a healthy and beautiful iris garden. Follow the above steps and you will have an abundant display of flowers in no time!

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Suitable for

The process of dividing and transplanting bearded iris is a suitable technique for established plants that need rejuvenation or are becoming overcrowded. By dividing the rhizomes, gardeners can propagate new plants, improve the health and vigor of the existing ones, and ensure continued blooming.

Yellow, white, or bearded bearded irises are the most suitable types for dividing. These irises have rhizomes that spread out horizontally on the soil surface. Dividing them is relatively easy, particularly if you follow the signs and instructions for dividing and transplanting.

When dividing bearded irises, you will notice that the rhizomes have multiple points from which new shoots and roots can emerge. To begin, gather the necessary supplies, such as a sharp knife or trimmers, gardening gloves, a large planting hole, and well-drained soils. Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands and tools to avoid the spread of disease or insect infestations.

Before dividing, trim the leaves of the irises to about 6 inches in length. This will allow the plants to conserve energy and focus on developing new roots. Early spring or mid-summer, after the coast irises have finished blooming, are the preferred times to divide and transplant bearded irises.

To divide the clump, carefully lift the iris plant out of the ground using a garden fork or shovel. Gently separate the rhizomes by pulling them apart or cutting them with a sharp knife, making sure each division has sufficient roots and plant material. Trim any damaged or unhealthy sections. Prepare the new planting hole by amending the soil with compost or organic matter to ensure good drainage.

When transplanting, place each iris division into the hole, making sure the rhizome is slightly above the soil surface. Spread the roots out and cover them with soil, gently firming it around the plant. Water thoroughly after planting, and continue to water regularly until the plant establishes itself.

Bearded irises are generally easy to grow, but they do require well-drained soils and sufficient sunlight to thrive. They are known for their disease resistance, but good garden hygiene can help avoid any potential issues. During the winter, when the foliage dies back, it is important to remove and dispose of any leaves or plant debris to prevent the spread of disease or pests.

Overall, dividing and transplanting bearded irises is a simple process that can help rejuvenate and expand your iris garden. By following the instructions and taking care of the plants, you can enjoy the beauty of these colorful flowers for years to come.

Rhizomatous irises Beardless irises
Rhizomatous irises, such as bearded irises, have rhizomes above the ground. They are known for their colorful flower centers and bulbs. The bearded irises have long, bushy, white hairs on the falls where the upright petals meet the same length.
The rhizomes should be spruce up or cut off bulbils from above the old clump.
Plant the rhizomes, one section per hole, after first removing the old clump from above.
Prepare the soil where the new divisions are to be planted and mix in compost or other healthy soils.
Set the irises at least a foot apart in the iris bed, and plant them so that the rhizomes are above the soil surface.
Be careful not to plant them too deeply or they may rot.
Beardless irises are clump-forming irises with healthy, well-established roots. These irises are often disease-resistant and will continue to grow and bloom well with minimal care.
To divide beardless irises, dig up the clump and separate the individual plants, making sure each division has a sufficient amount of roots and plant material.
Trim any damaged or unhealthy roots, and replant the divisions at the same depth they were originally growing.
Water the newly transplanted beardless irises thoroughly, and continue to water them as needed to help them establish in their new locations.

When to divide irises

Dividing and transplanting irises is a common practice among experienced gardeners. Knowing the right time to divide irises is crucial for ensuring their healthy growth and blooming. Here are some tips on when to divide your irises:

  • Divide irises every three to five years. This is necessary because irises tend to grow and form larger clumps over time.
  • Divide bearded irises after they have finished blooming. Wait until the flowers have faded and the foliage has started to decline.
  • Divide and replant bearded irises in late summer or early fall, preferably six weeks before the first frost. This gives the plants enough time to establish new roots before winter.
  • Inspect the rhizomes for signs of disease or insect damage. Trim off any damaged parts above the well-drained soil.
  • Choose a suitable location for planting the divided irises. They prefer full sun or light shade and well-drained soils.
  • Prepare the planting hole by loosening the soil and creating a mound in the center. Place the iris rhizome on top of the mound, spreading the roots in different directions.
  • Cover the rhizome with soil, leaving the top exposed. Water the newly planted irises thoroughly.

Following these instructions will ensure that your irises stay healthy and continue to produce beautiful flowers for years to come.

How to divide irises

Dividing and transplanting irises is an essential task for keeping these beautiful plants healthy and blooming. By dividing, you can avoid problems such as overcrowding and poor flower production. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to divide irises:

  1. Choose the right time: The best time to divide irises is in late summer or early autumn, just a few weeks after they have finished flowering. This gives the newly divided plants enough time to establish before the winter.
  2. Prepare the tools: Make sure you have all the necessary tools, including a sharp knife or shovel, a clean bucket, and a watering can or hose.
  3. Lift the clump: Carefully lift the clump of irises out of the ground using a shovel or fork. Be gentle to avoid damaging the rhizomes.
  4. Divide the clump: Separate the clump into individual divisions. Each division should have a healthy rhizome with roots and at least one fan of foliage.
  5. Trim the foliage: Trim the foliage of each division to about 6 inches in length. This will help the plant conserve energy during the transplanting process.
  6. Prepare the new planting area: Choose a well-drained location with full sun or partial shade. Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or grass-like plants and amending it with organic matter if necessary.
  7. Plant the divisions: Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the rhizome and plant the division so that the top of the rhizome is level with or slightly above the soil surface.
  8. Water thoroughly: After planting, water the newly divided irises well. This will help settle the soil and ensure good root establishment.
  9. Maintain proper care: Keep the newly transplanted irises well-watered during the first few weeks. After that, water them only when the soil feels dry to a depth of about 2 inches.
  10. Replanting the remaining divisions: If you have multiple divisions, repeat the previous steps until all the divisions are planted.
  11. Enjoy your irises: With proper care, your newly divided irises will soon start producing beautiful blooms. Be prepared to be surprised by the variety of colors and types that irises can offer in your garden!

Dividing and transplanting irises is a rewarding task that promotes healthier plants and more abundant blooms. By following these steps, you can ensure that your irises continue to thrive for years to come.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.