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7 Effective Ways to Get an Iris to Bloom Again

7 Effective Ways to Get an Iris to Bloom Again

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The iris plant is an excellent choice for people who are looking to add a few more plants to their property. There are several varieties of the iris plant that provide gorgeous blooms, especially when they are placed in the sunny areas of the landscape.

Usually, the iris flowers are going to bloom sometime between the late winter and the early spring, and you will notice a spectrum of different colors adorning your flower bed as these beautiful flowers come to life.

Once you have established the growing iris, the care for your iris plant is going to be quite minimal. The bearded iris is by far the most commonly planted flower in the country. Its height ranges from just around three inches and can grow as high as four feet for the tallest one.

On average, the flower is able to reach a height of around two feet. If you have planted the iris flower in your garden and want to see that beautiful bloom, there are a few things that you can do.

With proper care and just a few changes every now and then, your iris flowers are going to start blooming. If you are going to rebloom the irises, they can easily bloom a second time, giving you another full set of flowers once the first set withers off.

If you want your flowers to bloom first and then again, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.

1 – Depth of the Rhizome

Irises In A Small Pot

For those who don’t know, a rhizome is regarded as a plant stem that is situated either at the level of the surface or underground. It contains a series of nodes from which the roots are going to grow for the plant. They are unique because they tend to grow perpendicular to the ground.

So, the first thing that you need to do is check the depth of the rhizome. If the rhizomes are planted too deep, the irises are not going to bloom. Unlike the corms or the bulbs of the plant, rhizomes are best placed just under the soil. If you put them in too deep, you are doing it wrong.

If your irises are planted in clay soil, make sure that half of the rhizome remains above the ground.

2 – Work on the Sunlight Conditions

Iris In Bright Sunlight

One of the most common reasons why irises fail to bloom is because they are often kept in the shade. You need to make sure that your irises get quite a bit of sunlight. Most of the iris varieties require at least six hours of sun per day. That is what ultimately pushes the flower to bloom.

If you have planted the irises in a shaded area, you might want to consider transplanting them to a more open and exposed area, where they will be allowed to receive more sun.

3 – Protection From the Spring Frost

Iris In Frost

The early spring frost can be deadly for your irises and can cause the plant to die if you are not careful. If you want your irises to bloom again, you need to protect them from that early spring frost. Once the plant has produced buds, you need to be incredibly careful and protective of it.

If not, the buds are going to die a premature death and will not bloom. A simple way to offer protection is to drape a burlap sheep or any light fabric on a pole that surrounds the iris. Keep in mind that the cover should go all the way to the ground so as to trap the heat around the plant.

Usually frost occurs at night, so you should cover it up by then. Then, you can remove the covers in the morning to allow that wonderful sunlight exposure.

4 – Fertilize the Plant

Adding Fertilizer To Soil

During the early spring, you need to fertilize the irises, especially when they begin to grow. To get the irises to bloom again, you should apply the fertilizer a month after the first bloom. This is going to keep the plant healthy and will improve its quality too.

Always use a fertilizer that is labeled to be used with bulbs. Look for one that has a “6-10-10” label on it. Make sure you check the product label to ensure that you do not add more than necessary, as that could end up killing the plant.

Always add at least one inch of water to the plant when you fertilize it.

5 – Remove the Blooms

Cutting Dried Flowers Off Of Irises

Once the iris blooms have faded, you need to remove them carefully. You can use a pair of scissors to cut the stalks. A hand clipper will do just as well too.

Removing the dead flowers will help conserve energy for the iris plant, allowing it to rebloom soon after, and you might see different varieties as well!

6 – Do Not Remove Green Foliage

Always remember not to remove foliage when it is green. The energy is often stored here in the rhizomes for the next bloom, so killing it will cause a blow to the plant itself.

One of the main reasons why irises fail to bloom is because growers tend to cut the foliage too quickly. Never remove the foliage when it is lush green.

7 – Divide the Irises

Multiple Irises

The best way to get the irises to bloom is to divide them across the garden, especially when there’s crowding due to the green growth. If you think that the plants are producing less flowers than they should, you should simply transplant them across the garden.

Also, cut and remove the dead foliage by at least two-thirds during the late summer so that the plant has plenty of space to grow as well.

These are just a few things that you should know about getting your irises to bloom again. Make sure you follow these tips and check on your plants regularly to keep them in good health.

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Judi Armbuster

Saturday 3rd of June 2023

I transplanted many iris from my old home and it has been almost 7 years and most have not bloomed. I have amended the soil with compost and make sure the bulbs are not buried. Some I dug up and planted in cinder blocks and they seem to like it and three have bloomed - only one in the ground has done so. I guess the soil here is not good enough? broken down granite, oak leaves(live oak) and pine needles. The ones in the blocks got organic potting soil but many still have not produced!

MB Foster

Sunday 3rd of July 2022

Thank you! I've moved from a northern-US to a southern-US climate, and I wasn't at all sure that I knew how to grow irises down here. Your tips were reassuring.

Glenys Holland

Wednesday 8th of June 2022

Very informative thank you.

Sharon Cressey

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

Good information about growing irises. Especially, the fertilizing and planting depth. I knew the depth effected the growth, but wasn't passing that to my helper. The article was motivating. Thanks!

Jon Beard

Monday 28th of June 2021

I divided my Iris last Fall and planted them correctly. I made the mistake of spreading some mulch (about an inch deep) in the Spring. 6/28 and 85 very healthy and well spaced Iris with no sign of any flowers. I tried to correct by digging around by hand and exposing the rhizomes. Is it too little to late to expect any blooms this year? - JOn