How to divide bearded irises

By Gordon Jensen (redheadclan) on February 24, 2011

How I do it-dividing irises: by Gordon Jensen

 

  

 

  

 Above is an over crowded clump of irises that obviously needs dividing.

 

  

 

First, I dig out the clump and remove as much of the dirt as I can, without causing too much damage. 

 

Next, using a clean, sharp knife, I separate the growing rhizomes from the spent rhizome.

 

 

  This picture shows the growing rhizomes and the spent rhizome, the plant that bloomed this spring that has long since lost it’s leaves.

 

  

 

 

Now the entire clump is divided. Throw away the spent rhizomes. (It is sometimes desirable to leave the old rhizome attached to a small start to give it strength.)

  

Next I trim the leaves and the roots to 4 to 6 inches. I use a grass edging clipper for length.

  

 

 Here is a rhizome that has been trimmed.

  

  

Now the entire clump has been trimmed.

  

 Last, I replant 2 of the divided rhizomes and put the remainder in a cool dry place until sale. I replant Two because they fill out faster.

 

  

 

 Above shows the replanted rhizomes.  I find that the less time the plants stay out of the ground the faster they get re-established.

 

         

About Gordon Jensen
I've been growing iris for 14 years. I'm currently the VP of the Tucson Area Iris Society as well as the news letter editor. I grow and sell iris on the internet at http://www.irismelodies.com. I am a friend of Kathy Chilton who has judged iris internationally and is a co-chair of the 2012 iris convention. My garden was on the region 15 Trek for 2010.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
I have had Walking Apostle Irises (names?) .... fernman Oct 17, 2011 9:31 AM 2
GREAT info! vic Feb 28, 2011 9:45 AM 8
I love iris Aguane Feb 26, 2011 10:52 PM 0

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