German Bearded Irises

By: Lucinda Miller – Grounds Crew and Science educator (retired) – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

Autumn is the perfect time to plant and divide perennials, especially irises. As mentioned in last week’s article, Bloch’s Farm has a wide variety of irises, including German Bearded iris and German reblooming iris. 

There are two types of German Bearded irises; the standard iris that blooms in May and June and the reblooming irises that you may see in gardens now. Color selection is a personal choice as there are over 60 iris genera with at least 2,000 cultivars.

Dividing and planting German Bearded iris is quite easy. Lift the German Bearded iris rhizomes with a spading fork; separate the plants by teasing them apart. Shaking off the dirt makes it easy to inspect the plants. Removing any soft or diseased rhizome parts, and trimming the leaves back to short fans helps break the cycle of the iris borer. Always burn the diseased rhizomes and cut off leaves; do not just toss them into the compost.

            Replant the divisions shallowly, allowing some of the rhizome to show above the soil. Planting German Bearded irises in clusters gives a better show of bloom than planting them in rows. Cover the roots carefully and water well.

Bloch’s Farm is open 8 am to 5 pm Monday – Saturday, closed Sundays. We have fall bulbs and annuals available. Also, check out our huge selection of perennials (including our large selection of irises), trees, and shrubs. Stop in today and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you. Feel free to call 920-294-6000 or e-mail with any questions. Visit our website online at and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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