London (change)
15 messages
26/04/2013 at 13:13

The RHS advice is to divide these in early autumn, but by then the leaves have long gone and I am never sure where they are. Can I lift them earlier, like at the end of May, when I can still locate them, and dry / store the bulbs like I would with daffodils? 

26/04/2013 at 13:23

Reading Gardener's World mag from last April, Adam Pascoe says to lift and divide them as soon as they have flowered. Cut the leaves back to around a third of their length to stop the plant rocking in the wind.

26/04/2013 at 13:30

Thanks Freesia. Was the article referring to early bulb irises like Katherine Hodgkin or to later rhizome irises? I know that's the right advice for the latter.  

26/04/2013 at 15:37

Oops, I looked a the title and thought, who the heck is Iris Katharine Hodgkin!

26/04/2013 at 15:55


26/04/2013 at 15:59

Gold1locks- any tips of how to establish these small irises?

2x now have tried with different varieties- dry tubers & 'in the green' & neither reappeared the following spring. We do have a large number of squirrels, but they tend to go for the crocus & small red tulips. J.

26/04/2013 at 16:21

Mine have been in for years and are spreading by division. I read somewhere that they can be fairly shortlived but not in my garden! We have no squirrels around here, mind (thank goodness! I fought a running battle with hoards of them in the past, and could tell you some funny stories about it. I 'sort of' won in the end, but they were forever trying to regain the initiative. 

26/04/2013 at 17:44

Iris K. Hodgkin is not like a lot of the other dawrf Spring flowering Iris (reticulata species and forms), it makes nice clumps and spread well.  It obviously does grow well from dried bulbs, hence the millions on sale in Autumn.  I would want to wait untiil the leaves had gone before I dug them up though. Possibly oonce they have begun to go yellow might be ok. Otherwise, why not take up the clump and put it in a pot until they have died down, at least them you know where they are.

26/04/2013 at 17:44

This tine font is very hard to use and check the spelling as one goes along.

26/04/2013 at 18:52

Thanks, Berghill.  I'll stick a label in the middle of a clump for now. 

26/04/2013 at 21:45

A friend dug up some of his clump whilst they were in flower and gave them to me. I've got them in a pot to plant later. I haven't examined them but had assumed they would be rhizomes like the bearded iris but on a smaller scale. Are they in fact bulbs that I might dry off? They haven't died back yet.

26/04/2013 at 22:07

They are bulbs. . 

26/04/2013 at 22:09

I'll add them to the feed and dry off list, thank you Gold1locks

27/04/2013 at 10:09

Have you tried the I Frank Elder or I Sheila Ann Germaney, or the I K Hodgkin dark form? The first too are very similar to Kathryn,and I have only seen the latter in shows.

27/04/2013 at 12:55

Katherine hasn't impressed me enough to go looking for more Berghill. I find the bog standard reticulata more to my taste.

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