Iris come in a variety of colors, in fact, the name means rainbow. They are perennial flowers that grow from rhizomes. There are Bearded Iris, Beardless Iris and Crested Iris. Regardless of type, these flowers are timeless and beautiful. Follow the steps below to easily grow, propagate and store them.

Bearded IrisCredit: by Penubag

Things You Will Need

Iris rhizomes

Shovel or Garden spade

Gardening gloves

Garden hose

Compost, organic matter,


 Garden snips


Plant Iris rhizomes in soil that has good drainage and is slightly acidic, they like a pH level close to 6.8, but tolerate lower levels. Soil that does not have good drainage or is heavy with clay can be amended by mixing organic matter into the top 12 - 18 inches of soil.

They can be planted in raised beds or along hillsides to improve drainage.

Bone meal or super phosphate should be added to the soil below the rhizome to encourage root development in the rhizomes.

Fertilize the top 4 - 6 inches of soil.

Mulch around the spring-flowering plant to preserve moisture.

Yellow IrisCredit: by Kate Jewell

Plant the rhizomes in a sunny to slightly shaded location. Dig 2 trenches, approximately 4 inches deep. Place the rhizome on the "hill" in between and fan the roots down into the trenches.

Barely cover the rhizome with soil. Beardless Iris rhizomes should be planted slightly deeper.

Plant rhizomes in early spring or fall.

1 - 2 months after the flowers have bloomed and died off, cut back foliage to within 4 inches of the ground.

Every 2 - 3 years, dig rhizomes up.

White IrisCredit: by Eric in SF

Clean rhizomes and divide them before replanting.

Iris rhizomes can overwinter in the ground. Mulch them during dormant period, making sure to remove mulch when the plant begins to grow in spring.

Fertilize with a 10-10-10 solution until flowering begins.