How to Grow Iris

Iris Flower Blue

About Growing Iris in Your Home Flower Garden

With a couple of hundred varieties in several different colors and combinations, Iris Flowers are popular and easy to grow perennial. The varieties of Iris plants are grouped according to rhizome versus bulb types. The most common larger varieties are great at the back of the flower bed. They make great cuttings. For flower growers, there is a place in your garden for one or several groups. But, be careful, as they spread quickly and can overcome other flowers.

They are good in flower beds and around rock gardens.

Irises make great cut flowers, with their tall, sturdy stalks.

Flowers Bloom: Spring

Flower Colors: Shades of blue, lavender, orange, purple, yellow, white, and even brown. Additionally, there are many bi-colors.

Plant height: Most varieties grow 1 to 3 feet tall. Dwarf varieties grow much smaller, less than eight inches tall.

Did You Know? The Iris flower represents royalty and power.

Iris Flowers Purple

Varieties of Irises

There are 250 – 300 varieties of these easy-to-grow perennial Iris flowers. Regular Irises come in several colors. Bearded Iris is very popular. There are many beardless Iris flowers as well.  

Some varieties are grown from Rhizomes. Other varieties are grown from bulbs.

Iris Plant Propagation

Depending upon the variety, perennial Iris plants are grown from bulbs, seeds, and root separation. The roots, or Rhizomes, are easily separated and replanted. The Rhizome looks like a long, thin potato with roots underneath. When transplanting, separate the Rhizome. Make sure to have some root and a leaf or two in each section. Plant the Rhizomes near the surface with the roots below. Space them a foot or so apart. They will fill in the spaces quickly.

For bulb varieties, plant bulbs are three inches deep.

While the flowers produce weeds, it takes much longer for the plant to mature and to produce flowers. So, most gardeners propagate them using rhizomes of bulbs.

Iris Flower Yellow

How to Grow Iris Flower Plants

If you want low-maintenance and easy-to-grow flowers, you have come to the right plant. Irises like full sun but tolerate partial shade well. Their only demand is well-draining soil to avoid root rot. The soil does not need to be the richest in your yard. Nor, does it demand heavy fertilizer feeding.

Mulching around the plants will help to keep out the weeds. Once established, you will need to water them only in the driest part of the year. Fertilize occasionally. Do not apply heavy doses of Nitrogen.

When planting, make sure to put it in a spot where it can grow and thrive for years. It will spread quickly and will need to be thinned or divided regularly. To divide them, simply pull up some of the Rhizomes. The remaining plants will reward you with healthier plants and bigger blooms. As for what to do with the Rhizomes you have culled from your garden….give them to friends!

Ideal Soil pH: 5.5 – 6.5.

Also, see:

Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures.

Insects and Plant Disease

Being a hardy plant, Irises are not often bothered by insects. They can suffer from occasional root borers.

Irises seldom are affected by disease. The most common problem is root rot, which is caused by poorly draining soils. In preparing beds, make sure soil is light and well draining. Raise the soil level if need be. Also add sand, and compost if you have clay soil.

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American Iris Society

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