The tall, beautiful iris, named after the Greek goddess who rode rainbows, comes in many magical colors. Despite its divine origins, this June bloomer is rugged, reliable, and easy to grow. Plant from midsummer to fall! Here’s how to plant properly—plus, important iris plant care tips.
There are some 300 species in the genus Iris. The most familiar irises are the tall (at least 28 inches) bearded irises (Iris germanica).
These distinctive six-petaled flowers have three outer hanging petals (called “falls”) and three inner upright petals (called “standards”).
Irises may be a “bearded” type or crested (beardless). Bearded iris are so-called because they have soft hairs along the center of the falls. In crested iris, the hairs form a comb or ridge.
Most irises flower in early summer. Some—mostly bearded hybrids—are remontant, flowering again later in the summer.