Iris are pretty spectacular.  They originate from the Mediterranean and Middle East.

We have a nice established clump in the corner of the back patch right near the gate. Psychedelic blues and purples.

CIMG1755Iris are perennial, relatively hardy and easy to grow if they are in the right location.

They do well in well-drained to dry soil in full sun.

Iris grow by rhizomatic spread.  The Royal Horticultural Society recommends planting iris rhizomes from July to October, spacing pieces 1 foot apart (30cm).

Ensure root sections are partially exposed to the sun.  Adding sand and grit to ground can be beneficial for iris.

Divide clumps every 3 to 5 years.  Plants can be divided from early to late summer.

In the third week of April 2019 the back patch bearded iris was in bloom.  Awesome!  Flower spears standing upwards of 3 feet high, with glorious extravagant blooms.

Dividing Bearded Irises

  • Ideally divide 6 weeks after flowering – around the end of August.  This allows plants to re-establish and settle before winter.
  • Before dividing dig a hole large enough for the rhizome and roots.  Add grit.
  • Root sections should be placed at soil level.   Firm well and water thoroughly.
  • When you dig up the larger established clump, cut fans of growth on root sections with a sharp knife or secateurs.  Each section should be at least 6 inches (15cm) long with a fan growth of leaves.   Cut away two-thirds of the leaves on each cutting to reduce wind rocking.
  • Tall bearded iris should be placed at least 12 inches (30cm) apart.


Notes of Interest 

  • RHS Garden Rosemoor is developing a collection of water irises at Rowden Gardens in Devon.  The collection aims to have more than 70 cultivars.  Go to