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Iris plants require minimal care beyond occasional cutting back. The flower stalks usually produce multiple blooms along their length. So your Iris are done and you are left with a green stick and some dried petals. Cut the foliage back to one-third its height before digging up the roots six weeks after the last flowering cycle. See the dead leaves and other debris, we don’t want that sitting on top of the Iris Rhizomes. If you see this on your plants you can cut the foliage down to neaten the look of the garden. It usually takes several weeks for iris leaves to completely die back. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Again, leaves that look diseased should be thrown away and not composted or left in place. In reality, next year’s health and vigor is determined by the ability to make and store food during the current season; the more leaves the better. If you dig up and divide your irises, then it also is necessary to prune back the foliage to a 6- to 8-inch height before you remove the rhizomes from the ground.Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Do you have to cut back Iris? They could carry a fungus that could spread. Then, wait until after the first hard frost. To thin plants, dig up the rhizome instead. In addition, all parts of an iris are toxic if ingested, so teach young children and pets to stay away from the plants. Once you know the flowering season is over, you can use a sharp pair of garden cutters to remove the tough stem.

Overcrowded Iris slow down in flowering and need more space.Thank you so very much for the info about trimming iris after blooming!It is best to leave as much leaf surface as possible as the leaves help to store energy in the rhizome for beautiful blooms next Spring. Wait until this second round of flowering has occurred before cutting your flowers back. Before pruning, wipe the shears with a cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol, and also wipe the shears with isopropyl alcohol after pruning one plant and before pruning another plant, minimizing the spread of plant diseases and pests. If the leaf tips are brown or diseased, you can carefully cut back to the green part. Instead we want the plant to absorb sunshine via the leaves to feed the rhizome for wonderful blooms next Spring. Only prune back the flower stem after it has bloomed. Irises should be trimmed back carefully, leaving as much green, healthy leaf tissue as possible.

How to Cut Back or Prune an African Iris By Kathy Imbriani Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Also this is a good time to clean up any dead leaves and debris at the base of the Iris. Remove wilted iris flower heads on their short stalks after the bloom has faded and begun to die back. Removing the ugly leaves will not effect that. Nutrient-rich rhizomes, on the other hand, will not only produce large, beautiful blooms, but will also spread quickly to form large clumps of showy irises. You can do the traditional inverted "V" shape or cut them straight across. Credit: Pixabay. This runs contrary to past suggestions to cut back the entire plant. However, when the flower stalk begins to decline, prune it back to the crown. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Take care when handling irises, however, as the sap is toxic and can cause skin irritation. (only with disease and pest free plants)This is done in small pieces, they compost in place faster. Plant these pieces in your garden … Do this all the way to the base of the stem and finish with an angle cut if you desire. Each rhizome piece needs to have some roots and a bud-growing point. The dried leaves are removed and no debris is on top of the rhizomes. Irises generally require dividing every three to five years for best growth. Cut back the foliage of both bearded and Siberian irises to within 6 inches of the ground. Dispose of the foliage after its removal. This is what this Iris looked like in early June. If your area has long, freezing winters, then cover your iris bed with a 2- to 4-inch-thick layer of mulch to protect the rhizomes and roots from frost heave.

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