Rainbow of Irises


On this Fertilizer Friday I thought I would share my love for all irises.  A while back I shared my Dwarf Dutch Irises.  Now I want to show you some of the others I grow in spring and early summer.  Irises take their name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species.  How appropriate.  My Aunt Mary and mom call them flags.  Some varieties I grow include Bearded, Japanese, Siberian, Louisiana, Native Blue Flag, and Dutch Iris.        

Many irises grow from rhizomes that you lay on top of the soil and are partially covered.  Others grow from bulbs planted under ground.  Most irises need partly sunny conditions and will tolerate most soils.  They are hardy from zones 3 through 9 and like moist soil and some like it very wet.        

They are deer resistant and many varieties are visited by hummers and butterflies.  These versatile plants seem almost fool proof and are easy to grow.  Oh and yes some varieties like Bearded and Siberian should be divided.  That is a chore that I must do this year.        

So let me introduce you to these rainbow flowers…..Some are short like the ones to the left which are the dwarf bearded variety that bloom in spring and again in fall.        

The ones to the right are  Louisiana and Native Blue Flag varieties that love my wet pond area.  



The beauties below are but a few of the varieties of Bearded Iris I captured last year.  I was travelling when they were in full bloom so I did not get to photograph them all.  I will be taking more pictures this spring.        


More recent irises I am loving to grow are the Japanese variety.  As you can see I grow many different ones.  I was pleasantly surprised when they came up in large groups this past late spring.  I did not expect such a prolific bloom from this variety so quickly.  The exotic blooms have me swooning.        


You can’t go wrong growing irises for many seasons of rainbow flowers through out the garden.  Oh and did I mention they have a heavenly perfume.  That’s a wonderful bonus!!        

Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.
–   Gerald De Nerval        


Special Note:  A new gardening on-line magazine has been born and is the brainchild and labor of love of Anna “Flowergardengirl” Looper.  It is called Toil the Soil.  Make sure you click on over and peruse the first issue which is free.  It features wonderful articles and photos from everyday gardeners including yours truly.  You won’t be dissapointed and Anna is always looking for more contributions for upcoming issues.   Consider subscribing or contributing.

42 Replies to “Rainbow of Irises”

  1. I too love iris and have many planted. I just wish they would last a bit longer, but my lilies replace them right after. I will get back to you on the FGG magazine. I have seen your articles and your posts are very good. They are separate of your blog, correct?

    1. thx Donna…I wish they would last longer too although the japanese I think last the longest…yes usually the FGG mag is separate but you should email her and have her decide with you…

  2. Irises are my very favourite flowers but I’ve been told they probably won’t do well in my garden because of all the shade (or perhaps they are not for rookie gardeners like myself?). I want to try anyway this year and am reading everything I can about them. I read so much conflicting info … so I will just try and see what happens. Thanks for this article, I’m sure I will be referring to you lots in future 🙂

    1. Christine I am in zone or sun denial sometimes too…go right ahead and try …I have bearded iris in shadier locations…the one thing they really don’t like is to be too wet or buried too deep…more native flag irises will tolerate wetter spots as will Siberian and Japanese iris although if it is wetter they want at least part sun…feel free to contact me anytime

  3. I know several gardeners here that have collections of irises and I really admire yours.
    I only have a few; when I. pallida is in bloom, you can smell it all over our yard.

    1. thank you for your kind words…I have slowly built up the collection and I just love iris time in the garden…what a wonderful scent

  4. They are so gorgeous Donna! I love all the vibrant colours. I have only Yellow Walking Iris in my garden, a small yellow flowers, more like an orchid than an iris. I guess yours are not suitable for our hot and humid climate.

  5. Lovely, Donna. My little one (the Professor) was born when my bearded irises were in bloom. Those Japanese irises are superb!

  6. May is the time we see our Iris bloom. I look forward to seeing the beautiful blooms that come up in my garden. They are a wonderful plant and a great addition to any garden.

  7. I love irises. Yours are beautiful. I think they are especially cheerful when planted with all colors together like a rainbow.

  8. Donna, Irises are a favorite at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens. From native to exotic, from full sun to full shade, there is an iris that fits the requirements of your site. I have an Iris ensata that is dark maroon, and when it blooms I just stare at it transfixed. Carolyn

  9. Love!! Your Irises Donna! What a delicious collection. I too love the Japanese varieties, unfortunately so do the voles!! Beautiful photos and compositions here. I love your contribution to the magazine. Have a lovely weekend.

  10. A lovely collection, Donna. So colorful! My heart belongs to one variety that I love to share… which was my contribution to Toil the Soil this month. Loved seeing yours!

    1. Carolyn I loved seeing that gorgeous color…I am not sure if I have a pink/peach one but if not that will be my next acquisition…it was just incredible in color…

    1. I would love whatever you want to share…the old yellow and bubblegum…as I divide mine this yr I will be offering some as well…

  11. What a beautiful collection you have. I love Irises, too, and I finally found the perfect spot for them. They come back reliably every year. Thanks for sharing your rainbow! Beth

  12. Your garden must be gorgeous when all of those irises bloom! They do offer a wonderful variety of color. Irises are an old-fashioned plant that conjures up memories of friends whose passalongs add much to my own garden.

  13. Donna, Your Irises are very beautiful, I am really surprised that I have neglected to grow this plant other than say two or three varieties over such a long period. I think it is because we always viewed them as a plant with such a short flowering period that they were not worth the garden space. Even if there is some truth in this, I am still thinking I have made a mistake.

    1. you will not be mistaken to grow them..especially if you have any moist areas for Japanese, Siberian or Native flag…Bearded are happy in many colors in a drift in a evenly moist area with part sun….you can interplant other longer later perennials like lilies, daylilies etc…see if you have friends or neighbors who can give you some…when we have to divide we have lots to passalong..

  14. How beautiful! So glad I stopped by to wallow in the Irises. I just love the Siberian. The native blue flag is on my list for spring. I also enjoy the small reticulated Iris come early spring. You are so right, you just can’t go wrong with Iris.

  15. Hi Donna, i am new here. Those are beautiful irises which i have not mostly seen. I just saw the blues. The double petals are more beautiful, we dont have them here. We only have the small yellow ones.

    1. I have a few spots that are dry and sunny all summer so I may investigate them too…thx Janet for stopping by and admiring my irises

  16. I am so sorry to be here tardy but here none the less!….thanks for linking in this post…I hope you will link in again soon!
    These iris photos are just breathtaking! I love Iris!!!

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