How to Divide Irises

Learn How to Divide Iris Bulbs for Spectacular Blooms, Season After Season


Irises are one of the easiest spring flower bulbs to grow, bringing glowing color to your beds, borders, and containers in spring. Learn when to divide iris bulbs for the best results.

Dividing Irises: Dwarf Iris


Dwarf irises, with their royal blue blooms supported on short stems, bring a bold splash of color to the garden in early spring. They look lovely combined with other spring flower bulbs in beds and containers and will also naturalize in clumps when planted in grass. The best time to divide iris is in early fall. After blooming, cut off the stem but leave the foliage through summer. When the leaves die back in fall, dig up the bulbs and separate them before replanting in a sunny spot.

Dividing Irises: Dutch Iris


Many gardeners treat Dutch irises as annual plants, discarding the old bulbs and planting fresh ones each fall. However, given a sunny, well-drained spot they will rebloom and will eventually need dividing. Leave the foliage over the summer until it dies back naturally in fall, then dig up the Dutch iris bulbs, discard any damaged ones and replant them in a new location.

Dividing Irises: Siberian Iris


Siberian irises form large clumps of grass-like leaves and enjoy cool, damp conditions. They are perennial and will bloom for several seasons. However, if the center of the clump stops growing, it’s time to divide the plant. The best time to divide Siberian iris is in summer, after blooming. Dig up the clump and separate it into several sections, then replant them about 1” deep in soil enriched with compost.

Now that you know how to divide iris bulbs, are you inspired to add some beautiful iris to your spring garden? Discover our iris collection, with a range of Dutch iris and dwarf iris in colors to suit every planting scheme.

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