How to Plant a Bearded Iris


The bearded iris (Iris Germanica) is a perennial flower that will grace your yard with handsome ruffled blossoms that come in a multitude of shades, from purple and white to vibrant yellows and deep reds. They are not a hard plant to grow once you have planted them in a rich soil and where they can get full sun. Planting them is not very complicated.

Step 1

Prepare your site by turning over the soil with a spade. Since the iris will stay in the same spot for many years, take the time initially at planting to work the soil so that the roots of the iris can penetrate it easily. Use a hoe to chop up the soil so that it crumbles easily and there are no clumps. Take out any sticks or stones that are obvious.

Step 2

Add your amendments on top of the worked bed. Include things like pine bark or compost that will provide aeration for the soil and nutrients. If the area has a lot of clay, you can include some perlite to loosen the ground and increase drainage.

Step 3

Make a 6-inch high mound of soil in the bed and place the bearded iris rhizome on top, laying the roots down the sides of the mound. Cover the roots with soil and barely cover the rhizomes. They do well sitting at surface level. Plant others 18 inches apart and with their leaves pointing away from each other.

Step 4

Water the bearded iris after planting to settle the dirt in around the roots. A light (1-inch) layer of mulch will improve the looks of the bed and will conserve moisture around the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Bearded iris rhizomes
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Pine bark
  • Compost
  • Perlite
  • Mulch


  • North Carolina State University: Bearded Iris for the Home Landscape
  • North Dakota State University: Iris
Keywords: Planting Bearded Iris, Planting Iris Rhizomes, Growing Iris Flowers

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.