Iris Varieties and Care

Discover the perfect iris varieties for your garden and how to care for them.

| November 2013

  • Before and after these rich purple-blue flowers, the striped foliage of I. laevigata ‘Variegata’ makes a bright impact.
    Photo By judywhite and Graham Rice
  • The yellow-striped foliage of I. pallida ‘Variegata,’ dramatic in its own right, is enhanced by a brief burst of blue, early summer flowers.
    Photo By judywhite and Graham Rice
  • The purple young foliage of I. virginica stands out strongly in early spring and is followed by attractive blue flowers.
    Photo By judywhite and Graham Rice
  • "Powerhouse Plants" by Graham Rice discusses plants that change beautifully and dramatically through the season. By combing them in your yard, you can have a landscape that never looks boring or tired.
    Cover Courtesy Timber Press Inc.

Choosing the right plants for a garden takes time, money and commitment. With the right selections, a landscape can stay bright and beautiful through the seasons. Powerhouse Plants, (Timber Press Inc., 2013) by Graham Rice, will ensure any landscape can reach its potential of seasonal beauty and eye-catching appeal. This excerpt explains the growing habits and differences in iris varieties and the care needed for each.

Iris — perennial

• Spring shoots

• Spring to fall foliage

• Summer flowers

• Iconic combinations of flowers and foliage from spring to fall

When we think of Iris varieties, we think of glorious summer flowers in Van Gogh’s vibrant colors — dazzling then gone, for theirs is a single, short-season drama. But some irises have an opening act of rich purple spring shoots, or feature variegated foliage, bringing up to three distinct features to the garden in as many seasons.

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