KC Gardens

Can I move irises now?

QUESTION:

I need the space to plant day lilies that is currently occupied by iris. While I know the fall is the recommended time to move iris, what would the consequences be if I moved them now? Much thanks! - Foy

ANSWER:

Should you transplant Iris now? No. Can you try? Yes. But there are some concerns.

The best time to transplant Iris is when they are dormant in July and August, when it is typically hot and dry. My concern with transplanting now is the saturated soils in our area and, sadly, a lack of sun, both of which would make it difficult for the iris to reestablish themselves, and could cause the rhizomes to rot. Additionally, as they are not dormant yet, you may affect the bloom for next year. Here is the link to the KSU bulletin on Iris care: http://www.hfrr.ksu.edu/doc3175.ashx which you may find helpful.

It would be best to wait to transplant if you can, by locating the day lilies temporarily in another spot, then transplanting the day lilies in the fall, after you have moved the Iris in July or August. Hope this helps to answer your question. Carole-Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

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