Welcome! Here you can find answers to your questions about irises. You’ve never grown them before? You have a brown thumb? You’re not sure where to start? We can help! Choose an area below and you’ll find loads of information at your fingertips. You’ll have a beautiful iris garden in no time!
Some things to know before you start: first, irises are clonal, which means each child plant is a genetic duplicate of the parent plant. Because irises don’t mutate often, nor do they create seeds easily, we can grow the identical irises that our great-grandmothers grew. Irises are truly “living history.” What a fascinating thought!
There are over 70,000 registered bearded irises, all of them unique. Many have long since disappeared, but many historic irises remain. HIPS defines a “historic iris” as one that has been commercially available for at least 30 years. Many historic irises date to the mid-1800s or earlier. Let us show you how to grow them yourself!
(Note: this information pertains to bearded irises, but we will be adding information on other irises soon.)
Parts of an Iris: here are several illustrations that show the various parts of a bearded iris.
Bearded Iris Classifications: the AIS website has a great overview of the different classes of bearded irises. They come in all sizes! Check out this great chart from the American Iris Society blog.
Iris Colors and Patterns: what’s a variegata, or an amoena, or a bitone? Find out here.
Getting Started: selecting a site, preparing the area, and growing in raised beds and pots.
Choosing Your Irises: how to select irises, various types of garden beds, and where to get the irises you want.
Planting and Caring for Your Irises: information on planting, watering, fertilizing, etc.
Dividing and Sharing: how to divide irises and replant them, and where to share the divisions.
Companion Plants: what grows well with irises?