How to Plant Iris Cuttings: A Step-by-Step Guide


Greetings, dear readers! If you’re looking for a beautiful addition to your garden, you’ve come to the right place. Irises are a stunning addition to any garden, and planting them from cuttings can be a rewarding experience. In this article, we will walk you through the steps of how to plant iris cuttings. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll have gorgeous blooms in no time.


Step 1: Gather your tools

Before you start planting, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, sterile potting soil, perlite, a shallow container, and water.

Step 2: Choose your container

Select a shallow container, such as a plastic or clay pot, that has drainage holes at the bottom. The container should be at least two inches deep so that the roots have enough space to grow.

Step 3: Prepare the potting soil

Combine the sterile potting soil and perlite in a 1:1 ratio. The perlite will help with drainage and aeration.

Step 4: Water the soil

Before planting the cuttings, make sure the soil is moist. Thoroughly water the soil and let it drain for a few minutes.

Step 5: Cut the iris stems

Choose healthy iris stems that are about six inches long. Use sharp scissors or pruning shears to make a clean cut near the base of the stem.

Step 6: Remove the leaves

Using your scissors or pruning shears, remove all of the leaves from the stems except for the top two or three leaves. This will help the plant conserve energy for new root growth.

Step 7: Trim the stem

Trim the top of the stem to about two inches in length. This will help the plant put more energy into root growth instead of leaf growth.

Step 8: Plant the cuttings

Fill the container with the prepared soil. Make a hole in the center of the soil and insert the stem cutting into the hole, making sure it is upright and buried about two inches deep.

Step 9: Water the cuttings

After planting, water the soil again, making sure it is thoroughly soaked.

Step 10: Cover with plastic

Cover the container with a plastic bag or wrap to create a greenhouse effect. This will help retain moisture and increase humidity to encourage root growth.

Step 11: Place in bright, indirect light

Place the container in a bright area that receives indirect sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves and prevent root growth.

Step 12: Monitor soil moisture

Check the soil regularly and water as needed to keep it moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot.

Step 13: Keep the temperature consistent

Irises prefer a consistent temperature between 65-75°F. Avoid placing the container in an area with extreme temperature fluctuations.

Step 14: Transplant to the garden

After six to eight weeks, check for root growth by carefully removing one of the cuttings from the soil. If there are small white roots visible, it’s time to transplant the cuttings to your garden.

Step 15: Transplanting the cuttings

Plant the cuttings in well-draining soil, being careful not to damage the roots. Water thoroughly and continue to monitor the soil moisture.

Explanations and Tips

Tip 1: Use a rooting hormone

A rooting hormone can increase the success rate of your cuttings. Dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting hormone before planting.

Tip 2: Label your cuttings

Labeling your cuttings can help you keep track of the different varieties you’re planting.

Tip 3: Use a heat mat

A heat mat can help stimulate root growth, especially if you live in a cooler climate.

Tip 4: Choose healthy plants

Choose healthy plants for your cuttings. Look for stems that are firm and free of disease or pests.

Tip 5: Don’t plant too deep

Make sure to plant the cuttings at the right depth. Planting too deep can suffocate the roots, while planting too shallow can dry out the cutting.

Tip 6: Avoid over-fertilizing

Irises do not need a lot of fertilizer. Over-fertilizing can burn the roots and damage the plant.

Tip 7: Don’t let the soil dry out

Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Dry soil can cause the cutting to wither and die.

Tip 8: Patience is key

Root growth can take several weeks, so be patient with your cuttings. With proper care and attention, you’ll soon have beautiful iris blooms in your garden.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Planting Iris Cuttings


Planting iris cuttings has several advantages, including:

Advantages Explanation
Cost-effective Planting iris cuttings is an affordable way to add more plants to your garden.
Control You have more control over the growth and development of the plant compared to buying a pre-grown plant.
Propagation You can propagate existing iris plants through cuttings and grow them in other areas of your garden.


Planting iris cuttings also has some disadvantages, including:

Disadvantages Explanation
Time-consuming It takes time for the cuttings to grow into mature plants.
Uncertainty There is no guarantee that the cuttings will grow into healthy plants.
Patiently Wait You need to wait patiently for the plant to flower as it can take up to two years for cuttings to mature.

Despite the potential drawbacks, planting iris cuttings can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to add more plants to your garden. By taking the time to nurture and care for your cuttings, you can watch them grow into healthy plants that you can enjoy for years to come.


Q1. What are iris cuttings?

A1. Iris cuttings are small sections of the iris plant that can be used to propagate new plants.

Q2. When is the best time to take iris cuttings?

A2. The best time to take iris cuttings is in late summer or early autumn.

Q3. How do I select the right iris cutting to plant?

A3. Look for a healthy iris plant and select a cutting that has at least one node, which is a small notch where a leaf or bud once grew.

Q4. How do I prepare the soil for planting iris cuttings?

A4. The soil must be well-draining and fertile. Mix in compost or peat moss to improve the soil quality.

Q5. How deep should I plant the iris cuttings?

A5. The iris cuttings should be planted about 2-3 inches deep.

Q6. How far apart should I space the iris cuttings?

A6. The iris cuttings should be spaced about 12-18 inches apart.

Q7. How often should I water the iris cuttings?

A7. Water the iris cuttings immediately after planting and then keep the soil consistently moist until the roots are well established.

Q8. How long does it take for iris cuttings to root?

A8. Iris cuttings usually take about 4-6 weeks to root.

Q9. How can I tell if my iris cuttings are rooting?

A9. Look for new growth or changes in the color of the leaves, which indicate that the iris cuttings are rooting.

Q10. Can I plant iris cuttings in a pot instead of the ground?

A10. Yes, iris cuttings can be planted in a pot as long as the pot has drainage holes and the soil is well-draining.

Q11. What is the best location to plant iris cuttings?

A11. Iris cuttings should be planted in a location that receives full sun to partial shade.

Q12. How cold can iris cuttings tolerate?

A12. Iris cuttings can tolerate cold weather as long as the soil is not frozen.

Q13. How long does it take for iris cuttings to bloom?

A13. It usually takes about 2-3 years for iris cuttings to bloom, but this can vary depending on the type of iris.


In conclusion, planting iris cuttings is a fun and rewarding undertaking that can be accomplished with just a few simple steps. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, following the tips and guidelines mentioned in this article will ensure that your iris cuttings grow into healthy and beautiful plants. It is important to choose the right time of the year to take your cuttings, so that they have ample time to root and establish themselves before the onset of harsh weather conditions. Additionally, making sure that the soil is well-draining and the planting area receives ample sunlight is imperative to the success of your plants.

One of the most important things to remember when planting iris cuttings is to not overwater them. Too much water can lead to root rot and can ultimately kill your plants. It is also important to be patient and not rush the growing process. Allow your iris cuttings to establish themselves slowly and naturally, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate growth. With proper care and maintenance, your iris cuttings will flourish and provide you with beautiful blooms for years to come. Happy planting!