We had a very mild winter and it's been quite warm the last few weeks here in zone 6a. We are wanting to transplant some of our bearded irises to another property and would like to do it this weekend. Usually we transplant in the fall but because we are moving soon we would like to do it now if possible. Would they survive a late winter transplant? Any tips on what I can do to help them along if I do this? These have tubers not bulbs if that makes a difference.

  • Knowing what species might help. As an example, I know here in 8b I. reticulata are blooming and being sold. They seem to do just fine when transplanted outside. I might even venture to move I. unguicularis soon (it's still blooming for us). However, I don't know that I've ever heard of anyone moving bearded iris this time of the year.
    – Ben
    Feb 25, 2017 at 13:56
  • They are bearded with tubers not bulbs. Made the correction. Feb 25, 2017 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


In gardening there are usually optimum times for doing things and yes, now is a bit late. That doesn't mean it won't work though: many bulbs are even sold "in the green" (Scilla non-scripta and Galanthus sp. especially so). You can improve your chance by minimising the time they are out of the ground (prepare the destination before you dig them up). I would expect that you would get a good survival rate, but you may find that they do not flower well this year or possibly even the next whilst they recover. Given that you are moving and that you will be losing the plants if you don't transplant them, I'd give it a shot.

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