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How to Divide Bearded Iris Rhizomes

By: Garden Gate staff
Dividing bearded iris is an important technique to learn so you can keep plants healthy. Plus you'll get more plants and more blooms for free! Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps.

If you’ve noticed your bearded irises are losing their impact in the garden, don’t be dismayed: They can be revived quite easily with some simple division. Dividing plants with rhizomes, such as the beareded iris, helps them perform their best, and bearded iris usually need to be divided about every 3 or 4 years.

Know when to divide the rhizomes

If you’re wondering if now is the time to divide your rhizomes, look for these cues:

  1. The plant is flowering less
  2. The center seems to have died out and old rhizomes may even been seen emerging from the soil
  3. The fans, or foliage, on the outside of the plant are beginning to flop

How to divide bearded iris and other plants with rhizomes

Dividing rhizomes can make such a difference in the health and beauty of your bearded irises. So let’s keep it as simple as possible, and it won’t be difficult to incorporate into your gardening routine. You’ll need pruners, a shovel and a hose. The best time to divide rhizomes is usually sometime in the summer when they are partially dormant.

Watch the video above or click through the slideshow below for more details about each step, and then head to the garden ready to get your irises back to what they once were!

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Published: Aug. 14, 2018
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