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Ahhh, iris…my favorite flower (at least until I start posting about hydrangea and peonies).

These blue German iris lovelies are pass-alongs from my mother’s garden. Best parts about them? They are incredibly vigorous and they re-bloom in the fall. Twice as nice!!!

If you’re a Darwinist-type gardener like me (e.g. plant things that thrive on neglect), then the iris is the flower for you! Proof: my friend Kacy, who is a certified plant-killer has successfully grown them.

The flowers spring forth from rhizomes, which, for lack of a better description, sort of resemble dog turds. The rhizomes prefer to be planted very shallowly in rich, moist soil (e.g. cover the roots and most of the rhizome, but leave some of its “back” exposed). That being said: they’ll pretty much grow anywhere they can get sun, as long as the soil stays moist and has some drainage. Technically, irises don’t like being covered with mulch, but I guess my plants have a “devil-may-care” attitude about that. They’re doing just fine in it – even though I tell the mulch guys each year to not drown them.

Over time, irises spread and form lovely clumps, which benefit from being divided every few years or so. I have never paid a dime for my iris, which have come from my mom, a client’s wife and assorted friends. In time, I have ended up with pretty drifts of irises. You can, too!


What Irises Like:

  • sun (full-sun is best, if you don’t want to end up with Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa-esque flowers)
  • moisture
  • rich soil
  • to not be planted too deeply
  • to be divided every few years