I love my irises (they were my Grandmother's) but my husband thinks the green leaves after they are done blooming looks like weeds and hates it. Can I cut the leaves down? Also I was going to place Coneflowers in the bare spots in between the irises. Good idea or no? I'm just trying to keep the garden in front the way my Grandma had it but spice it up a lil. I don't want to kill the irises though...
The leaves are there to recharge the rhizome for next year's blooms. It is a good idea to put the coneflowers in between, as it will provide color while the irises recharge.Just be wary when you plant the coneflowers, as you may break up some of the rhizomes and/or roots of the irises.
No, don't cut off the iris leaves - the plant requires the leaves for photosynthesis and, therefore, life.
Perhaps you could show your husband some photos or examples of the common weeds of the area, so that he can distinguish them from garden irises... ? Ha, just kidding... ;-) Yes, hiding them with plants that will get taller after the iris bloom period is a good idea.
I have some Iris growing in among some Cat mint (Napeta) the flowering stems of the cat mint are open and airy and the one I have is Six Hills Giant and is no more than 12-15 inches tall, after the pink, yellow and purple flowers fade from the Iris the green foliage is kind of lost in among the frothy cat mint, but the way my cat walks right by the cat mint searching for grass so not all cat mint attracts cats believe me.
I use the cat mint as a foil for other types of flowering plants that look a bit messy when they are going past their sell by date, The bee's and butterflies love it too. But please dont cut off the foliage of ANY bulb, tuber or other types of plants that has it's food store under the soil, the greenery is required to feed the bulbs / tubers for the following years growth so tell your husband it's like having a bad hair day, it soon passes ha, ha, ha.
Best Regards. WeeNel.