. . . divide and transplant iris!
If your iris plants had few or no flowers last spring then either the roots (rhizomes) have become overcrowded, the planting area is too shady, or both, as in this example:
Mid-July through August is the ideal time here on Colorado's Front Range to work on your iris beds. Use a garden fork or small hand tool to gently lift the rhizomes from the ground.
With your hands or a small, sharp knife, remove any soft, rotted portions of the rhizome. Reduce the rhizome into 4"-8" pieces, making sure to include one or two leaf "fans" for each piece.
Before replanting your iris, make sure their new home is:
- In full sun
- Weed free
- Has well draining soil (spade in 2" of well-aged compost)
Set the rhizomes in a shallow depression and just cover them with soil. (A slightly exposed rhizome is better than a buried one.) Trim the foliage back, leaving the leaves about 6"-8" long.
As gardening tasks go, this is pretty light work. And, man, is it worth it!
Many thanks to Sandra West of TLC Garden Services for letting me photograph her during a busy day on her job site! For more inspiration and information visit Iris 4-U.