Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Deer Resistant Groundcover for lower Michigan
June 24, 2012 - What ground cover is deer resistant for a sunny location in lower Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover that won't hide snakes from Asheville NC
June 29, 2012 - I have an unusual situation: several bare areas in an otherwise wooded area, which receive partial sun, and are not near water -- it rains here frequently, but the soil can become quite dry at times. ...
view the full question and answer

Plants in bloom in April in Stuart FL
February 24, 2012 - Can you tell me which plants I might reasonably expect to see in bloom in April of this year?
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

Caring for a wildflower meadow in Austin, TX.
March 22, 2016 - We have a meadow full of wildflowers in the country, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, etc. What can we do to promote continued growth and is there a certain time of year we should mow? Should we fe...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.