How to Transplant Irises: A Step-by-Step Guide.

To transplant irises, first choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. Dig a hole twice the width of the root ball and deep enough to accommodate it without burying the rhizomes.

Carefully remove the irises from their current location, being sure to keep the root ball intact. Place the irises in the prepared hole and backfill with soil, tamping it down gently to remove any air pockets. Water thoroughly and apply a layer of mulch.

Irises are stunning spring and summer bloomers, adding vibrant hues of blue, purple, yellow, and white to any garden. While they don’t require a lot of care, transplanting irises is necessary to prevent overcrowding and ensure vigorous growth and bloom. Whether you’re moving them to a new spot in your garden or dividing and sharing them with friends, here are some tips for transplanting irises successfully.

How to Transplant Irises: A Step-by-Step Guide.


When To Transplant Irises

Transplanting irises can be a daunting task, but it’s necessary to do it occasionally for the health of your plants. Here’s a guide on when and how to transplant irises.

The Best Time To Transplant Irises

The best time to transplant irises is in the late summer or early fall. This time gives the plant enough time to develop new roots before winter arrives. It’s also a time when the plant is dormant, which makes it easier to transplant without causing any damage.

Signs That Indicate It Is Time To Transplant Irises

Knowing when it’s time to transplant irises is important. One sign is when the plant has become overcrowded. If you notice that the leaves in the center of the plant are turning yellow and dying, it’s a sign that the plant needs more space.

Another sign is when you notice that the plant has stopped producing flowers. Irises need enough space and nutrients to produce flowers, and when the plant is overcrowded, it will focus on survival rather than reproduction.

Factors To Consider Before Transplanting Irises

Before transplanting irises, there are a few factors you need to consider.

  • The soil: Irises prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Make sure the soil in the new location is suitable for the plant.
  • The location: Irises need plenty of sunlight, preferably at least six hours a day. Make sure the new location is not too shady.
  • The timing: As mentioned earlier, the best time to transplant irises is in the late summer or early fall.
  • Water: Make sure your newly transplanted irises get enough water, especially during the first few weeks. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
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By following these tips and guidelines, you’ll be able to successfully transplant irises without causing any damage and keep them healthy for years to come.

Preparing Irises For Transplanting

How To Prepare Irises For Transplantation

Transplanting irises is a great way to revitalize a garden or make room for new plants. However, before transplanting, it is essential to prepare irises properly to ensure they have the best chance of survival.

Tools And Materials Needed For The Job

Before starting, gather all the tools and materials you will need:

  • A garden fork or shovel
  • Pruning shears or a sharp knife
  • A bucket with lukewarm water
  • A bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water)
  • A clean, dry towel or paper towels

Cleaning And Soaking Iris Rhizomes

  • Start by digging up the clump of irises: Use a garden fork or shovel to dig up the clump of irises. Be careful not to damage the rhizomes.
  • Divide the clump: Once the clump is out of the ground, use pruning shears or a sharp knife to divide it into smaller sections. Each new section should have a healthy fan of leaves and a few firm, plump rhizomes.
  • Trim roots and leaves: Remove any dead roots or leaves from the rhizomes and trim the foliage to about six inches long.
  • Prepare a bleach solution: Mix one part bleach to nine parts water in a bucket.
  • Soak the rhizomes: Carefully place the rhizomes in the bleach solution and soak them for 15 minutes. The bleach will help prevent disease and pests from infecting the new plantings.
  • Rinse the rhizomes: After soaking, remove the rhizomes from the bleach solution and rinse them with lukewarm water. Be sure to remove any debris or dead material.
  • Dry the rhizomes: Allow the rhizomes to air dry for a few hours or use a clean, dry towel or paper towels to dry them thoroughly.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your irises are healthy and clean, ready for planting in their new location. Remember to choose a planting location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day and has well-draining soil.

Happy transplanting!

How To Transplant Irises Properly

Step By Step Guide On Transplanting Irises

Transplanting irises may seem like a daunting task, but with a little effort, you can easily transplant them and bring an additional splash of color to your garden.

