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The irises, named after their sword-like leaves, are a very large genus of plants. Some species, the Swamp Irises, grow on the waters edge and on wet meadows, others - the dwarf forms of bearded iris (Iris Barbata Nana hybrids) - prefer rather dry soil in the rock garden. In addition, there are also spring bloomers such as the reticular iris (Iris reticulata), which have an onion instead of the rootstock and like other bulbous flowers move in immediately after flowering.
The flower season of the bearded iris usually begins shortly before the rose blossom and is one of the first highlights in the early summer garden. All bearded irises spread over rhizomes, which run flat through the ground. Their top is usually barely covered by soil. From the rhizomes every year grow around young Seitenrhizome out, from which then drive out new leaf heads and flower stalks. At the place where once stood the original plant, a gap in the bed arises after a few years, because the rhizome is over and barely expelled. The younger, flowering plants are arranged in a ring around this spot. When this stage is reached, one should divide the bearded iris rhizomes. If you do not intervene, the blunted center and the ring of young, flowering plants are getting bigger and bigger. The optimal time to divide the iris rhizomes is the late summer, as soon as the biggest summer heat is over.
Step by step: How to divide the bearded iris rhizomes
Raise bearded iris from the ground (left) and roughly divide it into sections with a grave fork (right)
Carefully lift the bearded iris out of the ground with a spade or digging fork. Make sure that the rhizomes remain as intact as possible and do not break or break off. Bring the plants in a wheelbarrow to their new location in the garden. Large plants separate roughly into manageable sections with the spade blade.
Divide rhizomes one by one (left) and cut back the roots (right)
With the help of hands or a knife you divide single pieces at the thin places of the rhizome. Each section should have a well-developed leaf and healthy roots. Sick and dried plant parts are removed. Cut the roots back with pruning shears to about one third of their original length.
Finally, the leaves of the cuts are shortened (left) and the plants are placed back in the ground (right)
Shortening the leaves to 10 to 15 centimeters reduces evaporation and prevents freshly planted parts from falling over. Choose the most beautiful parts for planting. Excess specimens can also be placed in pots and given away. The bearded iris is planted in a sunny spot in well drained soil. Place the cuts so flat in the ground that the top of the rhizome is barely visible. With a shower spray the young plants carefully, but thoroughly.