When Is The Best Time To Transplant Irises?

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Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Tony Manhart

One of the ways of caring for your iris plant is to transplant it. You might be wondering when is the best time to transplant your irises.

Iris plants are prone to becoming overcrowded every 2 to 3 years. This overcrowding may tend to stop your iris plant from blooming well.

It is crucial to divide and transplant your iris plant at the right time of the year. This will make sure your plant enjoys the most from the division.

How to Know the Best Time to Transplant Irises

The Best Period to Transplant Irises

  • Summer/ Fall: The best time to transplant irises is usually in late summer till early fall. During this period, the iris must have bloomed enough.
  • Temperature: Transplant your irises when the temperature is around 40 degrees and 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Transplanting your iris plant around this period will allow your plant to thrive well just before winter comes.

Also, you may be given an iris plant in a container around the early year.  You can proceed to transplant. You don’t have to necessarily wait for the appropriate time to plant. Get them transplanted to the ground as soon as it’s convenient for you.

Buy one of the many Iris varieties from NatureHills.com or a Louisiana Iris Plant from Amazon.

The Best Period to Transplant Irises

Dividing and Transplanting the Irises

Iris plants usually get overcrowded so you will need to divide your iris plant. Overcrowding of the iris plant can subject the rhizome to lose its liveliness and stop generating good blooms. Therefore, one of the important ways of caring for your iris plant is to divide and transplant it.

So when your iris becomes overcrowded, that’s a sign for you to divide and transplant in new soil. Let’s take a look at the steps in dividing and transplanting:

  • Pick the appropriate period to divide your iris. The best time is late summer and early fall.
  • Dig out the clusters of iris with a spade or fork.
  • Separate the mother plant from the offshoot roots. Dispose of the mother plant because it can no longer produce a bloom.
  • Examine the root of the plant. Check for any rotten tissues and remove infected or unhealthy areas.
  • The leaves should also be trimmed down to about 3 to 5 inches. This will help the plant establish new growth.
  • Replant your fresh rhizomes in a new bed.
  • Wet your plant every week and watch them grow.

Learn more about iris plant care and division in this video.

Transplanting Outside Summer or fall

Sometimes we might get a little busy and forget to check on the iris plant if it’s overcrowded. You can divide and transplant your iris in spring and still get a bloom. But sometimes you may not get a bloom. So there you have your options.

When Can I Transplant Iris in Zone 8?

Knowing when can you transplant Iris in Zone 8 is important if you don’t want to cause any damage to your plant when moving it. In this zone, the summer and beginning of the fall season would be ideal times to transfer your Iris plants. This is because, during this time, these plants have passed their flowering season, indicating that they are ready to be rehoused.

It is their dormant or resting period so they don’t mind being repotted or replanted in the ground. However, take heed of when your plant has stopped blooming and wait at least six weeks to lift and divide it. Remember to prune flower stalks that appear wilted. This should be done with precision as they must be cut as closest to the foliage as possible.

How Do You Transplant Wild Iris?

So, how do you transplant wild Iris? This is a quick and easy task that takes little effort if you know what you’re doing. Take note of the following information to ensure that you transplant your wild Iris plant with no hassle. To begin, you would need to divide your iris rhizomes to get them ready for replanting. Then, trim all the leaves back to about 15 to 23 cm. The reason for cutting them back is to allow the plant roots to re-establish themselves with less foliage which will result in lesser stress.

Once you have selected a spot in your garden or if you’re transferring them to a prepared pot, you can begin to plant them. Ensure that the soil supporting your wild Iris plants has excellent drainage properties and that the plant is exposed to at least eight hours of daily sunlight. The hole to plant the rhizomes should be dug just below the surface of the ground when planting. Ensure that your Iris is properly spaced if you are planting more than one and spread out the roots before covering them with soil. Thereafter, you should feed your plant enough water and monitor them as they grow.

When Can You Transplant Dutch Iris?

It is essential to know when can you transplant Dutch Iris in your region. These glorious plants are considered annuals by many gardeners who usually resort to acquiring fresh bulbs during the fall season. But, these plants often naturalize and flower again in the coming spring season. Transplanting your Dutch Iris plants in the early fall season is recommended for the best results. If you find that your plant has become too bunched up, this would be the ideal indication to separate and move them. Remember to wait until the foliage has completely died back before replanting your Iris.

How Do You Transplant African Iris?

If you are looking for answers regarding when you transplant African Iris, then take heed of the following information. To begin with, in your replanting endeavor, inspect your plant for any spent flower stems or browsing foliage that should be visible after the blooming season comes to an end. The next step would be to get rid of the flawed steps and leaves and then separate the rhizomes into three different sections.

When doing this, make sure that each parted section has healthy roots that are white and a couple of fanned leaves attached. Thereafter, transplant each one into a nutrient-rich soil mix that has exceptional drainage properties. You can now water your plant thoroughly.

