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Why are the flowers dying on this iris

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  • BluebelltimeBluebelltime Posts: 196
    My soil is clay. I was thinking could I pot it up in sandy loamy compost like John innes 3?

    Plus, what's the best way to devide the iris ?
  • Lena_vs_DeerLena_vs_Deer Posts: 203
    Unfortunately I don’t have experience with that mix, but after looking up online it seems like it would be too rich. It’s marked as a mix for heavy feeding plants. 
    But I would try to find someone who has firsthand experience with it and see what they think. 

    I would just add sand in soil you have :) 

    As for how to divide, it’s not too hard. Later when they die out lift the whole clump with roots and all. At that point all small rhizomes (marked blue on photo) will be big enough to just twist off and plant as it’s own clump. They come off pretty easily, it is a small clump though.

    First time dividing may feel scary, so you can just cut it with a knife in half (yellow line) where the old stem (red) is. Usually growth moves on new rhizomes and old parts stay bare, just something to remember when you plant them back in garden. You may need to turn the clump the way you want it to grow so it doesn’t “run away” somewhere sideways :) 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,895
    If your soil is heavier and wetter @Bluebelltime, the bearded Irises will struggle more. They need good drainage, and a baking in summer. That becomes more difficult if there's lots of other planting around them.
    When they need dividing, they become less productive and form a ring of rhizomes with a 'dead' space in the middle. You can cut pieces of rhizome with root attached and pot up, or replant, discarding the dead material from the centre. It's also a good idea to cut off the foliage by about half to make it easier for them to establish. 
    Some irises are happy in quite wet conditions, and some aren't. Apart from the obvious flag irises, the sibiricas and ensatas are very happy with plenty of moist soil and rain for example, as are chrysographes. The hollandica ones need much drier conditions - like the bearded ones. You might want to experiment with some of the others if your soil is heavier. I've given up with the bearded ones - too much faff for my conditions here  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • BluebelltimeBluebelltime Posts: 196
    Thanks all!  I've learned a lot 
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