Q: I have several Siberian iris in my garden. They are one of my favorite spring flowers but I am not fond of the foliage that looks untidy all summer long. Does it damage the plant to cut it back after the blooms have faded?
A: Your guess is correct. The iris will be damaged if you remove the foliage while it is green. Leaves now on the plants are storing the energy needed for blooms next May.
I have a suggestion to camouflage the untidy foliage. Why not plant coneflower, black-eyed Susan or daylilies among your irises to hide the leaves as they fade? If you use these companion plants you’ll have more than two months of flowers in the same area rather than just the week of blossoms that the Siberian iris provide.