Can You Move Irises in Winter?

If you have ever wondered, if can you move irises in winter, then here are a few things you need to know. In most cases, it is best to transplant your irises after their flowering season has ended. This is from the summer months into the early fall season.  However, this does not mean that you cannot move them in the winter months. Depending on how severe the cold season gets in your region, there are a few things you can do to ensure that transferring them won’t affect their health and growth.

The trick is to transplant them as quickly as possible to avoid their roots from being overly exposed to low temperatures. To do this, you would have to have the new plant pot or hole in the ground already prepared so that the transfer is swift. If you follow these simple steps, you will have no problem moving your plant in winter. However, it is advised that you only replant your iris during winter if their health and growth are threatened.

Where is The Best Place to Plant an Iris?

When looking at where is the best place to plant an iris, there are a few things that you should take into consideration. This is because these plants require full sun exposure to grow their best and bloom. This means that your iris plant should be carefully placed in a spot that gets about six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily.

Although they are quite hardy and can do with a minimum of six hours of the sun’s rays to aid them in growing their best, this would not be an ideal situation. This is because if these plants don’t get the amount of sunlight that they need, their flowering capabilities will be extremely flawed. Also keep in mind that if you have bearded iris plants, avoid shading them with other plants if you are looking forward to abundant blooms. Affording them their own space would prove very beneficial for this reason.

Can You Plant Different Color Iris Together?

Avid iris gardeners sometimes ask, can you plant different color iris together? The answer is yes, you actually can mix them up. You can opt to mix the pale yellows and soft white, pinks, or blue varieties or you can opt to add in deeper shades if you wish. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

However, ensure that you give each plant ample space to grow. Therefore, planting them at least 40cm apart is recommended to maintain them properly. A mixture of colored iris plants would be a great addition to any garden as it has the eye-catching ability to enhance any landscape when properly cared for.

In summary

  • The appropriate time to transplant your iris plant is late summer to early fall.
  • The Iris plant does get overcrowded. Therefore dividing and transplanting is one of the basic care for your iris plant.
  • You can transplant your iris plant outside the summer or fall period. Sometimes you get a bloom, other times you might not get a bloom.



How do you dig up irises and replant?

When you dig up an iris, regardless of where it's from, what type of soil the plant is in and what time of day or night you are digging, the process remains relatively the same.

You should first remove as much soil as possible without disturbing the roots by using a shovel or hoe. This will help prevent damage to the root system. Then you should use a trowel to carefully scoop out more soil until you can see a mass of roots that is not too wet. Once you have removed enough soil and seen where your iris is planted, use your hands to gently loosen up the roots by pushing them away from their home in order to expose them. Finally, use your fingers so that they are flat and spread out so that they can be easily removed and placed elsewhere.

Can you leave iris bulbs in the ground?

Iris bulbs can be left in the ground for up to 3 years, but if you find them at a nursery before then, it's best to plant them immediately so they do not get damaged by freezing temperatures or mold.

Storing your iris bulbs in a cool dark place like your garage can also help to keep them from drying out.

What is the best fertilizer for irises?

The best fertilizer for irises is a mixture of compost and peat moss.

There are other fertilizers that may work well, but these two are the most common.

How do you dig up irises and replant?

Iris are a group of flowering plants. They are usually planted in groups called clumps.

Irises need to be planted at least 6-8 inches apart. They can be planted in the ground or in containers like pots, bowls, and window boxes. The soil should be well-drained and rich with organic material like peat moss, compost, or bark.

The iris plant needs about 6 to 8 inches of water per week to survive in the garden.

Do irises like full sun or shade?

Irises like full sun because they can produce more blooms in full sunlight. When planted in partial shade, their blooms will be less abundant.
In sunny regions, irises can be planted in any type of soil as long as there is plenty of sun for them to grow and flourish. In areas that receive less sunlight, the plant should be planted in a raised bed or a container with a rich soil mix.

What is the best soil for irises?

Irises require a well-drained and light soil. Some of the most popular soils for irises include: peat moss, cedar bark, pine needles, leaf mold, loam, composted manure or wood chips.

All of these are fine as long as you are sure that they are well-drained and provide plenty of room for drainage.

Is Epsom salt good for irises?

Epsom salt is an inorganic compound containing magnesium and sulfate.

Some people think that Epsom salt can be used to nourish flowers, but this has not been scientifically studied. When you pour it on the soil near the roots of your irises, it will not provide any nutrients to the flowers themselves. If you want to enrich your irises with magnesium or sulfur, you should use other products like fertilizer or compost instead of Epsom salts.
It is documented in the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, "that Epsom salts are often mistakenly used to treat chlorotic (yellow) leaves. Chlorosis is caused by lack of chlorophyll or iron, which can be corrected by adding iron or any fertilizer with an adequate balance of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Epsom salts contain neither of these nutrients."

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