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 - 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

Over-trimmed junipers in Shell Beach CA
May 16, 2010 - Help! My husband decided to "trim" the juniper bushes that are in front of our house that create a great private front yard. I guess he cut back into the dead wood and now nothing is regrowing. It'...
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Martha Gonzales rose
January 20, 2016 - How much should I prune back an established Martha Gonzales Rose to keep healthy?
view the full question and answer

Removal of non-native invasive Ligustrum japonica from Austin
February 14, 2012 - I bought a house that I am slowly turning into a native garden, but as a teacher, I have a really small budget. One entire border of my backyard (30 feet) was planted with evil Ligustrum japonica. I l...
view the full question and answer

Do yuccas die after blooming?
October 11, 2010 - We have a blue yucca which was planted 2 years ago and is just now blooming with a tower of white flowers. Will the entire plant die after blooming as the century plants do? If so, is there a way to s...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Anacacho Orchid tree in Austin
May 17, 2010 - I have an Anacacho Orchid that is about 9ft tall. It is early May and has not started to put out leaves yet on the old growth. I can't even see any noticeable buds yet. It is still alive because I ha...
view the full question and answer

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