Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Calling All Iris Lovers

At our new house I have inherited a huge garden with multiple flower beds. I am obviously psyched about this but I am also daunted because the garden has been neglected for years and the weeds covering the beds are EPIC. I've been weeding and weeding already and so far I've only managed to excavate a foot or two. It will certainly take longer than even one full summer to try to reclaim what I can tell will be a gorgeous garden once its brought back to its former glory.

One thing that all the garden beds have in common is a plethora of what appear to be bearded iris leaves. They're green and healthy-looking and everywhere. 

To wit:





 As you can see, the irises are taking over several of the garden beds, and seeing as how I know nothing about irises, I am hoping that some of you with more experience with the plant than I have can help me figure out the best next steps. Obviously I want to keep quite a few of them; I just don't want an all-iris-all-the-time garden

I understand that I need to divide them, but is it too late in the spring to divide and replant? Should I wait for fall? Also, I notice that despite all the healthy looking green leaves, I see no evidence that any of them are preparing to bloom. Is this just because it's too early in the spring for the bearded iris to bloom or is the fact that they're all crowded up and undivided like this preventing them from blooming? What say you on these questions, experienced iris growers?

Also. once I do divide them, I will have PLENTY to give away to good homes, so I hope some of you might want some of them.

2 comments:

  1. Kate, there is a piece of advice I got from a master gardener that I have really taken to heart. She said you can divide anytime because logistically if you don't do it when you can see them you will have a hard time finding what you want, especially if you have different varieties. For example, you don't know what color those irises are, but at least you know where they are.

    However, they may well not bloom until you thin them, so you're stuck. The other thing that will keep them from blooming is if they are buried too deep, which may be the case if they have been unattended. They need to be just slightly below the surface, much shallower than you would think. I always have trouble with that.

    Good luck sweetie. Miss you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kate, there is a piece of advice I got from a master gardener that I have really taken to heart. She said you can divide anytime because logistically if you don't do it when you can see them you will have a hard time finding what you want, especially if you have different varieties. For example, you don't know what color those irises are, but at least you know where they are.

    However, they may well not bloom until you thin them, so you're stuck. The other thing that will keep them from blooming is if they are buried too deep, which may be the case if they have been unattended. They need to be just slightly below the surface, much shallower than you would think. I always have trouble with that.

    Good luck sweetie. Miss you!

    ReplyDelete