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  • Begin by inspecting the plant for any diseases or pests. Ensure that the roots are healthy and clean before starting the transplanting process.
  • Use a garden fork or a spade to loosen up the soil around the iris plant. Be careful not to damage the rhizome while loosening the soil.
  • Gently lift the iris plant from the soil using your hands or a small shovel, making sure to place your hand under the rhizome for support.
  • Cut off any dead or damaged roots using a sharp and clean pair of pruning shears.
  • Choose a new location for the iris plant that has well-draining soil and is exposed to full sun or partial shade.
  • Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the iris rhizome and deep enough so that the top of the rhizome sits at soil level.
  • Create a mound of soil in the middle of the hole and place the iris rhizome on it, spreading the roots out naturally.
  • Fill the hole with soil and gently press down with your hand, making sure that the rhizome is covered, but the leaves are not buried.
  • Water the newly transplanted iris plant thoroughly.

Transplanting Irises In Pots Vs In Open Ground

Transplanting irises can be done either in pots or directly in the open ground.

Transplanting in pots:

  • Potted irises can be easily moved from one spot to another and are ideal for people who are renting or who have limited garden space.
  • Potted irises need more frequent watering and fertilizing than those in open ground.
  • Potted irises require more attention during the winter months as their roots are more susceptible to freezing.

Transplanting in open ground:

  • Iris plants in open ground tend to be more resilient to harsh weather conditions than those in pots.
  • Open ground irises need less maintenance, watering, and fertilizing than potted ones.
  • Open ground irises are likely to spread and multiply quickly, making them an ideal choice for gardeners who want to expand their collection of irises.

Best Practices For Planting Irises For Best Results

To make the most of your iris plants, it’s important to plant them correctly.

  • Plant irises in a location that is exposed to full sun or partial shade.
  • Make sure the soil is well-draining and has a ph level between 6. 0 and 7. 5.
  • Plant the iris rhizome just below the soil surface, making sure that the roots are well-spread out.
  • Water the newly planted rhizome thoroughly.
  • Mulch the soil around the plant to prevent weed growth and to keep the soil moist.
  • Fertilize the plant with a slow-release fertilizer during the growing season.
  • Divide and transplant the iris plants every three to four years to prevent overcrowding and to ensure healthy growth.
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By following these best practices, you can transplant irises without any hassle and enjoy these stunning flowers for years to come.

Maintenance After Transplanting Irises

Transplanting irises is a delicate process that requires careful consideration and preparation. Once the process is complete, you need to take special care to ensure that your irises flourish and reach their full potential. Here are some essential maintenance tips to follow to keep your newly transplanted irises healthy and happy.

The Care Required After Transplanting Irises

After transplanting irises, it’s essential to give them the care they need to encourage strong growth and blooming.

  • Keep an eye on the weather: Irises require regular watering to thrive, but at the same time, overwatering can also harm them. Keep an eye on the weather, and water them accordingly.
  • Keep the soil moist: Ensure that the soil remains moist, especially during the growing period. You can heavily water the soil and then use a mulch to keep the moisture in.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases: Stay vigilant for pests and diseases that may harm your newly transplanted irises. Spray with appropriate insecticides or fungicides to prevent any infestations.
  • Prune regularly: Regular pruning can help your irises to maintain their ideal shape and promote healthy growth. Remove any dead or diseased leaves and discard them.

How To Water Irises

Irises require regular watering to stay healthy and happy.

  • Water deeply and regularly: Deep watering encourages deeper root growth and helps the plant to establish itself.
  • Avoid overwatering: Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s essential to avoid watering to the point of saturation.
  • Water at the base: Avoid wetting the leaves and flowers when watering your irises. Water at the base of the plant to avoid damaging any flowers or leaves.

Fertilization Schedule For Irises

Irises require specific fertilizer for optimal growth and blooming.

  • Early spring: Apply a balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet.
  • Mid-spring: Apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer like a 5-10-10 to improve blooms at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet.
  • Late summer/early fall: Apply a higher potassium fertilizer like a 0-0-60, or bone meal to encourage root growth at the rate of two pounds per 100 square feet.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your transplanted irises thrive and bloom beautifully.


With the above-mentioned tips and steps, transplanting irises can be a fun and easy project that can give your garden a new boost of life. By choosing the right time of year, location and soil composition, along with dividing your rhizomes and ensuring proper maintenance, your irises should flourish in their new home.

Remember to be patient with your irises as they adjust to their new surroundings. While it may take a season or two for them to truly thrive, your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful blooms and a healthy garden. So, don’t hesitate to transplant your irises this season and enjoy their colorful flowers for years to come.

Happy gardening!