How to Remove a Dead Iris Flower


Irises really pop in a garden. With their beautiful blooms and the interesting foliage, they are a great flower to grow. Some varieties of irises are hardy through USDA zones 3 to 10, so they are grown all over the US. Growing irises also means having to remove a dead iris at some point. Many factors can cause an iris' death, from soft rot to borers. Removing a dead iris isn't hard, but you must be careful while you do it.

Step 1

Determine how the iris died. If it died of soft rot, this is caused by a bacteria that can spread to other plants. Soft rot is characterized by a squishy rhizome and yellow fanning on the foliage of the iris. If the iris died of a iris borer infestation the rhizome will be hollow and their will be slimy places on the leaves.

Step 2

Dig up the dead irises rhizome and roots. Dig a deep enough hole to get all the parts of the dead iris. Try not to disturb any living irises near the dead one.

Step 3

Dispose of the dead iris. If the iris died of a disease, such as soft rot, it is best to burn the iris in order to avoid spreading the disease to other plants. If the iris died of other causes you may simply throw it in the trash.

Step 4

Check all surrounding irises for signs of disease or pest damage.

Step 5

Treat any surrounding irises for the disease or insect if you find signs of infection or infestation.

Tips and Warnings

  • Disinfect your spade and any other garden implements that may have come in contact with the dead iris. Use alcohol or bleach to disinfect them.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Trash can
  • Fire pit


  • Irises for the Home Landscape
  • Iris Basics
  • Irises Hints and Tips

Who Can Help

  • Culture of Iris
Keywords: Removing a dead iris, Remove a dead iris, dead iris

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.