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, great for a rock garden or border.
- Standard dwarf ranges from 8-16 inches and are great with later blooming tulips.
- Intermediate and Border Bearded Iris grow from 16-27 inches.
- Most stately, from 28-48 inches in height is the Tall Bearded Iris, blooming from late spring to early summer with large 4-7 inch 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.
The best time to plant Bearded Iris is from July to September, or as many say, “Anytime you can get a shovel in the ground.”
What’s a 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.
Oriental Poppies offer deep clear red flowers that are 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, to pop color, and a peachy salmon colored flower to harmonize. 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 (plants available seasonally).
Lupine will help create a lovely wildflower look to your Iris, with their tall, colorful stems of long lasting flowers. Plant Lupine Seeds or Lupine Plants (plants available seasonally).
Allium is available in several heights from short to very tall. Easy to grow and long lasting pollinator favorites. For a formal look, choose Allium of medium height that will hold a formal structure and plant them in a linear or defined way. If it’s an informal setting, the tall, wavy Allium make great garden features. Plant Allium Bulbs in pink, purple, blue, white, or yellow (bulbs availavle seasonally).
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 (plants available seasonally).
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 Beardies in blues and purples or other contrasting colors. Plant Indigo Seeds or Baptisia Plants (available seasonally).
Peonies, with dark green foliage and round, almost spherical blossoms that open to a colorful long lasting flower, are an excellent Bearded Iris companion. See our selection of Peonies.
Daylilies are an easy, fun choice if chosen with a matching season of bloom. Some even rebloom along with the Bearded Iris. See our current selection of Daylilies.
Salvia will add a colorful border to your Iris garden with its deep, colorful and long lasting 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.
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.
And, most importantly, have fun! Experiment – sometimes it’s important to break the rules. Pay attention to the foliage, too. Bearded Iris adds a beautiful vertical element to your garden with its upright foliage.