Iris Flowers

Iris flowers and iris plants, perennials, such as blue iris flowers, are among the most spectacular and popular of garden perennials.

Dutch iris bulbs, species, got their Dutch iris name because this hybrid iris flower group was developed by Dutch bulb growers.

Irises are a large diverse group of 200-300 species with varying colors and flower forms, plant care, and blooming times.

The majority of iris plants flower in spring, or very early in summer.

There are two major groups of irises, Rhizomatous irises, and Bulbous irises.

Retail nurseries carry bulbous irises for fall planting.

Irises that grow from bulbs have beardless flowers and go dormant in summer, and can be lifted and stored until planting time in fall.

Irises that grow from rhizomes have bearded, beardless, or crested flower forms.

The rhizomatous iris group flowers are the most widely grown types of iris flowers.

Iris Flowers

Gray's Iris Garden in New Jersey

Their leaves are swordlike, forming flat fans of foilage. These are the iris varieties most people grow in a perennial garden.

Bearded Iris, I. germanica: These irises bloom late spring and early summer. Some varieties grow from bulbs and some from rhizomes. They come in almost any colors except true red. Sizes range from the 6 inch dwarf crested iris to plants 3 feet tall, or taller. The shorter varieties bloom earlier in spring than the taller types. But they all peak by early summer.

Beardless Iris: They only grow from bulbs that should be planted in fall. This group bloom in spring or early summer, and include Siberian I. seberica, Japanese I. ensata, Louisiana irises, I. fulva, and yellow flag, I. pseudoacorus.

Crested Iris: The most popular in this group is the dwarf crested iris I. crestota and the Roof iris I. tectorum iris. They grow by rhizomes and can be divided in fall.

iris flowers

Iris Flower Plant Structure

All iris blooms have at least six petals, although Japanese irisies have more.

The three upper parts of the flower petals are called standards, and the three lower ones falls.

The base of the fall is known as the shaft, or shoulder.

Some flowers have beards at the back of the falls. Others have beards on both the falls and the standards

These iris plants are called bearded irises, and the ones without beards, are called beardless irises.

ost iris blooms grow on tall, upright, branched flower stems.

Planting Iris Bulbs

The bulbous irises should be planted in the fall. They can be left in the ground for years where summers are dry.

Everywhere else they should be lifted and stored after flowering is over, and replanted in the fall.

Planting Rhizomatous Irises

The best planting time for this group of irises are July to October.

If you garden in regions with mild winters and cool to moderate summers, you can plant anytime during this time.

But in cold winter climates, plant during July or August.

And if you garden where summers are hot, plant in September or October.

They are easy to care for, but they do have special needs, so you must read about how to care for iris plants before you buy them.

Buy Iris Plants

The best selection of bearded irises are offered by special nurseries inline who sell mailorder in late summer or early fall. And that’s because it’s the best time to plant them.

Different iris varieties have different growing conditions. It’s very important to match your garden site with the right iris variety. Click on the headline about growing irises to find out how to grow them.

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