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Iris flowers

Iris bushes and flowers:

1. Cut iris blooms from the stalk as they begin to wilt, but before they become papery, to prevent seed formation. Remove the flower stalk once the last bloom is fading, cutting it from the plant near the base.
2. Divide the iris clumps every three to five years. The best time is 4 to 6 weeks after blooming has finished. Cut rhizomes so that each section has at least one healthy set of leaves and firm white roots.
3. Fertilize spent iris with a 1/2 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer per clump, applied about 6 inches away from the rhizome to prevent fertilizer burns. Water the clump to encourage feeding.
4. Cut foliage back to about 6 inches from the ground in the fall, when it is already beginning to fade. This will help prevent leaf spot and iris borers.

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