When to cut back irises: Top tips for maintaining your garden

Gardening: Expert demonstrates how to deadhead flowers

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Irises are beautiful flowers and there are more than 70,000 registered varieties. Iris flowers begin blooming in the late winter period until the early spring. Iris flowers are particularly attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds so it is best to plant them in places where you can enjoy looking at this wildlife.

Irises are renowned for their colourful appearance and markings.

These flowers can be grown in a variety of places including along margins of ponds and in damp soil along borders, banks, pots and rockeries.

The iris flower takes its name from the Greek goddess of the rainbow.

Irises have been long associated with French and England royalty, courtesy of the Fleur-de-Lis symbol.

How to grow iris flowers

Irises are hardy perennial plants with colourful blooms during late spring and early summer.

These sprout flowers on tall, stout stems above clumps of sword-shaped leaves.

These flowers need soil which remains moist and does not dry out at any time of the year, especially in the summer months.

You should plant bulbous iris flowers in autumn.

Border irises can be planted from late summer to autumn, or in the spring period.

You should plant them so the top half of the fleshy root or rhizome is above ground and exposed to the sun.

Iris sibirica should be planted with the top of the root ball at ground level.

When planting irises, it is important to remember the bulb iris needs full sun.

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When to cut back irises

You should allow leaves of bulbous irises to die back naturally so the bulb can build up energy for the next year.

Make sure to take steps to prevent bulbs from getting too wet, especially in winter.

If the bulbs get too wet, they can rot.

You should cut back the flowering stalks of iris plants after flowering.

Leave the foliage on your iris plants intact so it can continue to gather.

Make sure to store the nutrients and energy to be stored for the following season.

Trim the leaves off at ground level after they turn yellow in the autumn.

By trimming the leaves at this time, you will reduce the possibility of overwintering diseases or pests.

It looks better if you cut back your irises after the blooms fade.

In late autumn after a frost, cut back the leaf fans of bearded irises with scissors or a knife.

Make sure to cut back the flower around two to four inches above the ground.

Beardless irises die back on their own.

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