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Iris care - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Iris care

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It's a great time of year for irises and not just blue ones, but the violet, white, red and yellow ones, too. They are just gorgeous and bearded irises are the ones that are the most popular. They are just exploding with color right now but some people might have some problems with irises.

Sometimes you'll have an iris clump that's just not blooming and there are a couple of different reasons for that to be happening. One of the reasons is it might be an old clump. It might be dying out in the center and just growing along the edge. If that's happening, then you need to dig and divide it. If you have a ring of irises that's your problem.

Dig and divide it around mid-summer or so. And then separate the irises rhizomes and replant. It will grow back probably in a year or so and start flowering again.

Another thing you'll find is the iris borer. It's an insect that bores into the leaves. You start seeing little signs of it here and even in the clump. It's cutting into the leaves and they start to yellow. This leaf is a good example of what happens down the road. Then it turns real yellow and the leaf dies back. If you start seeing little caterpillars in the leaf and especially if they get into the iris rhizomes, that's the borer. You'll want to rip that iris out and probably get rid of most of it unless there are some rhizomes that are really clean and have no borer signs. Just go buy new irises. Go shopping!

And the last thing is, of course, if they are not getting enough sun, they won't flower well. We have irises on the other side of our house, that are on the west side. You'd think they would bloom and look nice, but they aren't. There are spiky little leaves, but no flowers. And that's because they're just not getting enough sun. They like 6-8 hours of full sun a day, so we're going to move that one, probably in mid-summer or so. We'll move it over to this side of the house and maybe be a companion to this nice blue one.

~By Charlie Nardozzi

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