When to Prune Your Irises in Minnesota

Iris plants are best cut back in the fall. After the plants have finished flowering, spent flower stalks can be removed in spring. In mid-fall, cut the leaves to about 3 inches long above the soil line. Then, remove the trimmed foliage from the area, rake up the fall leaves, and clear any other debris that covers the rhizomes.

It usually takes several weeks for the iris leaves to die completely. According to the Utah State University Cooperative Extension, in early fall the leaves are usually ready to be cut about 6 to 8 inches above the ground. Wait until after the first hard frost to remove the remaining foliage to the ground. If you don't like the look of yellowing foliage, you can trim it little by little as it turns yellow, or fold the leaves back so that the yellow parts are hidden from view.

Irises are beautiful flowers that are easy to care for in the garden, but can be easy to forget once summer is over. To keep your flowers in top shape, get in the habit of trimming your irises every fall so that they can grow back once warm weather arrives. If your flowers seem to be a little cluttered, take some time to divide them and replant them so that each iris can get plenty of nutrients. This task doesn't require much gardening experience and can be completed with common gardening equipment, such as pruners and a garden fork.

After flowering, the plants remain dormant for the rest of the summer. Gardeners should cut the flower stalks, but leave the foliage standing. It's a nice vertical accent in the garden. When it turns yellow, it must be cut.

Peonies and irises have been Minnesota's favorite perennial plants for a long time. Peonies can easily outlive their gardeners and may not need to be divided or moved.The iris, especially the bearded iris, benefits from regular division and blooms best when divided regularly. August is a great time to divide these perennials. Irises are a wonderful addition to any garden idea, and their delicate flowers and soft colors stand out beautifully in cottage garden ideas.Here, gardening expert Rachel Crow has shared her tips on when to cut lilies and why it's crucial for prolonging their life.

Home gardeners may be tempted to cut the leaves once the flowers wilt, but it's important for the plant's health to leave them intact until they die naturally. Iris foliage and other debris should be removed from the garden area in fall, leaving the upper part of rhizomes clear and ready for sprouting in spring.Iris seed pods can be used to grow more iris plants as long as they are properly stored after harvest. With more than 250 species of irises around the world, these tall, colorful plants are attractive touches of color in many gardens. Bearded lilies are most commonly available in Minnesota and come in hundreds of varieties in colors ranging from dark purple to cream.The buds of peonies are found underground and if they are too protected and deep they may not accumulate their need for cooling and will not bloom.

Cutting iris leaves before they turn yellow deprives rhizome of important nutrients, meaning iris won't grow as well in spring.