Why Aren't My Irises Flowering? - Sunshine Iris Nursery

By Elissa Strong
on April 29, 2017

Why Aren't My Irises Flowering? - Sunshine Iris Nursery

Were you impressed with your irises last Spring?

By now your bearded iris should have given you a truly delightful display, and have started to enter their period of dormancy. If your iris have not flowered well, there could be a number of reasons for this.

Iris need at least half a day of full sun, and will even do well in full sun all day.

Some of the darker flowering varieties may flower better if they are in the shade in the afternoon, but generally they are true Aussie sunbakers and love to languish in the open.

Sunshine Iris Nursery in full flower
Perhaps you may be worried about frost on your fully exposed iris but in actual fact they require frost on the rhizome to encourage blooming as well.  So please don't mulch heavily around your iris, especially in winter.
 
Another factor which may prevent your iris flowering, is too much fertiliser.  Iris are not big fans of nitrogen, rather preferring potassium and phosphorus.  A fertiliser containing P or K such as Dynamic Lifter or a slow release fertiliser like Osmocote, are best for irises.

Sounds like the perfect plant - full sun, not much mulch, frost hardy, low fertiliser requirements? We think so!!

Dividing Iris Plants - Sunshine Iris Nursery

By Elissa Strong
on April 11, 2017

Dividing Iris Plants - Sunshine Iris Nursery

Now is the time to divide those crowded clumps

Your iris will be happy in the ground for a number of years, but after a while you may find they are not flowering as well, so it's time to lift and divide the rhizomes. Or perhaps, as explained above, they are not in the best spot, and you have your eye on somewhere more suited.

The best time to lift iris is immediately following flowering, or in late autumn. Lifting in mid winter will not give your iris time to establish before blooming in the spring, and what flowers that do bloom will be small and late. Moving during summer is okay, but iris are not growing much during this time and you must be careful to not over water as you will cause rotting of the rhizome.

It is very easy to lift and divide your iris - simply use a spade or fork to lift the clump and break off the rhizomes, making sure each one has some root development. Replant shallowly, with just a centimeter or two of soil over the rhizome. Some advocate having the rhizome at ground level, but if you live in a very cold frosty winter climate, with long hot summers, a little soil over the rhizome will offer protection, but still get the chill and heat iris thrive on.

It is best at this time to trim the leaves so the newly planted rhizome has less leaf area to maintain while they are establishing. We trim our leaves by about a third, cutting diagonally.

The smaller dwarf varieties do not need as much of a trim, if at all. Water in, to ensure good root to soil contact, but from then water sparingly, as rot can be a problem in the rhizome. Generally iris only need watering once a week in the summer.

Iris clump ready to dig


Iris separated and trimmed


Newly planted iris

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Tall bearded iris

  • Gypsy Belle - Tall Bearded Iris
    Gypsy Belle - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Persian Berry - Tall Bearded Iris
    Persian Berry - Tall Bearded Iris
  • French Gown - Tall Bearded Iris
    French Gown - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Alpenview - Tall Bearded Iris
    Alpenview - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Swerti - Tall Bearded Iris
    Swerti - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Gratuity - Tall Bearded Iris
    Gratuity - Tall Bearded Iris

Can we help you?

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

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