When To Cut Back Japanese Iris And Can Shredded Leaves Be Left On Ground Over Winter

Question From: J. Manchion - MISSOURI
Q: It is October here in Missouri When can I cut back Japanese iris and can I lay the cut leaves on it till next growing season?

A: The spent blooms and stems should be removed as they fade. The leaves are removed as they begin to yellow. I would cut them back now to allow the energy to go to the roots. According to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, earlier is better than later. Yes, you may leave shredded leaves in place over the winter. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy