En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

More Pruning Questions

Pruning mature cedar elm trees in San Antonio
September 14, 2008 - When is the right time to prune my several mature cedar elm trees? I'm in San Antonio, and they have never been trimmed in the 55 years we have lived in this home. I have several that are at least 7...
view the full question and answer

When is the best time to trim oak trees in Driftwood TX?
September 09, 2010 - When is the best time to trim oak trees?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Pigeonberry
February 06, 2013 - Should pigeonberry be pruned back to the ground this time of year or should a few inches of stem be left? This is my first spring with them in the garden and I've not found any reference material tha...
view the full question and answer

Shaping of native hawthorns
October 21, 2007 - I have three young hawthorns that were propagated from a nearby Blackland prairie stand. If I limb them up, will that encourage them to branch more near the top, or will it just ruin the form altoget...
view the full question and answer

Trimming bloom stalks of iris
April 15, 2008 - Mr. Smarty: I live in Nevada, and have some very beautiful Iris plants. They have all blossomed and now I am left with stems. Is there any way I can cut them back so they blossom again? If so how shou...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center