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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:12 am
Location: NW Washington

flagstaff iris barely blooming

I have a flagstaff iris that has been in the same spot for 7 years. It used to get tons of bud stems and bloom beautifully. Now it is 3 feet across in a perfect circle and there are only 7 bud stems on it! (Last few years it has been about the same)
It is so huge and dense I can't divide it with a shovel and can't imagine how to begin to dig the thing up.
It isn't crowded around the perimiter. Any thoughts?

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Posts: 7646
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

Well, division is what it needs, if you want it to bloom like it used to. That's just the way irises are. If you're unable to dig it up yourself, perhaps you can coax a friend, family member or neighbor into doing it for you. My experience has been that I'm usually able to divide the tubers by hand, once someone has dug up the clump for me.

I have better luck using a digging fork, rather than a shovel. If you have 2 digging forks, they can be used to break apart the main clump when it comes out of the ground, so you have more manageable sections to work with.

I have a friend who wants starts of some of my irises. She's 20+ years younger than I, and offered to do the digging. I'll be out there to make sure everything is done correctly, but I'm really not worried. She has a lovely place of her own. :)

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