New to iris-need thinning

nanaof5(z5MO)August 30, 2008

We purchased a house last December and have an iris bed so thick, they are smothering each other. The leaves are pretty much died down now. I am disabled and cannot do the work myself, I will need to get my grandkids (teens)out to do the work.

The iris are under a mulch of landscape rock. What to do? I do not even know where to start. HELP!

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Do you know if they are bearded iris?

Beardeds need to have 6 weeks before the first frost to put down roots. To divide an old tangled clump, dig up the entire mass, dig in some bonemeal or bulb fertilizer, hose the dirt off the mass, toss old withered rhizomes and replant firm ones. If you need to cut a withered portion away from firm, allow the cut to heal overnight in the shade. Cut leaves by 1/2 to keep them from tipping over. Give them a real soaking and ignore for the next month. Then another good soak if you haven't had rain.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 4:53PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

You might also want to read through the FAQ here at the forum. How do I dig, divide, and transplant bearded irises?

I would start my having them rake the landscape rock well out of the way, so it won't end up full of soil.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 6:34PM
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Thanks for your response. Yes they are bearded iris, they are beautiful and the colors vary. The bed is the whole width of the house. The landscape rock cannot even be seen because of all of the folage.

My grandkids are going to love me, hehehe.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 10:47AM
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