Divide to Multiply

It’s time to divide your bearded iris.

Thunder Echo
Thunder Echo

Look at each grouping. Did they bloom well in April?

Are the leaves small?  Are there white spots?  Brown streaks?  Holes?

Are the rhizomes skinny?  Holes in spots?  Packed together?

Clean iris are happy iris.


I have not sprayed mine in a decade,

because I cut and clean them several times each year.

The rhizomes like to stay dry and bake in the sun.

This can’t happen if they are crowded.


Clean it before you move any plant. That way you don’t move problems.

This is especially true if sharing plants with friends.

They will not appreciate your disease or tenacious weed.


Lift the group you wish to move.  I use a combo of dig and pull.  Clean each one off.


Let it stand out for a day or two in the shade to harden off the cuts.

Cleaned and separated.
Trash pile from cleaning.

IF you must do the move and replant in the same day,

you may want to dust breaks and cuts on the rhizome with sulfur powder.


To replant, dig a large basin-type trench,

so that you can reach across it in the future to clean them.


Amend soil as needed.

The spot you choose should be sunny and well-drained.

Spread out the roots as you cover them.

I usually bury the entire roots and rhizome and then tug the rhizome to the surface.


Pretend it is floating on the soil like a little boat, half-submerged.

My Daddy likes to tease me by looking at my iris and asking,

“When are you going to plant those?”

Mud them in. (Flood with water.)


I always say that transplanting a plant without “mudding it in”,

is like transplanting an organ without hooking up the arteries.

When you are done, go take a shower. You will need it…and maybe a nap, too.




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