Can I trim Siberian iris leaves?

sara82lee(8a - SE Va)May 25, 2014

My Siberian iris finished blooming last week. I have four large clumps that I just divided last year, and they came back this year bigger than ever! I'd like to put off dividing them again for another year. I feel like one needs a chain saw to get through those roots!

Anyway, if I don't divide them and pare them down some, they are starting to crowd things planted in between them. Can I trim the leaves down just a little bit (maybe take off 6 or 8 inches)? Even that much I feel would allow the other plants a lot more room to grow.

Thanks! Sara

This post was edited by sara82lee on Sun, May 25, 14 at 23:07

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Good Question- I want to know too what the experts think.?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 4:06AM
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Hi, bumping this one up to see if we can get some advice on this one. If not, maybe run an experiment, cut back some, but not others and compare.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 9:59AM
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Conventional wisdom is to cut the spent bloom stalk but leave the foliage to naturally brown out in the fall before cutting down. The foliage is feeding the rhizome for next season.

You could always tie them up into a bundle to keep the iris foliage away from other nearby plants.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:11AM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

My thoughts are this:
If it's green, it's sending energy to the roots for next year's growth. I would not cut the foliage.

However, I have a suggestion for you on the dividing.
Saws-All (reciprocating saw) with a pruning blade! I did mine with one of these last year and it worked great!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 8:43PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I would not trim the foliage simply because SI look great for a long season. The foliage stays green and looks like an ornamental grass. You may get brown edges at the cut ends.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 11:30AM
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