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Materials List
  • Butcher knife
  • Spade
  • Pruning shears

The first step in dividing an iris is to dig up the plant. Take care not to damage the root system while digging.
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Shake any excess dirt from the root ball and trim the leaves and roots by about half their length. It is important to leave some vegetation on top. You should also remove any dead or dying leaves at this time.
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The old rhizomes store the plant's energy for next year, so you'll want at least part of one on each division.
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You should be able to tell where to make your division just by feeling around the roots. Generally, a couple parts of the plant will feel loosely connected to each other, and that's where you want to make your cut.
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In addition to part of an old rhizome, each division should have 2-3 fans on it. Any fewer and it probably won't bloom next year.
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Dust any cuts with fungicide and plant your divisions as soon as possible. Bury them at the same level that they were at when you dug them up. The uppermost rhizome should be sticking a little bit out of the soil.