Dividing Irises

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After the recent rain I checked my irises and noticed that they were coming out of dormancy. The rhizomes had little nubbins on them. I had heard that this was the time to divide and transplant them, though it seems a bit early. Well today I dug in and divided a few. I think it is a bit early, so I will wait with the rest. Here’s how it went.

Irises in spring look very pretty in this location.
Not so nice the rest of the year because….
Milo likes to use them as a bed.
After the rain I noticed the little nubbins growing from the rhizomes, about 1/4 – 1/2 inch.
I know that Pacific Coast Hybrid irises like these are not as easy to transplant as bearded irises. You have to get the timing right. It seems early but thought I dig a few out.
Here they are ready to be cleaned up and transplanted.
Bearded irises are really easy to divide and transplant. Our native ones are a bit more sensitive and must be put in the ground immediately.
It really is stupid to set up the camera on timer for shots like these. Don’t know why I do it – didn’t think I was that egocentric.
Watering them in well. Notice that I do not bury these deep. The rhizomes and must be right at the surface – a lesson my mother taught me. Her bearded irises were amazing!
Here they are, planted, watered, and mulch replaced. Hope they make it!

3 thoughts on “Dividing Irises

  1. Good luck with the transplanted irises, Barbara! I planted a Douglas Iris in a shady spot in my garden about 4 years ago with drip irrigation, but it hasn't exactly flourished (only one meagre bloom two years ago). Our soil here is decomposed granite and I didn't amend the area I planted it in. What am I doing wrong and any suggestions? Also, do bunnies like to graze on irises (just

  2. I think your problem may be the dg. Did you use any organic mulch near the irises? This may help. My guess is that they are too dry. They don't like to be very wet in summer – rhizomes can rot, but they do need some moisture all year long. As for bunnies, all I can say is that at Rancho on the mesa they look pretty good without a lot of predation. If bunnies liked them I think we would have

  3. Barbara, I just checked back and saw your reply. There is zero organic mulch near the irises and no irrigation beyond our winter rains. So, I think you've hit the problem on the nail. I'm going to add some soil amendments and provide them with year-round moisture (but reduced in the summer) as you've suggested. You're da bomb – Thanks!!

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