Bearded Iris

Growing Advice for Irises

Preparing to plant irises

To achieve quality flowers irises prefer to be planted in very sunny positions.
Prepare your soil by digging it over and if it is on the heavy side add some sand and gypsum as rhizomes can rot in heavy soils. If the bed is higher than the surrounding garden it will drain better.
Irises don't like competition so remove any weeds or vigorous ground covers that will compete. Don't plant close to plants that have a high water requirement as your irises will most likely suffer from over watering.


Plant your rhizome about 20-25 cm apart (8 to 12 inches) with about 1/3 of a cup of organic fertiliser just below the root zone. In Australia's hot conditions it is best to plant rhizomes with a very thin layer of soil covering the rhizome. Do not plant too deep or too shallow.
Water a few times until they settle in and natural rainfall occurs. Do not mulch. Over watering and mulch sitting on the rhizomes is the greatest risk to rhizome rot.

Ongoing maintenance

Fertilise with a low-nitrogen fertiliser approximately one month after blooms have finished or in early autumn and again about 6 weeks before the next flowering.
Water sparingly - don't over water. Trimming iris is not recommended other than to tidy up your garden removing any leaves that are diseased or damaged. Trim more harshly rhizome that are being re-planted.
Dividing clumps every two to three years improves flowering. If you do not want to dig up and divide, remove a % of rhizomes from the clump and plant elsewhere. Remember the old rhizomes do not re-flower so from time to time thin them out of the clump. For more information on dividing and replanting irises check the information on The Iris Society of Australia website.

Collections and Specials

With so many varieties it can be a bit overwhelming trying to choose. One of our most popular option is the "Annie's Pick" Collections with the basic collection of 10 Tall Breaded Iris which is extremely good value. You can choose a different number or a mix of iris and daylilies. If you only want newer varieties you can choose the Annie's Super pick.

It is important to note normally black and pinks irises rarely make it into the collections as they are too popular so they need to be ordered individually or in an "Annie's Super Pick".

Tall Bearded Irises

The very early Tall Bearded Irises start flowering in limited numbers in early October. The peak bloom season for Tall Bearded Irises is mid-October to the end of October with a relatively small number flowering up until mid-November. 

With almost 1400 varieties there are plenty to choose from however the newer varieties and the most popular colours sell out quickly. It should be noted our garden might best be described as a "boutique" collection with only a few of each rather that having large quantities of anything.

Some varieties are what are called re-bloomers. These varieties can flower at other times of the year giving growers a nice surprise.

Border iris photos

Border Irises

These bearded iris are smaller in stature than the talls however require similar conditions. They generally flower a little earlier than the talls.

The two in the bottom right of the photo are Arilbreds which have the destinctive marking under the beard. They are a similar size to the Borders.  

Intermediate Irises

These bearded iris are smaller in stature than the talls however require similar conditions. Generally their flowers are a little smaller, they flower a little earlier and come in some interesting colours. These are particularly useful if you have a spot a bit too windy for the tall varieties.

Intermediate Irises
Planet Max
Customer feedback: Thank you very much for the iris plants. You have been very generous in that I have 15 instead of the 11 ordered. They all have great roots and are the best that I have ever had via online ordering.

Arilbred Irises

The photo shows how the Arilbreds have the destinctive marking under the beard. We have only just started collecting these so there are only a few available for now.

Dwarf Irises

We have a small collection of Dwarf Irises. Like the talls they require good drainage and close to full sun. Great for borders, they come in some unusual colours and flower starting late September and flowering into the first half of October. Their rhizomes are much smaller than the tall varieties which makes weed control more critical when you are establishing these varieties.

If you are especially interested in seeing the Dwarfs in flower call to make an appointment before the main open days.