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Basic Iris Guide

The full range of irises can be daunting and so this page gives an quick guide to the types of iris likely to be found at the local garden centre.

Bearded Iris

These irises are for many people the typical iris. They are grown in sunny sites with good drainage and come in a variety of sizes. The smaller varieties flower earlier, usually commencing in April and the taller finish flowering about the end of May/early June.

Siberian Iris

Whilst these are often planted near water, they also make good border plants and will tolerate even drier soils if they are well established. A sunny aspect is best.

Iris reticulata & similar bulbs

Iris reticulata is a spring bulb, best planted in autumn. Ideally it needs a well-drained soil in sun, but it can be successful even on heavy clay!

Dutch Iris

Another bulbous iris. Often used for forcing in the florist trade and can be seen as a cut flower nearly all year. However, they can be used in the garden providing colour in late May/ early June. Again a sunny well drained site is best.

Iris pseudacorus

Our native 'Yellow Flag'. A very robust and strong growing iris in moist soils or shallow water. Generally, too vigorous to make a good garden plant, unless a wild area is envisaged.

Iris laevigata

The normal choice for growing in shallow water or at the pond edge, but still quite vigorous.