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Help in spreading my Iris

Apologies if this has already been discussed, but internet searches have proved a bit fruitless.

I have some Iris growing in my front garden that now have seed pods well formed and I would like to try to grow some more from seed. I'm not sure what variety of Iris they are, I'm assuming a fairly bog standard variety from the garden centre, they were there when I moved in. I have a heavy clay soil and the flowers were bluey/purple. Theyt put on a good show this year and I want to get some more around both front and back gardens.

I want to do 2 things, firstly is to divide the clump that I have so that I can spread them along the front garden border and also into the back garden. How best is it to do that and when should I?

Secondly, the seed pods are well formed, although still very green. When is it best to collect the seed? and how best is it to sow the seed in pots for later planting out.


  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,114

    First the seeds, when the pods splits and you can see ornage/brown seeds then they are ripe. Sow fresh and leave exposed to the weather over winter. They then should germinate in Spring. They take about three years minimum to reach flowering size, possible longer.

    If the Iris have rhizomes then they are easy to split. Now is the time to do it.

    If they have a more fibrous root (Iris sibirica has) then you can split the clump in early Autumn, but not into small pieces. For some reason I. sibirica does not like being divided into small pieces.

    If they are Californian Hybrid Iris then they do onot like being disturbed at all.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,001

    If yours are Bearded or Flag irises, now is the time to lift and divide them - how to do it is shown here 

    Also, if you have iPlayer or similar, you can watch last Friday's Gardeners World where you can see some wonderful Bearded Irises and watch a really clear demonstration of how to lift and divide them.

    Beautiful flowers, over too quickly but worth the wait for the glorious show they give us.image

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

  • Many thanks for all the info...I did find that How To project after making the posting...i don't know why that didn't show up when I did a search on the forum!!! I did see the Gardeners world programme for the Iris's and while it did teach me a lot I still wasn;t clear on the dividing as I'm a complete novice...sadly I'm of the youngish generation and need pictures and words.

    Alas I haven't a clue which variety as they were there when I moved in I will have to get some pictures next year and see if anyone can identify. I love the flowers too...put on a good show after the miserable weather last year and the bee's went bonkers over them

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