Alphabetical Plant Listing

Iris reticulata (Dwarf Iris)

Dwarf Iris (Iris Reticulata)


A native of Turkey and the Caucasian Mountains, Dwarf Iris (Iris reticulata) is a four-inch tall beauty (10 cm) with grass-like leaves and a violet-blue or purple flower with yellow markings that bursts into bloom in late winter to early spring to create an effect reminiscent of butterflies hovering low to the ground. This sight brightens the aspect of late winter days! Breeders have been creating terrific cultivars with flower colors ranging from yellow and chocolate to speckled blues.

Since each flower last between 3-7 days, the gradual succession of buds means that these Dwarf Irises will flower for around three weeks. With pretty colors, elegant forms and striking markings, they are a wonderful way to welcome spring to our sleeping winter gardens.

  • Easily grown in average, medium moisture, neutral or slightly alkaline, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. Keep the soil relatively dry in summer in order for the bulbs to set buds for the following year.
  • Perfect in containers, rock gardens, under trees and shrubs or at the front of borders. Spectacular when planted in groups (at least 20 bulbs)!
  • Deer resistant and drought tolerant.
  • To be planted in fall, 4 in. deep (10 cm) and 3 in. apart (7 cm).
  • Propagate by seed, sown in pots in a cold frame in autumn or spring. Lift and separate bulbs in early autumn
  • Ingestion may cause discomfort.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 5 - 8
Climate Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Iris Reticulata - Dwarf Irises
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 4" - 6" (10cm - 15cm)
Spread 3" (7cm)
Spacing 3" (7cm)
Depth 4" (10cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 5 - 8
Climate Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Iris Reticulata - Dwarf Irises
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 4" - 6" (10cm - 15cm)
Spread 3" (7cm)
Spacing 3" (7cm)
Depth 4" (10cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
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