Hi! Last year was my first year planting Tall bearded Iris- I was so excited...

Asked October 16, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT

Hi! Last year was my first year planting Tall bearded Iris- I was so excited to see the green fans growing- but I never got blooms :( Then 3 of the 9 turned mushy and died. I decided to move the rhizomes to a sunnier loaction, so we'll see for next year. I have a question about winterizing them- do I cut back their greenery and do I mulch them? I have read a couple articles on it and 1 says to mulch and 1 says not to. I paid a lot of money for these on Breck's catalog and really want them to come up this year. Thanks!! P.S- I am a novice and have have never winterized anything. -Kristen

Dakota County Minnesota irises bearded iris

3 Responses

Hi Kristen,
Irises are certainly spectacular plants and it is no wonder that they would catch your eye and start that seductive "plant envy" thing that so many of us Minnesota gardeners develop!

While there are some varieties of iris that are native to Mn, and the northern states, most of the garden varieties are hybrids or some other species of iris. These plants need a bit more coddling than our natives do. Here are some links that will give you lots of information about irises. The plants that rotted away on you may have been able to survive if you were a bit more familiar with the needs and the culture of these often, persnickety plants. Don't be discouraged. Many people in Mn. are able to grow wonderful iris booms - but hardly any of them did so on their first try!

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1267.html
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/dg1113.html
http://irismn.net/rebloomers.htm

Thanks for contacting AaE. Please do so again if you have further questions..

Thanks for your response, Mary! The link says to mulch after first frost which I shall do! Wish me luck !! I love TBI so much I have more coming in the mail this week- a re blooming collection :)
thanks again
Kristen

Good luck Kristen - especially with the new rhizomes you are expecting. I'm a bit concerned that it is late in the year to be planting iris (usually late August-Sept. is the best time), but if you mulch, and water them well they may survive their first winter in your yard.

Mary