Time to divide or not??? also possible ID??

brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)March 16, 2014

Was given a clump and planted at least 6 yrs ago. Have never divided. Did bloom nicely (never a lot tho) but didn't get many blooms last couple years. Also, they have heaved up out of ground about 3". Not sure how to proceed. Not familiar with irises.

Don't know name. Its not bearded and stands about 2 ft tall.

(due to tablet not playing nice with website, I will have to post rest of pics in next post)

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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

deleted duplicate pic.....sorry

This post was edited by brit5467 on Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 15:27

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:00PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

This is last yrs pic. Its bigger and heaved up more.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:22PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Very pretty Siberian iris!

Fall is time growers divide these. I would shove my shovel straight down the center of the clump and then lift each half. Keep the divisions damp. In the planting holes I would dig in some fertilizer. Check label for amount to use. And dig is some aged compost, plant and water really well and regularly for several months. Once they get their roots down they can take a dryer soil.

For cold climates spring division is recommended at this site. Probably before any green growth shows. As soon as the soil is diggable.

If you're nervous about losing them you could do what I do. Lift out half the clump and leave the other in place.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.socsib.org/ssicult.htm

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:09PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Thx for the ID iris gal. And compliment.... ;)

Sounds like a plan. I've got enough room to dig it out, divide, and put back to fill in some empty space around it.

Thx for all the great advice. Gotta get right on it, tho, cuz new growth is almost there. We've neen having a couple months of crazy weather. One day in high 60's (if not 70), then next day snow. WEIRD!!!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:51PM
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sara82lee(8a - SE Va)

Bonnie,

I have the SAME iris. I got it from someone (think her name was Becky?) in Newport News from Plant Cycle, when that group still existed. They must be a popular type around here.

Anyway, I divided mine last year and the roots were harder/tougher than anything else, ever! I absolutely could not get my shovel through the roots. Might as well have been a block of steel. I had to dig up the whole clump and use a large knife to cut chunks off, and get my husband to help me on top of that for some of the toughest parts.

Good luck, and let me know if you need some help with it. I don't think it's a one - person job for sure, unless you want to go see the chiropractor directly afterward.

Sara

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:07PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It's not something you do with a shovel. Do a web search on 'two fork dividing'. There are videos. It's very easy to do, but hard to explain.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 7:33AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Thx mad g! I know the 'two fork' thing. Good idea and great way to divide if these weren't so established. But I know why sara used a shovel ( I did reply to her directly :) The roots are so matted and intertwined with hardly any dirt in between that pitchforks won't really work (would prolly break the handles off...lol). But again...thx!!
bonnie

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:46AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

deleted duplicate post

This post was edited by brit5467 on Thu, Mar 20, 14 at 11:06

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:48AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

No, it works. You can also divide them before digging them up. Start with one corner, and lever out small pieces. IMHO, it is the only way to deal with a large, overgrown clump of Siberians.

I've also used it on ornamental grasses.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:44AM
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Orchidllauraga(7)

if you do decide to divide the irises, and have no place to put the "extras" I will your postage i f you send to me. I need some flowers and plants...So if there are any others I will pay their postage as well.....

My email addy is laura.r.mead@gmail.com

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 12:16PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Your Siberian Iris looks like Caesar's Brother. CB is a very common cultivar. Its greatest asset is that it looks good all season. Similar to an ornamental grass.

Here it thrives in full sun in our rich loam soil. My clumps were over 3' wide at the base. I could not divide with a shovel even when I jumped on it with all of my 220 ibs. I ended up using an ax! I guess I should invest in a second fork.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 11:40AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

LOL!! Thx harryshoe. I'm afraid I may have same problem. Due to illness and weather, never did get to divide yet. Going to try today. Not looking forward to it.

Yours do look EXACTLY like mine, so great to finally know the name. And ur right...they do look like ornamental grass!!!

Bonnie

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 12:06PM
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