How to Plant Bearded Iris


Bearded iris is favorite perennial because of its large, elegant flowers. It comes in a variety of colors from the traditional purple to red, orange, yellow, pink, green, blue and white. The plant grows to heights of 2 feet, though there are some dwarf versions. Bearded iris is easy to work with as it can grow in most any soil type. As long as the rhizome is planted properly it will continue to produce year after year.

Step 1

Plan to plant bearded iris rhizomes between July and September. Choose a planting site that receives full sunlight.

Step 2

Fertilize the growing site with a 5-10-10 fertilizer. Follow the dosage instructions on the manufacturer's label.

Step 3

Dig a hole that will hold each rhizome. The hole should allow the top of the rhizome to sit above ground level. Add more dirt if needed to properly place the rhizome.

Step 4

Position the rhizome in the hole so its roots go down and out.

Step 5

Refill the hole with soil being careful not to cover the top of the rhizome. Tamp around the rhizome to remove any air pockets that may have collected around the roots.

Step 6

Water thoroughly, but do not waterlog the area. Plan to water twice weekly through the fall.

Step 7

Space other rhizomes 10 inches apart.

Step 8

Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or compost over the planting site.

Step 9

Fertilize bearded iris with a 5-10-10 fertilizer formula once in the spring and again after flowering ends. Follow the dosage instructions on the manufacturer's label.

Step 10

Cut the iris down to 2 inches after blooming.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden trowel
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer
  • Mulch or compost
  • Pruning scissors


  • Cornell University: Iris, Bearded
  • North Dakota State University: Iris

Who Can Help

  • Iowa State University: Irises for the Home Landscape
Keywords: plant bearded iris, grow bearded iris, instructions bearded iris

About this Author

Leigh Walker has been working as a writer since 1995. She serves as a ghostwriter for many online clients creating website content, e-books and newsletters. She works as a title flagger and writer for Demand Studios, primarily writing home and garden pieces for and Walker pursued an English major/psychology minor at Pellissippi State.