Thursday, October 15th, 2015...9:53 am

Pruning Neomarica (Apostle Plant)

TheGardenLady received this question about the Neomarica plant.

Should I prune back my two Neomarica? They have been outside all summer and are big and green now. I live in northern NJ and will bring them indoors in the next week (mild fall so far). I have had them for several years and they bloom dependably each spring.

I love the sweet flowers I get on my Neomarica iris.  Apostle Plant, Apostle’s Plant or 12 Apostles are some of the common names for the Neomarica iris. These names were given because it is believed that this iris needs 12 leaves, like Jesus had 12 Apostles,  before it will bloom. Besides Apostle Plant it is called the Walking Iris. This name was apparently given because of the way the flowers on the stalk bend away from the main plant and when grown in the garden the new plantlets root away from the main plant.  It is also called the One Day Iris because the flowers do not last more than 18 hrs. In fact the life of the flower can be so brief that sometimes owners miss seeing the flowers open. And it is sometimes called the Poor Man’s Orchid  (a name used on some other irises as well) because of its darling flower. The Neomarica iris is native to Brazil.

People grow the plant for its lovely leaves as well as the flowers. Outdoor blooms of walking iris plants can be removed once flowering has stopped if you don’t want new plants to take root in the garden. You can always prune DEAD leaves and DEAD stems from the iris. Fall is the time of year that you CAN prune out the OLD flower stalks or stems, not the leaves.

If you want smaller plants, propagate in the spring by division of offsets.

Related Content:

Leave a Reply