Siberian Iris

The Siberian iris flourishes in a rich, moist soil and blooms in the spring.


Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Botanical name: Iris sibirica
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 9

Siberian iris is an ideal plant for planting in wet soils, including bog gardens, and withstands severe weather conditions. Its flower has six petals; the three upright petals are called standards, and the three hanging petals are called falls. Flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, blue, purple, pink and yellow. Blooms in spring after bearded iris. Leaves are narrow, green and grasslike. Plant size reaches 18 to 36 inches tall and as wide.

How to use it: Plant in mass for full effect. Use in the front to middle of a sunny, mixed perennial border that has good moisture. Plant in a bog garden or near a water feature.

Culture: Prefers a rich, moist soil. Plant in full sun to partial shade (only in hot climates). Benefits by fertilization. Primarily propagated through division. Dig and divide only when the center of the clump dies out and there is less vigorous flowering. Don't allow clumps to dry out when dividing. Doesn't like to be disturbed, so it may take a year to recover from division. (The appropriate time to divide depends on the climate and giving plants enough to establish before winter arrives.) No serious pest or disease problems; less prone to iris borer and rot than bearded iris.

Special notes: The name iris is derived from Greek mythology where Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, therefore aptly named for its variety of flower colors. Beardless iris. Siberian iris have rhizomes which are thick, fleshy stems that grow underground. Ideal for wet sites. Drought tolerant once established.

Selected cultivars

  • 'Butter and Cream'. Creamy white standards complemented by lemon yellow falls. Rebloomer. Reaches 28 inches tall.
  • 'Caesar's Brother'. Features gorgeous dark purple flowers. Reaches three feet tall.
  • 'White Swirl'. Has white, ruffled flowers with a hint of yellow swirled in. Reaches about three feet tall.

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