The Iris is a large genus of plants that include hardy perennials and hardy bulbs.
Due to the large size of the Iris plant genus they vary immensely in size, from 15 to over 180 cm (6 to 72 inches). This makes Iris ideal for all sections of the garden, and they make very attractive border plants.
Iris have sword shaped leaves and beautiful flowers of all colours and shades.
Iris Photograph by Lisa JG.
Common Names: Iris, Flag.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Half hardy perennial. Hardy bulb.
Height: 4 to 72 inches (10 to 180 cm).
Native: Northern Hemisphere: Europe, Asia, Africa, North America.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 9.
It is easiest to grow Iris from purchased bulbs or rhizomes. The depth that the bulb should be buried is dependent upon species, but in the range of 5 to 12 cm (2 to 5 inches).
When planting Iris bulbs best results are obtained by planting in the early months of autumn. If you are growing from rhizomes then these should be planted level with the soil surface in the spring.
It is difficult to grow Iris from seeds but if you intend to do so, first soak the Iris seeds for a full day in warm water. Then sow into flats in the spring, place the flats in a black plastic bin bag, then place carefully in the fridge for three weeks.
The flat should then be sunk into the ground in a shady area of the garden and covered with glass.
It can take anything from one month to one and a half years for the Iris sees to germinate, so be prepared to be patient, and keep an eye on the flat to keep it moist.
Once seedlings emerge allow them to grow for two years, before moving to their final location in the garden.
There is a little minor work involved in looking after Iris once they are growing in the garden.
They should be fed in the spring (low nitrogen fertilizer); watered during prolonged dry spells of summer; staked; and deadheaded following flowering.
If you require more Iris plants then they can be propagated by division of the bulbs (autumn) or rhizomes (once flowering has completed).
The Iris genus is quite large with about 300 species. These plants range from small dwarf Irises to tall, large-flowered varieties.
Yes, Iris plants make stunning garden plants. Their vibrant flowers and decorative foliage provide a striking visual element in any garden or landscape.
Species such as Iris germanica (German Iris) and Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris) are popular in gardens as they have beautiful bold blooms.
Yes, many Iris species are fragrant. The aroma varies by species, with some smelling sweet, floral, or even like vanilla.
Iris prefers a location with full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It is also advisable to give them plenty of space to flourish.
Some Iris species can become invasive under the right conditions. For instance, Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus) is invasive in certain parts of the USA.
To remove Iris, dig up the entire plant, ensuring to remove the rhizomes to prevent regrowth. Dispose of the plant parts responsibly.
The Iris genus belongs to the Iridaceae family, comprises perennial plants native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Recognized for their striking, often multicolored flowers, Irises are a staple in many gardens.
Iris plants prefer full sun to partial shade, and a well-drained soil. Regular watering is required, but overwatering should be avoided. Propagation is generally done through division, usually in late summer after blooming.