Life cycle of an iris plant – or why we don’t pick during flowering!

Like all plants, irises grow and change throughout their life cycle.  In an attempt to explain an iris life cycle, I will hopefully shed some light on why you have not received your irises if you have recently ordered form us.

We have noticed during the year that our irises go through certain stages with corresponding physical changes to the plant – some very visible like our amazing flowers, some not so visible.  It seems that the irises go through changes under the ground that we were not always aware of.  Kelly D Norris, in his book ‘Cultivating the Rainbow – A Guide to Bearded Irises’ states that During the spring months, just before and after flowering, bearded irises set down new roots that rapidly feed the plant through flowering. He goes on to explain an increase in rhizome size and the growing of small spikelets which are the beginnings of a new rhizome. 

The picture below shows an iris rhizome with old roots before the new season's roots starting shooting.

It’s very important to us that the irises you pOld iris rootsurchase arrive to you in peak condition.  For this reason, we like to wait a short period after flowering to enable the rhizomes to develop their new root systems and power forward towards flowering in the next spring.