My iris are not blooming. Can anyone help?

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For the last 3 years I have gotten fewer and fewer blooms, I have different kinds in three beds, I thinned them after the 1st year of decreased blooms, I fertilize them in the fall and again in late Feb, as they begin to sprout. They are nice and green and tall, but this year only 3 blooms.
  13 answers
  • Julee J Julee J on Mar 30, 2012
    Did the fertilizer have too much nitrogen maybe?

  • The weather has been crazy with droughts, heavy rains, freezing last winter. Could be that. They may need to be divided. Iris needs the rhizomes to be exposed at least 25% above the soil. They gather energy from the sun to bloom. Perhaps they are covered up. Also, if too much nitrigen in the fertilizer, some plants produce more leaves and have less energy for blooms, such as day lilies. A 10-10-10 fertilizer with micro nutrients is good for iris. Also could be a decrease in sun exposure.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 31, 2012
    I definitely would take a look at the fertilizer you are using and the planting depth. If neither of these things are the culprit, it is possible the cultivars you have are simply not happy in your garden. Try introducing a few new ones over time and evaluate how they do, replacing those that don't perform.

  • Carole Carole on Mar 31, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the ideas. I have used 10-10-10 fertilizer, and the rhizomes are at least 25% above ground. I am hoping it is just the lack of enought mositure. My mother in law has some that have been in the ground for at least 20 years and are still coming up a blooming beautifully, just dont know, may try a few new ones an see what happens. They do have mulch on them. Could that be a problem?

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Mar 31, 2012
    Carole you may want to consider having a soil test run to see if their is something out of whack. I suspect that it might be over-fertilization but a soil test might aid in the diagnosis.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 01, 2012
    If you mulch the beds, Carole, you should pull the mulch off the rhizomes. They definitely should not be covered.

  • Merlene Reynolds Merlene Reynolds on Feb 17, 2015
    Iris like very poor dry ground, and do not respond well to deep planting.. You can even lay them on top of the ground and cover with top soil and they will thrive.... Also they can not toll irate being to close to Oak and I think it because Oak is real acid and kills the blooms.

  • Carole Carole on Feb 17, 2015
    Thanks everyone, I have thinned them and they are only mulched with just a sprinkling of pine straw, I am not going to fertilize them this year and see what happens.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 06, 2015
    I grow beautiful, bountiful Iris and here's what I do. Iris have a rhizome...that long tater. When you plant Iris and roots at the back where the foliage is. Cut off the foliage and plant with the roots buried, but only about half of the rhizome. If the Rhizome gets covered, they will not bloom...and they need to be separated occasionally. Do not over plant iris, that is space them pretty far apart so they can get going!

  • Carole Carole on Jun 06, 2015
    Thanks I will definitely give you advice a try and thin them out this fall.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Aug 02, 2015
    time to divide them.. like everyone has said, plant shallow, like poor soil do not mulch deeply.. less is better for them.. I remember my mom always sharing the rhizomes with friends at work while growing up.. she had 3 rows about 20 varieties.. always giving some away..

  • Carole Carole on Aug 02, 2015
    Thanks Wanda, I plan to get started but it is going to have to get a little cooler, before I tackle that big of a project. Maybe half this year and half next year.

  • Sherry H. Sherry H. on Dec 23, 2015
    I just don't know, it fraggles me so. I have tried them in the sun and shade. They just don't bloom. They do have to be spaced . Maybe thats the reason. Let us know