Caring for your bearded irises over the winter months

By Margie Habraken
on July 01, 2020

Caring for your bearded irises over the winter months

Generally speaking, bearded irises will look after themselves over the winter, unless of course there’s jobs you didn’t get done in the autumn.

Irises can be divided in the autumn.  If you didn’t get to them then, they can still be done now, but you may lessen the chances of a bloom this season.  If dividing now, trim your leaves back by about two thirds for tall irises.  Once split and replanted, the roots will die back and new roots will quickly form. 

During the winter months you may notice some of the leaves dying back, going brown or developing some ‘rust’ spots.  This is quite normal and it is not necessary to remove the spent leaves – the irises will discard them as they make new growth.  The leaves can of course be gently removed and discarded if you want to do a general tidy-up.  This may also reduce the spread of any fungal diseases.  If you are particularly concerned about the rust spots, you can purchase a fungal spray which contains Mancozeb.

Michael Barnes, from the NSW Iris Society, has some great tips regarding fertilizing your irises.  He suggests-

If you’re going to fertilize, remember it’s the months starting with A in which you do so.  In August, I’ll be spreading a custom blend with an NPK of 13-14-12.  …. Keep nitrogen levels down for your irises or you’ll end up with super foliage but less bloom spikes.

Happy gardening over the winter months – bring on spring and the blooms!

Stepping into spring - Preparing your irises for spring

By Margie Habraken
on August 26, 2018

Stepping into spring - Preparing your irises for spring

We are all undoubtably looking forward to our irises blooming, so with the warmer weather not too far away, we thought it might be a good time to offer some suggestions to maximise your spring flowering.
During this unseasonably drier weather many of us are experiencing, its important to keep the water up to your irises.  Be careful not to overwater as the rhizome will rot if it stays too wet.  It might be a good time to add a light mulch to your irises.  This will not only lessen evaporation, but will assist in weed control as the weather warms.  
Our irises are looking quite scraggy at the moment.  Gently pulling off the dead leaves and carefully trimming spent flowers will enhance their appearance, ready to show off their blooms in the coming months.  The old leaves can even be used to create other works of art if you're that way inclined!
It's good time to fertilise your irises now to get the best spring show.  We recommend using a fertiliser which is lower in nitrogen to make the most of the blooms.  Yates suggest one called Thrive Natural Roses and Flowers.  They advertise it as a special combination of organic ingredients boosted with fast-acting fertilisers, designed to enhance the growth and development of flowers. 
Follow the instructions on the pack and don't forget to water well after applying to get the maximum uptake.
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Tall bearded iris

  • Desert Echo - Tall Bearded Iris
    Desert Echo - Tall Bearded Iris

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Looking for more information or a certain plant?  Want to buy wholesale?  Can't decide which iris?  Contact Margie on 0422 672 112 or Mandy on 0429 857 085 or email us

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