Planting & Transplanting Iris Plants

Planting & Transplanting Iris Plants

Shop all Tall Bearded Iris at Nature Hills

When an Iris is purchased, it will be either in bulb or rhizome form. If the Iris is in bulb form, planting it is just like planting any other bulb plant.

Planting Iris bulbs should be done at a depth of about three inches, making sure that the bulb is facing pointed side up. Plant Iris in fall. It will be dormand in winter and grow the next spring. 

Iris rhizome

When planting Iris in rhizome form, do not plant them too deep. The upper 1/3 of the rhizome should be exposed to the sunlight. 

How to Plant Your German Bearded Iris Rhizome

  1. Select a sunny spot where the soil is well drained
  2. Dig a hole about a foot across and deep
  3. Mound soil up in the bottom of the hole back up to about 8 inches or so
  4. Lay the root (rhizome) horizontally on top of that mound to check the depth.
  5. So very important that the top one-third of that rhizome will be exposed to the sunlight
  6. Spread the roots our around that mound and back fill the hole with your soil
  7. Thoroughly water the soil completely to settle soil in around the roots
  8. Careful attention to only water the Iris when it gets dry or they will rot if too wet
  9. When it gets cold, sprinkle dry leaves or small amount of mulch over exposed rhizome for winter
  10. In spring, remove leaves and mulch to expose the top one-third of the rhizome once again

When planting Iris in bulk, it is important to ensure that all the rhizomes are facing the same direction. This will prevent crowding in early years.

Purple Iris Flower

After planting Iris in either bulb or rhizome form, the plants should be watered. The soil must be well draining, as the bulb and rhizome are both very susceptible to rot. The plants should also be in an area of full direct sunlight. If some shade is provided, the blooms will not be as large or last as long of a time. 

Transplanting Iris is a pretty straightforward process as well. It is very similar to the act of transplanting other plants, but there are a few differences that make it require more effort.

First, the plants must be dug up, and soil washed off with a hose. The rhizomes should be divided so each section has a fan of stems sprouting out, and a good amount of healthy roots.

Once divided, the older sections of the rhizome can be discarded, as they will not flower as well as they used to. Once divided, it is time for planting the separated Iris plants.  Follow the same steps as above in order to plant in the rhizome form.

Transplanting Iris can also be done if they are not growing enough. This could be due to bad soil drainage or not enough sun. Iris that are not getting enough sun should be transplanted into an area of the garden or landscape that will provide direct sunlight for the entire day.

Enjoy your wonderful Iris plants, and don't forget about the other fall planted, spring blooming bulbs. We have a HUGE bulbs selection - check it out!

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