Should irises be deadheaded?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Deadheading irises can be beneficial for certain varieties, such as bearded irises and reblooming irises. While not all irises will produce multiple blooms, deadheading can help encourage further blooming throughout the season and also enhance the overall appearance of the plant.

Bearded irises, known for their distinctive “beard” of hairs on the lower petals, can benefit from deadheading because it can stimulate the plant to produce more flowers. By removing spent blooms, you prevent the plant from putting energy into seed production and instead redirect that energy into producing new flower buds. This can result in a longer blooming period and a more vibrant display of flowers.

Reblooming irises, as the name suggests, have the ability to bloom more than once in a season. Deadheading these irises is particularly important in order to encourage the plant to rebloom. By removing faded flowers, you not only improve the appearance of the plant but also promote the growth of new flower stalks, leading to multiple rounds of blooms throughout the season.

To deadhead irises, you can follow these simple steps:

1. Wait until the flowers have faded and the petals have started to wither. This usually occurs a few days after the bloom has opened.

2. Locate the flower stalk where the faded bloom is attached. It is usually a tall stem emerging from the center of the plant.

3. Follow the stalk down to where it meets the base of the plant, and use a pair of clean and sharp garden shears or scissors to cut off the entire stalk at this point. Make sure to avoid damaging any new growth or emerging flower buds nearby.

4. Dispose of the cut stalk in a compost bin or discard it, as it is no longer needed.

By regularly deadheading your irises, you can keep the plant looking tidy and prevent it from wasting energy on seed production. This can lead to stronger, healthier plants and a more abundant display of blooms throughout the growing season.

In my personal experience, deadheading has made a noticeable difference in the performance of my bearded and reblooming irises. By removing faded blooms, I have seen an increase in the number of new flower stalks and extended blooming periods. The plants look neater and more attractive, and the overall garden display is enhanced. Deadheading has become a regular part of my iris care routine, and I highly recommend it to fellow iris enthusiasts.

Deadheading irises, especially bearded irises and reblooming varieties, can be beneficial for encouraging additional blooms and maintaining an attractive appearance. By removing faded flowers, you redirect the plant’s energy towards new growth, resulting in a longer blooming period and a more vibrant display. Remember to follow proper deadheading techniques, and enjoy the rewards of a well-maintained iris garden.