En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Trimming bloom stalks of iris

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 - April 15, 2008

From: pahrump, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Propagation, Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Trimming bloom stalks of iris
Answered by:

QUESTION:

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 should it be done?

ANSWER:

Different kinds of irises present their blooms on the stalks in different ways; however, usually two or three blooms will appear on the stalk, each one blooming and beginning to die, as another one begins to open. It is important not to trim off the stalk until the last of those blooms begins to dry. Then, you can nip off the fleshy stalk clear down to the base. Sometimes (although not always) this will encourage the iris to bloom some more. Iris have a fairly short blooming period, so if your plants are already past their bloom time, they probably will not bloom again until next year. However, it is important to keep the base of the plant cleaned up, to help prevent disease and pests from attacking the rhizomes from which the iris grows. The best way to get more flowers is to have more plants, this takes a while, but the plant continues to expand by rhizome each year; dividing them every two or three years will give you more plants and thus more blooms. Here is a website on iris care and division that goes into more detail.

 

More Pruning Questions

Tool for removing live oak root shoots in Gonzales TX
August 09, 2010 - I've read your answer to live oak root shoots. You said to get rid of them by going 2 to 4 inches below the surface and cutting them. What tool is best for this shoot removal? I'm getting very tir...
view the full question and answer

Pruning practices from Austin
May 16, 2013 - I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin o...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back, pruning and dividing native plants
April 21, 2005 - I am wanting to cut back, or prune, and divide many of my native plants but don't know how. What should I do? I bought them all at the native plant sale at the center last fall. We have a family ...
view the full question and answer

Time to cut back Turk's Cap in Austin
January 27, 2011 - I did not find my question answered in the database. My question is: When is the best time to cut back Red Turks Cap? I live in Central Austin.
view the full question and answer

Seeds of agave attenuata from San Diego CA
April 16, 2012 - After the agave attenuata bloom dried up there are seeds like thing hanging on the foxtail; do I leave it until it dies or do I chop that down. Are those seeds for propagation. The leaves of the plan...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center