Bearded iris is a perennial that is as easy to grow as it is ornamental when it blooms.
A summary of bearded iris facts
Name – Iris barbata, I. germanica
Family – Iridaceae
Type – bulbous flower or perennial
Height – 8 to 36 inches (20 to 90 cm)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – ordinary
Flowering – January to July depending on the variety
All in one classical, beautiful and elegant, it loves growing in the sun and doesn’t ask for anything else!
Planting bearded iris
Ideally, bearded iris is to be planted in fall or in spring for it to bloom in the following summer.
- Plant the bearded iris rhizomes in the sun in a spot where it gets hot in summer.
- Bearded iris likes soft, broken-up soil and shouldn’t be buried too deep.
- Keep sufficient spacing of about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) between neighboring plants.
- Let the rhizomes stick out here and there for the sun to shine on them directly.
- It is nicer to plant bearded iris in groups of several specimens.
More or less every 3 years, you’ll do well to divide the clumps and separate the rhizomes in order to regenerate the foot.
- It is best to divide them in summer.
- Pull the entire crown out of the ground with a spade.
- Cleanly slice the rhizome with a very sharp blade.
- Replant the new bunch in an appropriate location.
Sowing bearded iris, the garden iris
If sowing, best to sow in pots in September-October.
- You can leave them outdoors, under some type of shelter, all winter long.
- Blooming will only occur 2 to 3 years after the sowing.
- You’ll proceed to transplant them directly in the ground as soon as the first leaves have sprouted.
Pruning and caring for bearded iris
- Weed often around it so as to keep weeds from lording it over the rhizomes.
- Remove wilted flowers as they die off, but keep the leaves until the very end of their yellowing, usually until September.
Iris leaves must be kept connected to the roots for the plant to build up its stocks for the following blooming.
- Remove weeds that grow amidst the plant leaves to free the rhizomes.
- No need to water because the plant doesn’t need it.
All there is to know about bearded iris
- Cold actually helps the plant grow properly.
Three magnificent petals form the flower, and their colors are most varied.
Often in tones of purple, they can also be blue, yellow, red or white.
Bearded iris flowers tend to be more frilly and wider than those of other types of iris such as Dutch iris, for instance.
Smart tip about bearded iris
The lifespan of a bearded iris can reach anywhere from 5 to 20 years.
To ensure it lasts a generation, offer it bulb-plant organic fertilizer every year after the blooming.