Bearded iris...what's not to love about them? I do nothing except cut down the flower stalks when blooming has finished. Yard is on maximum biodiversity mode which prevents thrips becoming a problem, and the tubers lay across the top of the ground as the babies spread across the arid landscape ruling out rot as an issue.
I never cut down leaves or clean up dead leaves like all the instructions command one to do for a perfect bearded iris environment, and they multiply and multiply and multiply everything else right out of existence by creating a tight web of tubers covering all exposed ground fairly solidly. If ignored, they become detrimental to the yards diversity.
It appears I ignored them maybe just one measly year too long :(
Pick ax, shovel, and my handy dandy extra-large screw driver weed extractor in hand, I melted away in above 90 degree humidity to fill up six bags with weedy trash and chopped up bearded iris parts. Saved nine baby plants to start all over again, thought about it for a few seconds, and then popped them into the trash bag also. I've zoned out on bearded iris this year. A small patch still exists skirting the blueberry bed, but I can just yank them out of that healthy soil super easy, and yank I did to shrink the colony to one-third its previous size.
Their covering capability was exploited to the max in the back yard corner garden bed to hopefully prevent further migration of those fragrant weedy greens from the neighbor's quarter acre that looked so sweet the first year and morphed into a pop-up everywhere nightmare the second year forever more.
Bearded iris, Round-Up and Weed-B-Gone keep me happy with my neighbor's fence line that has become a no-mow zone thanks to their relentless appetite for junk, junk, and more junk piled along that area. They haven't owned a working lawn mower for years. It's just weed whacker mama out there once in a blue moon, and nowhere-in-sight daddy nowhere in sight.
...not for the faint of heart, and my heart appears to be sliding to the fainting side at 150 MPH this summer. Hard to get rid of, I'm told...very, very hard to get rid of. Husband digs new ones out every year and they laugh in his face popping back up in two weeks flat. I'm calculating how much destruction will totally wipe them out while leaving the healthy environment still in tack.
while I consult