How to Store Bearded Irises in Freezers


Bearded iris flowers grow atop tall stems that may reach as high as 30 inches. The unusual petal arrangement and pointed foliage make bearded irises prized by gardeners. Bearded iris flowers have three tall, upright petals and three drooping petals that create a bearded look. The blossoms grow in a variety of colors and variegated patterns. Gardeners who live in regions with mild winters need to know how to store bearded iris bulbs in the freezer if they want the plant to perform in their outdoor areas.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Spading fork
  • Sharp knife/small pruning shears
  • Sealable plastic bag
  1. Stop fertilizing bearded iris flowers after mid-August to allow the plant to harden up before the coming winter.

  2. Insert a spading fork into the iris bed in late fall, lifting up the entire clump of flowers to expose the roots and bulbs.

  3. Trim away the roots using a sharp knife or small pruning shears.

  4. Wash soil away from bulbs using cool or lukewarm water. Iris bulbs do not need to be perfectly clean; simply wash away any large, clinging clumps of dirt.

  5. Place washed iris bulbs in a sealable plastic bag.

  6. Place in the freezer to allow iris bulbs to get freezing temperatures during the weeks of winter.

  7. Plant iris bulbs as usual in spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Iris bulbs should be stored in the freezer only in areas with mild winters where the ground does not freeze naturally.

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