How to Divide Iris

purple, lavender, and white irises blooming in a garden
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How to Divide Iris

How to Divide Iris

If you've never divided your bearded irises before, don't worry, it's simple enough to do. They should be divided every 2 to 3 years, preferably in late summer. 

Thankfully, bearded irises are very easy to dig up, as their rhizomes sit right at soil level. In fact, irises grow best when the top of the rhizomes have some sun exposure.

  • Carefully dig them up, keeping as many roots as possible, and rinse them off.
  • Once they're relatively free of dirt, check the rhizomes carefully for soft areas or small holes. If you see anything like this, carefully remove these spots with a sharp knife.
  • Then you can divide the remaining rhizomes at their natural joints.
  • Lastly, trim the foliage back to about 6 inches, and re-plant the new rhizomes.

It's truly as simple as that! You'll soon be enjoying even more of your favorite irises, and if you're looking for a great companion plant, try mixing them with daylilies. They both appreciate sunshine and good drainage, and bloom successively, with the daylilies blooming just as the irisies ar fading, often with a period of overalpping blooms from both. 

Once you have separated your irises, you can expand your garden, plant them in a new space, and share them with friends. Because you divide them every few years, they are economical in addition to beautiful.

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Iris 'Jewelled Crown'
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