Bearded Iris Planting Guide
All About Bearded Iris
Bearded Iris (Iris germanica) is a member of the genus, Iris, named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow. As the myth goes, when the gods wanted to communicate with humans, they sent Iris, who arrived with golden wings. As she stepped to earth, colorful flowers sprung forth. It’s almost hard to imagine a better name for this kaliedoscopic species! With thousands of colorful combinations, Bearded Iris is one of the most popular garden perennials. With endless choices of color, texture, pattern, and form, this flower opens the doors for garden creativity.
To communicate clearly about Bearded Iris, it’s helpful to know a little nomenclature.
- There are six petals. The three upward reaching petals are called “standards,” and the three petals that drape downwards, are known as the “falls”.
- The most distinguishing feature of Bearded Iris is their fuzzy "beard" located at the upper base of the falls.
- Bearded Iris grow from rhizomes - bulb-like, tuberous roots, with a fan of elegant sword-shaped leaves.
Bearded Iris Bloom Times
Bearded Iris comes in several size ranges with differing bloom times.
- Miniature Dwarf Bearded Iris are tiny, ranging in size from 5-15 inches tall. These great for a rock garden or border.
- Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris range from 8-16 inches. These are great with later blooming tulips.
- Intermediate and Border Bearded Iris grow from 16-27 inches.
- Tall Bearded Iris grow from 28-48 inches tall. These blooming from late spring to early summer with large flowers.
Actual bloom times will vary, depending on the weather. Each flowering stem will hold several buds that will come into bloom sequentially, usually lasting 3-5 days. Once it is finished, simply snap it off with your fingers to keep a clean look and to keep more flowers coming. After all the buds have bloomed, cut the stem back near ground level.
Reblooming Bearded Iris
Many new hybrid Bearded Iris are offered as rebloomers. This means the Iris will bloom at its usual bloom time in the spring, and then come into bloom again at the end of the season, towards fall. The plant will grow new fans of leaves, putting up fresh flowering stems. It’s important to note that reblooming is not guaranteed and can be affected by location, sunlight and even the weather.