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Splitting / dividing Iris

Hi. I recently inherited a belfast sink full of Iris. I'm very excited to see what it does this year as I've not idea what the flowers (if they come) will look like. I'm keen to get it out of the sink though and spread it around the garden - sunny spots of course! I'd really appreciate any advice on how and when to split them.


  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    Are you talking about bearded iris? The type with rhizomes on top of the soil? These are usually divided after flowering

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051

    Acorn, hi, you need ,as Fleurisa has said, to establish the type. Bearded iris are split in August, but sibirica can be split now. Bearded like hot and dry , sibirica , and others prefer moisture. Can you post a photo?


  • AcornAcorn Posts: 8

    I think so - the rhizomes are all very visible.

  • AcornAcorn Posts: 8



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,847

    Bearded iris image  wait until after they've flowered. 

    And you get to keep the sink? image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • AcornAcorn Posts: 8

    Yeah - I got three of them and am planning to put herbs and things in them.  Cheers for the advice - much appreciated.

  • I have a massive Butterscotch Kiss Iris that my husband bought me.

    I have to try to divide it as its squashed in a little plastic pot at the moment that it has practically broken out of. and all the rhizomes are stuck together on the top.

    I'm scared in case I kill it - how do I divide it with a knife or break it or what I don't know !!!!!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081

    Ideally, you'd have divided it after flowering, but you can do it now. You may sacrifice flowers next year, so it's really up to you what you want to do  image

    You need a sharp knife to divide it and leave a good bit of root on each rhizome. Replant with the rhizome on top of the soil, and cut the foliage back to a few inches to help with preventing water loss, and aid establishment. Pot the pieces up or plant in a sunny spot.

    If you feel the plant's too congested to work with at the moment, you could pot it into a bigger pot, or plant it out, and leave it till next year to divide.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081

    I've done it at this time of year Verd, but you do often sacrifice flowers the following year. It just depends on conditions I think. If the plant's really congested, it's possibly doing it a favour to get it out.  If it was mine, I'd probably repot it and then split it next year. 

    I know if I visit the nursery this week, they'll have loads which will have just been split and potted up. That's why it's best to buy one after flowering  image

    As Verdun says, sun on the rhizomes - as much as you can provide.image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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