first question, ever!

Location: north Italy (Alps)

My mother gave me some plant from her garden about 2 years ago which I then planted in my garden. According to her it's some kind of orchid, but she isn't sure either, and I doubt it too. However it makes briefly some nice flowers.

We had a rather mild/dry winter, this spring the plant/bush is now starting to grow out of control, and I would like to limit its growth: i want to keep the main "bush" and get rid of the seedlings. Where possible I'm considering to pull out the seedlings with roots, but I fear it may grow back again later. Alternatively I am also thinking to pour boiling/salty water far away enough from the main bush (e.g. on the tiles), but I fear that may damage the plant itself, grass and a nearby rose plant. Preferably I would like a pesticide-free method.


1) What kind of plant is it?

2) How can i best remove the new seedlings?

2) What's the best I can do to make it stop overgrow in the future?


overgrow 1

overgrow 2

The next 2 photos are of April of the previous year, to help with identification and as comparison of how much it has actually grown.



  • Have you seen the flower spikes open - what colour are they? Do you have cold winters where you are?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 16:09
  • @Bamboo I should have a photo of the flowers from last year, I will try to upload it later. In winter it can get as cold as -10°C at night, snowfall can also happen. I kept them out in the open without any cover/shelter, they don't seem to mind. :D Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


This is Iris japonica , details here https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/9281/Iris-japonica/Details.

Although not considered particularly invasive, it does spread by means of long, slender, creeping rhizomes, and yours has spread quite a bit. If you can find another spot for it in the garden, move it there, preferably a place without paving nearby because it will be difficult to stop it appearing between the slabs, as has happened already. Technically, now is not the time to move it because it's about to come into flower, but it will be difficult to stop it spreading more if you leave it in situ - you might wait till flowering is over and move it then, digging out all the roots you can see or pull out. Ongoing, just dig up and split the clump periodically to prevent overgrowth. You may need to do some repair work to the grass, levelling it off and putting down some seed after you have dug it out.

For the growth that's appeared between the paving slabs, salt might work but may also poison the soil and affect the grass, so if you cannot pull out the growth with its roots, then using a weedkiller intended for use on paved areas (such as Pathclear in the UK) and driveways may be necessary, but care should be taken if applied by watering can - you will need a very fine rose so it doesn't run off onto the grass, and try to restrict the application to the gaps in the paving. Alternatively, spray treat with the weedkiller, but make sure you choose a still day with no wind so the spray doesn't drift.

  • Thank you for the very informative answer - it definetly is that plant! As suggested I think that for now I will wait for flowering to be over before taking care of the main bush. Meanwhile I may remove the seedlings which have no stems/flowers. Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 19:29
  • You will probably find they are connected to the main plant underground rather than being seedlings.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 19:30

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