Help! My Prize Irises are being Decapitated by Birds.

If you’ve never seen what an iris looks like after the birds have been at it – I can tell you.

Decapitated”  is the first word that comes to mind!

No sooner does an iris starts to show colour and begin to open than I find it lying in tatters on the ground.

Even the side blooms get decapitated one by one. Snapped off at the base of the flower with only a few ragged remnants lying on the ground to taunt me.

Iris 'The Admiral', 1938

Flickr photo : Tie Guy II

Birds that eat irises certainly have good taste. They can’t be faulted on that one.

But why don’t they rather go for the dainty little lobelias or some other tasty flower nearby?  Why are they choosing my prize irises?

To make matters worse, no one has heard of my particular gardening predicament.  They find it very funny and think I’m joking!

Fortunately for the birds I have an organic garden so I don’t use poisons.  And even though there are times when I could cheerfully roast those birds for our next Sunday lunch I don’t really want to hurt them.

So this is an urgent S.O.S. If you have had any experience with birds eating irises please get back to me in haste. If you have any suggestions I would be more than grateful.

S.O.S. Help me save my irises!

10 thoughts on “Help! My Prize Irises are being Decapitated by Birds.

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  • September 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Yes, please help. I have the same problem!!!I have also tried putting foil around the budds and hanging cd’s, but no success. These birds are determined to bite the heads off!! I am thinking of putting a net over the irises.

    • September 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Dana
      I have still not solved the problem. I have all kinds of irises and the ones that the birds like the most are the prize hybrid ones. The ordinary purple ones seem to survive mostly. The only thing that I have resorted to is to pick them while they are still in the bud so that they can open up in the vase. But you have to make sure to pick them before the birds have attacked the back of the buds..
      I have also tried plastic bags but that wasn’t successful. If I find the answer I’ll certainly post the details. Good luck!

    • May 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      The birds are eating my irises too. I have threaded black cotton round and through the clump. I think it has helped but I think I need to do more as I am still finding bitten off heads!

      • May 31, 2013 at 2:45 pm

        I am relieved to hear that there are others who have the same problem. Before writing these posts I thought that people would think me daft!
        I can’t say I have found a solution. Yours sounds interesting but then it also isn’t perfect. I can only think that the birds will keep on doing this unless they can find some other tempting variety of juicy food.

        What about diverting their attention with some paw-paw?

        If anyone has the answer to this problem PLEASE share it!

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  • September 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you Carol. I’ll try that. I’ve tried so much – even wrapping tinfoil around the stalks below the flower head. But these birds are just too smart for me! I wonder if Iris nurseries have the same problem.

  • September 21, 2010 at 11:13 am

    You may find hanging up some small mirrors or old Cd,s will help. I have solved my problem like this.

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