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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - June 19, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Removing fading blooms from iris
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Iris maintenance: when blooms begin to fade do I pluck off just the bloom? cut off the entire stalk? leave it alone? Some blooms grow on stalks without leaves and some on stalks with leaves.

ANSWER:

While Iris (Family Iridaceae) may be propagated from seed, the easiest way to increase them is by clump division every two or three years. Therefore, there is little reason to preserve the fading blooms. Most irises will put on three or four buds on one stalk, blooming at different times. Mostly for the sake of appearance, it's a good idea to gently remove the fading bloom, without damaging the buds-in-waiting. When no further buds appear, again for the sake of appearance. clip the stalk down close to its base. There are a number of irises native to Texas; for information on them see the section on Iris on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plants website.

 

From the Image Gallery


Zigzag iris
Iris brevicaulis

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