One of my favorite plants in my garden is my Purple Irises, not only for the lovely tall flowers, but also because they were a gift from my neighbor from her garden. She was dividing her Irises, and kindly shared some with me.

ForIirises to flourish, they need to be divided into smaller plants when clumps become crowded and the flowering declines. I have “Bearded Irises” which grow from rhizomes…thick underground stems.

To divide Bearded Irises, it’s best to divide immediately after they’ve flowered so the plants will have the maximum amount of time to recover before winter.


Try to choose a cool, cloudy day. Lift the entire clump with a sturdy border fork, and discard any withered or dry parts. Rhizomes should be cut into pieces with a sharp knife, making sure each has a growing point or foliage “fan.” Replant the rhizomes at soil level, and do not apply mulch as it encourages rot.

If you have more than your garden can handle, pass some along to your friends and neighbors. Be sure to tell them to plant them within a day or two. Maybe that’ll become one of their most cherished plants too.