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Yellow iris, yellow and water-bound

Yellow iris flower, also called marsh iris

Yellow iris is part of the extensive Iridaceae family. It has the highest water needs of all.

A few yellow iris facts

Name – Iris pseudacorus
Family – Iridaceae
Typeaquatic plant, rhizome 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
Invasive – Invasive in North America, do not plant

It simply loves dabbling in water and adapts particularly well to decorating the side of ponds, marshes, brooks and other bodies of water.

Planting yellow iris

The best period for planting yellow iris is spring or summer, usually from May to November for the plants to bloom in the following summer.

  • Plant the yellow iris rhizomes directly in shallow water.
  • Simply immerse each yellow iris pot.
  • Keep it shallow, since putting it too deep would keep it from flowering. 15 to 20 inches (40 to 50 cm) is too deep already.
  • Keep sufficient spacing of about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) between neighboring plants.
  • Go for sunny locations even though this plant tolerates part sun.

Pruning and caring for yellow iris

Caring for yellow iris can really become only the occasional check, because this is a flower that requires very little work.

  • Remove wilted flowers as they die off, but keep the leaves until the very end of their complete yellowing, usually until fall.
    Yellow iris leaves must be kept connected to the roots until they’re dead for the plant to build up its stocks for the following blooming.
  • Yellow iris must constantly have water, because it can’t cope with even the slightest dry spell.

All there is to know about yellow iris

Native to Europe, it is also found in Asia and North Africa, always in marshy wetlands.

On other continents, such as North and South America, this flower is on the invasive species list. This means it shouldn’t be planted or grown there. Some states have laws prohibiting import and planting. Check with your local agricultural bureau what is allowed in your area.

Sunset on yellow irisIt thrives near ponds, along running water, both in plains and in lower mountain ranges.

Yellow iris is a hardy plant that survives winter very well.

Cold actually conditions part of the plant’s growth.

Three magnificent yellow petals form the flower.

Smart tip about yellow iris

The lifespan of an iris clump 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.

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: Tero Laakso
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  • Lisa Marr wrote on 22 June 2020 at 11 h 11 min

    This is an invasive species destroying wetlands in North America.

    • Gaspard wrote on 22 June 2020 at 13 h 28 min

      Hi Lisa, you’re right. It should only be planted in gardens in areas where it’s native to.