Garden Gnome: Transplant irises

Transplanting Irises

  • Follow Gardening

I’m saving the real whining for next month, but this time of year when it gets brutally hot and humid, there really isn’t a lot you can do in the garden.

There’s weeding and watering, but the extra chores of propagating and transplanting should wait until the fall and/or spring. There is one exception, though. This is a good time to transplant irises.

I adore irises, but I don’t have many sunny areas. But I carved out a couple of new spots by evicting monkey grass.

If you haven’t thinned out and transplanted irises before, it’s a simple chore with just a few steps.

You’ll know when it’s time because overly crowded irises won’t bloom.

To move irises, follow these steps:

1. Identify which plants to move and, if possible, pick an overcast day to do it but not right after rain. You want a location that gets plenty of sun.

2. Gently dig up the plant. Pieces to be move must have green fan and tuber root, break pieces apart when necessary.

3. Check the tuber root for bad spots – dead or rotting. Use only those with fat, healthy tuber roots.

4. Trim the fan down by one-third to one-half.

5. Replant only so deep that the tuber root is barely covered.

6. Give it a dose of general purpose fertilizer and a good drink of water.

7. Go get yourself a big glass of water and sit in the shade a spell and dream of fall and cooler temperatures.

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