Re: Cutting back fans?
Jim: This question has come up every time I have given a talk on iris. I
usually give the questioner an analogy. Since, as you say, the more leaf
surface the greater photosynthesis for food production, the act of cutting
the fans back is tantamount to putting your iris on a diet. When I lived
back on the east coast I never cut the fans back until we had had our first
killing frost. Then I cut the talls back to about six inches and the
siberians back to ground level. Cutting the siberians down to ground level
prevented the field mice from wintering over in the clumps under snow cover
and cutting back the talls prevented the frozen fans from flopping over and
possibly picking up various soil borne diseases. Here in Oregon the winters
in the Willamette Valley are not severe enough to warrant cutting back.
Besides who has time to cut back about 2500 varieties.
Regards - - Dave Silverberg