Bearded Iris: King of the Southern Garden Irises

Blue bearded Iris in my garden

Blue bearded iris in my garden

When I stopped to admire the blue bearded irises in my garden this afternoon, it reminded me that I have not written about perhaps the most popular iris in the Southern Garden. I remember the white ones my mom got, a start from someone, and they never missed blooming in our yard. Well, now this beautiful blue one is tame compared to all the hybridized, bi-colors, and variations on the pastel color palette. Like most iris, they are easy to grow but the do like sun. These are really rhizomes, and as they grow over the years, their rhizomes become crowded and must be divided to keep quality and quantity blooms up. I generally divide them in late summer, but frankly this can be done anytime after they bloom. Watch for a step-by-step when mine are ready to divide in my border. Isn’t this great? We have a group of plants (the irises) that are so easy to grow and come in a variety of types.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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