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Bearded german iris
Plant Care Instructions By Julie Bawden-Davis

The most widely grown group of irises. The plants get their name from the fact that they feature thick, bushy beards on the lower petals of the blossoms. The often fragrant flowers themselves come in white, purple, yellow or blue, with many bi-color selections. The plant blooms March through June.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones : 10a, 10b
Web Link - For more information
Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • January
    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Check for aphids when weather is mild.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

  • February
    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Check for aphids when weather is mild.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

  • March
    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    • Prune

        Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Check for aphids and whiteflies.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

  • April
    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    • Prune

        Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Check for aphids and whiteflies.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

  • May
    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    • Prune

        Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Check for aphids and whiteflies.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

  • June
    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    • Prune

        Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Check for aphids and whiteflies.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

  • July
    • Buy

        Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

    • Prune

        Cut out dead leaves at their base.

    • Transplant

        Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

  • August
    • Buy

        Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        Cut back on watering six weeks after plants finishing blooming. Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

    • Transplant

        Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

  • September
    • Buy

        Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

    • Plant

        Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

    • Transplant

        Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

  • October
    • Buy

        Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

    • Plant

        Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    • Fertilize

        Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

    • Water

        Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

    • Transplant

        Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

  • November
    • Plant

        Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    • Water

        In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Check for aphids when weather is mild.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

    • Transplant

        Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

  • December
    • Plant

        Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

    • Water

        In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

    • Pest/Disease Inspection

        Check for aphids when weather is mild.

    • Treat for Pest/Disease

        Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

    • Transplant

        Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

  • Winter
    • Spring
      • Summer
        • Fall
          • Buy

            When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • July

              Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

            • August

              Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

            • September

              Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

            • October

              Buy iris rhizomes when they are available in the nursery or via mail-order.

          • Plant

            When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • September

              Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

            • October

              Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

            • November

              Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

            • December

              Plant in a full sun to light afternoon shade location with excellent drainage. If you have clay soil, plant in a raised bed or a container. Space 1 to 2 feet apart and plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

          • Sow Seeds

            When can you plant these seeds? When's the best time? Can you start them indoors and move them out? Do they have any special requirements?

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • Fertilize

              When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • January

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • February

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • March

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • April

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • May

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • June

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • July

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • August

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • September

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

              • October

                Feed once with a fertilizer designed for bulbs, such as a 6-20-20.

            • Water

              Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • January

                In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

              • February

                In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

              • March

                Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

              • April

                Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

              • May

                Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

              • June

                Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

              • July

                Keep soil moist but not soggy during bloom.

              • August

                Cut back on watering six weeks after plants finishing blooming. Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

              • September

                Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

              • October

                Water in-ground plants once a week and water containerized plants twice a week.

              • November

                In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

              • December

                In the absence of rain, water in-ground plants every two weeks and containerized plants weekly.

            • Prune

              When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • March

                Cut out dead leaves at their base.

              • April

                Cut out dead leaves at their base.

              • May

                Cut out dead leaves at their base.

              • June

                Cut out dead leaves at their base.

              • July

                Cut out dead leaves at their base.

            • Mulch

              Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • Protect

                When and how should you protect this plant from birds, deer, rabbits? Does this plant need be covered, or wrapped or painted or moved?

                •  Jan
                •  Feb
                •  Mar
                •  Apr
                •  May
                •  Jun
                •  Jul
                •  Aug
                •  Sep
                •  Oct
                •  Nov
                •  Dec
                • Pest/Disease Inspection

                  What are the common problems this plant will face and when should you look for them to appear?

                  •  Jan
                  •  Feb
                  •  Mar
                  •  Apr
                  •  May
                  •  Jun
                  •  Jul
                  •  Aug
                  •  Sep
                  •  Oct
                  •  Nov
                  •  Dec
                  • January

                    Check for aphids when weather is mild.

                  • February

                    Check for aphids when weather is mild.

                  • March

                    Check for aphids and whiteflies.

                  • April

                    Check for aphids and whiteflies.

                  • May

                    Check for aphids and whiteflies.

                  • June

                    Check for aphids and whiteflies.

                  • November

                    Check for aphids when weather is mild.

                  • December

                    Check for aphids when weather is mild.

                • Treat for Pest/Disease

                  How do you treat the common problems for this plant? What products or concoctions or natural means do you use? Any special requirements?

                  •  Jan
                  •  Feb
                  •  Mar
                  •  Apr
                  •  May
                  •  Jun
                  •  Jul
                  •  Aug
                  •  Sep
                  •  Oct
                  •  Nov
                  •  Dec
                  • January

                    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

                  • February

                    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

                  • March

                    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

                  • April

                    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

                  • May

                    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

                  • June

                    Spray aphids and whiteflies with insecticidal soap.

                  • November

                    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

                  • December

                    Remove aphids with a strong spray of water.

                • Transplant

                  When's the best time to dig up and transplant this from one spot to another? (This is different than planting). Any special requirements?

                  •  Jan
                  •  Feb
                  •  Mar
                  •  Apr
                  •  May
                  •  Jun
                  •  Jul
                  •  Aug
                  •  Sep
                  •  Oct
                  •  Nov
                  •  Dec
                  • July

                    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

                  • August

                    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

                  • September

                    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

                  • October

                    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

                  • November

                    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

                  • December

                    Every 3 to 4 years when iris become crowded and the amount and quality of blooms decreases, lift and divide the rhizomes and replant them. Replant large rhizomes that have healthy leaves and throw out leafless ones. The rhizomes can be broken apart or cut with a knife. Before replanting, cut the leaves to two inches long and the roots to one inch. Allow the cut sections to heal over for 4 to 24 hours before planting. The rhizomes can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks before replanting. Plant the rhizome so that the leafy end is pointed up and the top 1/4 inch of leaves is exposed.

                • Propagate

                  When's a good time to divide, take cuttings, layer or propagate this plant. Any special requirements?

                  •  Jan
                  •  Feb
                  •  Mar
                  •  Apr
                  •  May
                  •  Jun
                  •  Jul
                  •  Aug
                  •  Sep
                  •  Oct
                  •  Nov
                  •  Dec
                  • Harvest

                    When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

                    •  Jan
                    •  Feb
                    •  Mar
                    •  Apr
                    •  May
                    •  Jun
                    •  Jul
                    •  Aug
                    •  Sep
                    •  Oct
                    •  Nov
                    •  Dec
                    • Special requirements

                      Any other requirement for this plant? Is there anything that doesn't fit into the other care categories?

                      •  Jan
                      •  Feb
                      •  Mar
                      •  Apr
                      •  May
                      •  Jun
                      •  Jul
                      •  Aug
                      •  Sep
                      •  Oct
                      •  Nov
                      •  Dec

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