When can I cut down the foliage? (New to irises obviously)

bellatheball(z5 IA)May 18, 2006

I'm just looking ahead. When should I cut down the foliage on irises?

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Healthy green iris foliage should not be cut down at all. The plant needs its foliage to continue to feed itself for next year's bloom. Foliage should only be removed or cut back when it is dead, dying, or diseased. It can also be cut back to about 6-9" when dividing and replanting to prevent the full foliage from pulling the plant over before it is rooted in securely.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 11:34PM
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bellatheball(z5 IA)

Laurie, thanks. How long does that usually take? The reason I ask is that I love iris foliage. I have one planted in my garden (last fall) that's about 10 inches tall but no bloom. If the foliage will be there all summer (which would be great!) than I won't plan to put any annuals in the near area.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:00AM
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The foliage will remain all summer and fall, though the outer leaves of the fan may die off as the season progresses. If that should happen, just remove the old dead leaves. The younger, inner leaves will remain green. Bearded irises are prone to leaf spot under certain circumstances, so keep an eye out for that.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:27AM
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mtshasta_sis(06 N CA)

Hi Laurie, I have been debating what to do about this subject. Last year I heard that Schreiners cuts their follage back to the ground late in the fall. My local iris club is recommending the same.
I have not done this sense I started growing iris seriously for 4 years now. But it would help with spring clean up and for the second wet year, and too much ground cover I am having some soft rot. And I believe that would help eliminate that situation also. Now I am not talking about a Sept trim when the plants are still using their green leaves but late late perhaps Nov. Think I might try it.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 12:06AM
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wilko1(provence, franc)

We planted iris bulbs in front of our Mas in Provence. They bloomed well in March. The problem is that they now look untidy. What will be the effects be if I cut them back hard now. If I cut them back how much.
Thanks in anticipation.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 4:00PM
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I left the irises for the birds during the winter months. Should I cut them down now?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 8:20AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

What kind of irises are they, Leslie?
Are they siberian, or Louisiana, or tall bearded types?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:32PM
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It is June in Oklahoma and already temps are soaring to 90+. I need to relocate some iris because they are cutting off sun to my annuals. Can I move them now?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:37PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Judy, I don't think anyone saw your post. You may want to start a new one with this question. I moved some irises today. They are tough. Sometimes you sacrifice a year's bloom if you move them too early, but I think it would be okay.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:18AM
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