trimming irises

weldontx(z 8a TX)September 3, 2008

Should Irises be trimmed back ( as they are for shipping), or just left and let the fans die back during the winter. Sorta new at this as you can see.

I'm in N. Texas near Ft. Worth.


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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Are there iris borers in your area?

I'm in a mild winter area without borers so only pull off dead foliage. I've heard that areas with the borers do pre-winter clean-up to get rid of possible eggs.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 3:14AM
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dholt(8a TX)

Hello Weldon, I live in Fort Worth, so we basically have the same growing conditions. It is best not to trim the leaves back on a growing iris... ever, as the leaves take in the suns energy and convert it to food for the rhizome. However, for disease control, I always trim back leaves showing leaf spot... anytime of the year. Trim back enough to remove all signs of the leaf spot. Also, remove any dead foliage... anytime, that can be easily removed with a slight tug. If it resists, simply cut it off a few inches from the rhizome with a pair of scissors. The remainder of the leaf can be easily pulled off soon afterwards. Makes for a much nicer looking plant. If dead leaves are left in place they can spread disease, particularly leaf spot. Solely for appearance sake, I also trim back, at anytime... any leaves that are floppy and unattractive. Just cut back enough so the leaf returns to an upright position. It will make your garden more attractive, and will not hurt the next seasons bloom. Healthy iris in our area will retain nice green fans through the winter, and will not lose any more leaves during the winter as they do the rest of the year. Fortunately I do not have borers, and you probably do not need to be concerned about them either.

Good to hear from a local... Good Luck, Dan

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 1:02AM
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