To keep your iris plants looking their best, it's important to trim them at the right time. To start, remove the heads of dead flowers once they have wilted and started to fade in late spring and early summer. In mid-fall, cut the leaves back to about 3 inches above the soil line. Then, rake up the fall leaves and remove any other debris that covers the rhizomes.
It's possible to grow lilies from seed, but it's more common to grow them from rhizomes or bulbs. To plant bulbs or rhizomes in containers or flowerbeds, start by digging a trench with a garden tractor. Place the iris in the trench and cover with soil. You can also start iris flowers from seed, but you won't get a second flower by cutting off the flower of a wilted iris (except for certain cultivars).
To extend the flowering season, plant more than one cultivar. During periods of drought (longer than three or four weeks), water your iris plants deeply every 3 or 4 weeks, depending on the temperature. Fertilize in early spring, about 6 to 8 weeks before flowering and again after the flowers have disappeared. To prevent future problems with iris borers, properly trim and clean your iris plants in the fall.
If you're ready to bring lilies to your garden, you can order many types of iris flowers online. The University of Minnesota Extension provides detailed instructions on how to identify iris borers when inspecting your plants in spring and summer. Irises are a beautiful addition to any garden idea, and their delicate flowers and soft colors stand out beautifully in cottage garden ideas.