Planting Guide

Tall bearded irises are easy to grow and maintain, and with just a little care they will no doubt bring you enjoyment for years to come!

You will receive a rhizome that has been freshly dug up and trimmed, washed and dried before it is sent to you. Plant them as soon as possible, but they can be stored for a while in a paper bag if you can't plant right away. The rhizome should be planted even or slightly below the surface of the soil with the roots in the ground and the green fan up. They should be planted no closer than a foot apart to make room for them to grow and multiply.

Soil: Irises prefer a neutral PH soil, but will grow in just about any type of soil. The most important thing to remember is that the soil needs to drain well. You can plant them in raised beds if your chosen area doesn’t drain well, or they can be planted on a hill or sloping area to help with drainage. If you have a clay type of soil, sand and an organic matter can be added to help with the composition.

Sunshine: Full sun is best, but irises will still bloom with about a half day of sunshine. If you plan to plant them next to your house or a fence, they will get the most sun on the south or west sides.

Blooming: As long as your rhizomes are planted at least six weeks prior to your first frost, they should bloom for you the following spring. Sometimes they need an additional year to grow before they bloom. If your irises haven’t bloomed by the second year, they are probably not getting enough sun. Irises also need a definite winter, so if you live in a tropical area you may have healthy looking plants that might not ever bloom in the springtime. Rebloomers typically will also bloom at another time of the year, such as later in the summer or fall, but since growing conditions vary with each garden, it is difficult to predict what your results will be.

Water: Irises are very drought resistance after they are established. Water them well for a while to get their roots growing after they are planted. Your normal rainfall will usually be sufficient after your irises are established.

Other Terms

A Historic iris is one that is at least 30 years old.

A Space Age iris has horns, spoons or flouces extending from the beard.

The definition of a Tall Bearded iris is a bearded iris that is at least 27 inches tall. They are the most common and popular type.

Ordering & Shipping

Orders can be accepted from January 1st to August 31st each year (form can be mailed or emailed), and rhizomes are shipped from August 1st to September 30th depending on your region, preference and/or date of order. We will send you an email to confirm your order, and another email to let you know when your order ships. Since we are a small grower, some popular irises can sell out quickly, so order early!

We have changed our shipping charges to a flat $10 rate for 1-10 rhizomes, and $15 for 11+ rhizomes. This will make it much easier to figure out shipping. Feel free to add irises to your order throughout the Spring, up until your order ships in the late Summer or Fall!
Iris Order Form 2019.pdf
click to download
GARDEN PHOTOS - Click any photo below to enlarge:
Your rhizomes will look similar to this when they are shipped to you in later summer or early fall.

We are not iris experts, just iris lovers! For additional information on irises or iris care, you can contact The American Iris Society.


COLOR PATTERNS as described by E. Roy Epperson for The American Iris Society:

Amoena: Standards are white and falls are a different color. A reverse amoena has white falls and standards of a different color.

Bicolor: Standards and falls are of different colors, the falls usually being darker than the standards.

Bitone: Standards and falls of different amounts of the same color. Ordinarily the falls are darker than the standards.

Blend: A color pattern where a combination or mixture or two or more colors are present in the same parts of the flowers.

Broken Color: Splashed or streaked iris with another color.

Luminata: Falls have a brushed pattern, with paler veins and a clear, unmarked area (spot) around the beards.

Neglecta: Blue or voilet bicolor with darker falls.

Plicata: Lighter ground color is stippled, dotted or stitched with a darker color emanating from the margins of the petals.

Self: Standards and falls are the same color. A true self also has beards the same color.

Variegata: A bicolor with yellow standards and darker, usually red falls.

AIS Awards

Dykes Memorial Medal: First awarded in 1927, the Dykes Medal is the highest award of the AIS. Awarded to no more than one iris per year, Irises are eligible as a Dykes Medal candidate for three years following the winning of a classification medal.

Award of Merit (AM) awards are given to irises from each classification each year. Any iris is eligible the second year after previously winning an Honorable Mention (HM).

Honorable Mention (HM) awards are awarded each year to irises of each classification. Registered bearded irises are eligible the second year after introduction.