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Frequently Asked Questions About Irises


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Question: Should I cut back iris leaves after bloom?
Answer: Many irisarians recommend leaving healthy green leaves intact throughout the growing season to allow plants to absorb as much light and food as possible for the next bloom season. Exceptions include dead, dying, or diseased foliage which should be removed. Many gardeners also cut back iris fans to about 6" when transplanting irises to help plants remain upright until they have rooted in adequately to hold themselves erect. Some people also find it necessary to remove or cut back leaves if plants are being grazed and uprooted by wildlife such as deer or if they have a significant problem with iris borers laying eggs on foliage in late fall.

If green iris leaves are cut back, it is best todo so as late in the growing season as possible and leave the leaves as long as possible. Cutting leaves is preferable to pulling them off, especially on recently planted irises that may be easily uprooted.


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