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Re: Dividing Japanese Iris?

In a message dated 96-06-08 22:13:59 EDT, you write:

>I have a huge clump of Japanese Iris (I think it is 'Pink Lady') that is 
>in full bloom right now.  Because I only have two JIs and have never had 
>to divide them (only been in house three years!) I don't know what is 
>standard procedure for these--should I divide soon after bloom or wait 
>until the fall, winter or spring?  Any other tips about dividing these?  

If you can divide right after blooming, go ahead and do it BUT cut the
foliage back to about 10 inches and WATER, WATER, WATER for at least a month.
 Do not divide them into single fans...triple fans or small clumps will do
better.  Put them where Japanese irises have not grown before. Mulch.  When
planting, prepare the soil with good compost...if you use manure, be sure it
is in the bottom of the hole and covered with dirt so the roots don't touch

I regret that I have to tell you that there are a whole "flock" of different
Japanese irises sold under the name of "Pink Lady"...and unfortunately none
of them are really first rate.  The AIS registered name PINK LADY belongs to
an intermediate bearded iris dating back to 1934. Some nurseries import these
"Pink Lady" "Darling" et al inferior Japanese irises from Europe....To get
first rate Japanese cultivars, I recommend using a specialist nursery such as
AIS and sell only good cultivars. Also, some local iris societies have fall
sales of Siberians, Louisianas, spurias and Japanese...C&P has one every
year....also, Region 4 always has an auction of these irises at its fall
meeting, which this year will be in Portsmouth, VA.   Clarence Mahan in VA

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