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I had a pot of indoor dwarf iris given to me as a gift. The flowers have now died so I dead-headed them, but now they have gone crazy and the plants have grown to around 35cm. What do I do with them now?
Per this site,
Irises cannot be forced a second time indoors. If you want to keep them, allow the foliage to die back naturally, cut off the stems, then store the bulbs in a cool, dry place. Plant the bulbs in a sunny site with well-drained soil in the fall. Dwarf iris plants are hardy to Zone 5 and naturally bloom in early spring.
I am not sure if you can grow these outdoors or not. If you can then after this growning season and the flowers and leaves dry off naturally move them outside next spring. Allow them to grow outdoors. it is not such a good idea to trim them back. I have done this and I have never had an issue.
I am not an 'Iris' expert but I have gained some knowledge due to being given a very nice yellow Iris bulb last year.
Dwarf Iris are said to grow up to 5-6 inches so I'm not sure you have a true 'dwarf' Iris.
You do not say where you live or if you have an outdoor space to plant your Iris so any suggestion could be erroneous for your location.
If you cannot plant outdoors then I would suggest you just leave your plant alone until fall and then decide what to do with it as bulbs need a cold area part of the year.
If you have space, it's possible you could transplant it to a larger pot (with good drainage).
Hardy in zones 3-9, they need a winter chill to thrive. If you live in a warm zone, you can chill the bulbs before planting to mimic the effect of winter. In cooler zones, they are easy-care, long-lived bulbs that will multiply and return year after year.
"Dwarf Iris bulbs will flower in the early Spring. After the flowers die down, the plant can enjoy a warm rest period. You don't have to water too much during this rest period. Leaves will also die back and start to yellow. At this point, you can choose to tidy up the plant and remove the old leaves."
Be sure to divide your Iris and replant outside or into more pots.
here is a good site to learn about Iris.
Can bare root miniature iris tubers be held in a cool place over winter and replanted in spring?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By JoAnn Walker from Madison, WI
Unless you're moving and want to take them with you just leave them in the ground and they'll be just fine :-) I lived through 15 Michigan Winters and had dozens of Iris' both regular and miniature and never had a problem. Just had to divide them every three or four years in the Spring ;-)
In your zone after the ground has frozen, I would lay down mulch over the iris area. Iris are notorious for frost heaving because they are so shallowly planted. Frost heaving happens when there are freeze/thaw cycles over the course of the winter season. Even in my zone 6a the Iris will heave out of the soil.
If you lay your mulch down AFTER the ground has frozen it will help keep the ground frozen until you remove it. Just don't lay it down over the iris before the ground has frozen to avoid rot problems (that goes for any plants that are susceptible to crown rot from excessive and prolonged moisture. You will also want to remove that mulch/rake it aside, ect. as soon as possible in spring for that very reason so moisture does not get trapped and the ground can warm up faster. BTW I use wheat straw often with a mix of fall leaves for winter mulch.
Can the irises from grocery store chains be transplanted outside in the spring? Will they survive over the winter in zone 3?
By Gayle D.
I hope so, I just bought two tired pots from the grocery store hoping to plant them outside. I'm in zone 5b. Poking around here trying to figure out how to handle them before planting.