Irises are beautiful additions to any home garden. They add a splash of bright purple color to your yard and are not too difficult to grow. Of course, as with many other plants, you will eventually need to trim them. The key to being a successful grower of iris plants is to know exactly when and how you should do your trimming.
As a general rule, all plants should be pruned or trimmed anytime you spot damaged, dead or diseased parts. With an iris, you should strive to keep the flowerbeds clean and weed-free. Make sure to do your entire trimming during the dormant season, in late fall or early winter.
Trim an iris by about a half-inch from the flower to the closest new bud or bloom, and do so once the flower has faded or died. Sharp shears are recommended so that you don't accidentally cause any harm to your plant. Make sure to remove the entire stalk of the iris once all the new buds have opened and successfully bloomed. A cut should be made about one inch above the ground. This is to ensure that you do not damage the flower's rhizome, which is easy to do if you aren't careful.
When cutting away dead, diseased or damaged parts of the iris, you should do so from the base of the plant. You don't have to wait until the dormant period to do this, as this type of trimming can be performed during the growing season.
Let the remaining leaves on the plant die back during the late summer and early fall. Then, you can remove them at their base after they begin turning yellow. Also, trim your iris' leaf spikes to about five inches prior to diving the rhizomes for transplanting. Take care to not cut the leaves completely off so that the rhizomes can combat the shock of being transplanted.