Bearded Irises are magnificent perennials that deserve a place in any garden. Available in a veritable rainbow of colors, they reward us with breathtaking colors from early spring through high summer, and sometimes again in the fall! Easy to grow, they require little maintenance, multiply readily, are deer or rabbit resistant, and quite drought tolerant once established.

There is nothing more spectacular than elegant and regal bearded irises in their relatively short season. With more and more early and late bloomers introduced each year, it is possible to extend the blooms of your irises for up to 4 weeks or more. To enjoy their huge and exotic blooms longer, you will need to select varieties with early season, midseason and late season bloom times.

  • Early season - Tall Bearded Irises usually open their striking blooms in early May and possibly late April
  • Early Midseason - Tall Bearded Irises grace the garden from early May to mid-May.
  • Midseason - Tall Bearded Irises parade in fanfare in mid-May
  • Late Midseason - Tall Bearded Irises join the garden show from mid-May to late May
  • Late Season - Tall Bearded Irises star in the finale of the iris show with their blooms opening up to reveal their splendor in late May to early June.

Please note however that bloom times are approximate and highly depend on the weather conditions. As an example, an early blooming bearded iris might bloom in late March in California, but not before early May in New York.

Tips:

  • If you live in a cold winter area where late freezes loom well into the iris season, you may want to avoid selecting early Tall Bearded Iris varieties that could get severely damaged. Focus instead on midseason and late flowering irises. The more your plants last into summer, the better.
  • If you live in a warm climate area,  you may want to avoid selecting late Tall Bearded Iris varieties whose blooms would suffer under the intense sun or high humidity of early summer. Focus instead on early and midseason irises. 
  • Another way of extending the floral display of your bearded irises is to select reblooming iris varieties, which will flower in spring and again from late summer into fall depending on climate and growing conditions.

Here is a list of spectacular bearded irises with blooms starting between early May and early June. Most of them have won prestigious awards and bloom with great good will, opening bloom after bloom and prolonging the show considerably over the traditional 2 or 3 weeks.

Hopefully this bloom calendar will help you plan a gorgeous spring garden!