Les Iris

Weekends’ activity via Instagram.

Last weekend, I helped my mom divide her irises with the agreement that I could take some and plant them in my own garden.

Four years ago, my mom planted ten irises taken from a family garden in Louisiana. Irises typically need to be divided every two to three years and will not bloom if they have become too crowded. So we dug them up.


We methodically divided the irises by snipping off the old, spent rhizomes and dead leaves. We also trimmed the leaves into a chevron to ensure that all leaves receive light and are encouraged to grow.

We were left with 124 divisions. My mom and I were both very surprised. I thought for sure we would have 40 new plants. My mom guess 70.


We wrapped all 124 divisions up with roots in a damp towel and sealed in ziploc bags and rolled in newspaper.  My mom kept 20, I took 30 and we gave the rest away to family and friends.

This weekend, my mom joined me in planting my 30 irises. I dug a trench almost the entire width of my backyard and my mom plopped in divisions every 18 inches or so.


I am too excited about the plants. For one reason, they were free! Aside from a little elbow grease and paying it forward, these divisions cost me absolutely nothing. And if all goes well, they’ll continue to produce more plants for me to plop throughout my yard and share with others.

They’re also extremely tough. I won’t need to baby these plants like some others I have *cough*hostas*cough*. They don’t even need mulching.

But best of all, they’re gorgeous. And I’m not even talking about the blooms. I have discovered myself to be a “leaves” person. I don’t mind much if my plants can’t or won’t bloom as long as the leaves are green and healthy. I especially love architectural leaves – those that have uniquely simple shapes and even better if they’re evergreen, which these are!

Here’s what I’m hoping to see next year.

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One Comment to “Les Iris”

  1. It was quite a project, wasn’t it! Your free irises took many hours of labor, and I couldn’t have done this without your willingness to help. As a result, these very special irises (from an Indian mound on family property in Louisiana) will be propagated in many gardens in Oklahoma.

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