Are your Daylillies and Irises not blooming as much as they use to ? Know as the “Workhorses” of the garden they do require a little TLC once in a while. When they don’t bloom as much it means they are crowded and need to be thinned out (divided). Thin your beds either in late summer to early fall when they become dormant, when they start dying back for winter. You can divide them in early spring but may run the risk of root rot due to over saturation from the rains.
The iris plant has a thick rooted stem and is located just below the surface of the soil. To remove a clump irises from their bed, use a digging fork or narrow spade to gently lift the plants, shake gently to remove the loose soil. Spray away any remaining soil so you can see the entire root system (rhizomes) then separate the rhizomes into sections and use a sharp knife to cut cleanly through. Be sure each division has one or two strong stems. Before replanting cut back the leaves about one-third of their length, creating a fan shape with sloping sides.
Thinning Daylilies is a bit easier.
With a sharp spade or large knife cut down into and through the plant, separating into two parts (or more) pending how many runners are attached to the Mother plant, be sure that several strong leaf-stems are on each part. Cuts are perpendicular to the bed ground and cut cleanly through all the roots. With a spade, or shovel, loosen and lift each part out, keeping the soil attached to the roots, and transplant immediately to its new spot. You can leave one division in place and refill any open areas with soil, allowing the Mother plant to continue growing. Or, you could also remove the daylilies from the ground, shake and spray off the loose soil and divide it by gently pulling its root ball into sections that separate naturally.
Take a little special care of your transplants in the fall, water them a few times weekly, until winter arrives, to stimulate root growth also mulch them well to protect the young roots from winter cold.
Take care of the garden tools you use as well, disinfect your tools regularly, by wiping the blades or edges with rubbing alcohol, this practice will help prevent disease organisms from spreading.