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Bearded Iris Companion Plants

Best Companion Plants for Bearded Iris

"Last August I planted some Bearded Iris in two very different spots on my property - one bed is very formal, and the other is more of a wild & natural look. I chose to plant shades of blue in the formal bed and multiple colors in the natural area and was delighted by how beautiful they looked when they flowered this spring. Now I would like to make them the focal point of these gardens, both of which are quite new. Can you recommend some perennial plants that may complement my Bearded Iris plantings?" - Stacey B., Vineland, New Jersey

Great question! Whenever a question of good companion plants arises, we love to draw inspiration from our favorite gardens. Read on to learn what makes these Bearded Iris companion plants perfect for your beautiful and easy-care garden.

Our Top Picks For Tall Bearded Iris Companions

When considering growing Bearded Iris and ideal companion plants, here are some helpful tips to think about:

  • If you're using one variety Bearded Iris as a focal point, it will be important to know when it blooms and if it reblooms. 
  • Choose a selection of flowers that will bloom before, with, and following your Bearded Iris flowers to extend the flowering season in your garden.
  • Consider the placement of flowers for a more structured, formal look or a more natural, casual effect.
  • Consider the look of plant foliage, as well as plant blooms. Bearded Iris have unique, sword-shaped foliage that brings an elegant texture to the garden.
  • Harmonize with similar colors, or contrast with complementary colors.
  • We gerenally recommend placing taller plants behind your Bearded Iris, and shorter plants in front. 
Oriental Poppy and Bearded Iris

Oriental Poppies

Oriental Poppies offer deep clear red flowers -- the one color Bearded Iris do not have. Tall and showy, with similar needs, they are great companions. Use white flowering Oriental Poppies for a calming effect, red for a pop of color, or peach colored flowers for a soft look. They will die back in summer, so plant other perennials in front of them to hide the dying foliage. Plant Oriental Poppy Seeds or Perennial Oriental Poppies.


Lupine and Bearded Iris


Lupines will help create a lovely wildflower look to your Iris, with tall, colorful stems of long lasting flowers. Lupine are available in both warm and cool colors, with flowers blooming in spring. Plant Lupine Seeds or Lupine Plants.

Allium and Bearded Iris


Alliums give a sculptural element to the garden, and are available in several heights, from short to very tall. They are easy to grow and long lasting pollinator favorites. For a formal look, choose Allium of medium height, and plant them in a linear or defined way. In an informal setting, tall Allium planted throughout a perennial garden make great garden features with a whimsical feel. Fall-planted Allium Bulbs are available in pink, blue, white, yellow, or classic purple.


Delphinium and Bearded Iris


The lovely tall wands of Larkspur (Delphinium) are excellent choices to grow with Bearded Iris. Shades of purples, blues, pinks, and white offer lovely accompaniment for a late spring display. Plant Rocket Larkspur Seeds or Perennial Delphinium.

Baptisia and Bearded iris


Baptisia, also known as Indigo,  is a great choice in shades of yellows and blues. Try yellow Baptisia with white, gold or blue Iris. Blue flowering Baptisia is lovely with Bearded Iris in blues,purples, or other contrasting colors. Plant Indigo Seeds or Baptisia Plants.


Peony and Bearded Iris


Peonies are one of the most well-known spring blooming perennials. With dark green foliage and blossoms that open to a lush, fragrant, and long lasting flower, Peonies are an excellent Bearded Iris companion. While slow to establish, these long-lived plants will live for decades in the right conditions. See our selection of bareroot Peonies.

Daylily and Bearded Iris


Daylilies are an easy-to-grow choice to pair with Bearded Iris. These plants also have long, strappy foliage that help to fill in a garden. Some even rebloom along with the Bearded Iris. See our current selection of Daylilies.

salvia and bearded iris


Salvia will add a colorful border to your Iris garden with its colorful, and long lasting flowers that attract a parade of pollinators. Typically available with dark purple or red flowers. In a formal setting, a nice border can be created, if informal, plant them in groups of 3’s or 5’s for a more natural look. Plant Salvia, also known as Sage.

Bearded Iris

More Bearded Iris!

With their wide array of colors, sizes and bloom times, mixing more Bearded Iris into your existing bed can increase the season of blooms with a kaleidoscope of colors, patterns, and textures. If you have a reblooming variety, remember to add in some late season bloomers like Agastache, Aster, and Salvia.

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