How to Separate Iris Plants


Bearded irises are perennial plants that don't require much care. Irises grow from thick, fleshy roots called rhizomes. They benefit from being thinned every two to three years to encourage healthy plants with loads of beautiful flowers. The best time of year to separate irises is during the heat of late summer when they are dormant -- August in most gardens.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Planting Bed
  • Garden shears or scissors
  • Cut the leaves of the irises back to about one-third of their current height.

  • Dig deeply under the plant with a shovel and lift up a clump of rhizomes, roots and leaves all at once.

  • Clean the rhizomes with a light spray of water and let them dry.

  • Cut the rhizomes into small sections, each containing up to three buds, one fan of leaves and a generous amount of healthy roots. Discard any diseased or stunted plants.

  • Replant an iris in an area that receives full sun and drains well. Gently spread the roots in the planting hole. Fill the hole to cover the roots all the way up to the rhizome. Position the rhizome at or slightly below soil level.

  • Water the beds thoroughly to settle the soil around the new plants. Irises do not require a large amount of water and suffer if they are kept too wet.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have too many plants for your space, share the bounty of your iris bed with fellow gardeners, friends and neighbors.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Why Don't Iris Bulbs Bloom Every Year?

    If your recently planted iris bulbs are not producing blooms, or if your well-established plants seem to not bloom as often as...

  • How to Transplant Iris Bulbs

    The best time to transplant iris bulbs is when they are not looking good at the end of summer, after the greens...

  • How to Divide Iris Bulbs

    Irises multiply quickly, and they are best divided with a pitchfork or shovel after cutting the greens. Discover how to work from...

  • How to Grow Iris Bulbs

    In order to grow iris bulbs, plant them so that the root is covered, but make sure that the stem remains above...

  • When to Transplant Iris Plants

    The iris is a perennial flower that spreads through underground tubers. In order to transplant the iris you must dig up the...

  • When to Split Iris Bulbs

    Irises come in two types, with roots that are rhizomatous or bulbous, both of which must be split every few years for...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!