Gardening
10:42 am
Tue October 15, 2013

How To Divide A Pacific Coast Iris

Seattle gardener Marty Wingate loves the Pacific Coast iris: it's a native plant, so it doesn't require summer watering, it has a nice grassy look and it thrives in partial shade.

Gardener Marty Wingate and her Pacific Coast iris in full bloom.
Credit KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman and Marty Wingate courtesy photo.

The fall is a great time to divide this iris. It is dormant in the summer, but with the fall rain, it starts to shoot out new growth.

Credit KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

You'll need to use a garden fork to lift the plant up a little; it's not a very upright plant with its leaves tending to sprawl outward. You're looking for pink little nodes that indicate new growth.

Credit KUOW Photo/Marcie Silman

Cut this piece as far back as you can get with your garden trimmers.

Credit KUOW Photo/Marcie Silman
Credit KUOW Photo/Marcie Silman

Plant with stem horizontal, roots heading down in soil, but don’t bury too deeply. You may need to anchor it with a stone.

In a couple weeks, the iris will start to shoot forth new leaves, like this one to the right.

And then, in May, you can expect a lovely yellow flower, one iteration of the Pacific Coast iris.

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