How to Plant Irises in the Spring


Irises are perennial plants, annually regrowing from the same stalk. Most irises bloom in summertime, so you want to plant in early spring to ensure a full season of growth and healthy regrowth for the following year. Planting irises requires some basic gardening tools and a bit of specialized gardening knowledge.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Garden trowel
  • Pruning shears
  1. Dig two-inch-deep holes, spaced about two feet apart. Irises like gardens with well-drained peat soil. Dig in an area that receives full sunlight or partial shade. Most iris species can tolerate moderate amounts of shade, but the bucharica iris is an exception, requiring at least six hours of daily direct sunlight.

  2. Place an iris bulb in the hole and cover with soil.

  3. Water the iris seedling only during periods of drought, recommends "Simon and Schuster’s Complete Guide to Plants and Flowers." Common iris varieties thrive in environments where the soil is just barely moist, but the fringed iris is an exception, requiring watering on a daily or semi-daily basis.

  4. Snip off any dead or damaged leaves as the seedling grows. The iris plant will root and emerge from the ground in just a few weeks. As it grows, look for black discolorations on its leaves. Blackened leaves are diseased and require immediate pruning. A brownish leaf is simply malnourished and may recover with additional sunlight or water.

  5. Cover your iris plants with hay, leaves or pine needles after flowering is complete. When the blossoms fall off naturally in late autumn, the iris plants are dormant. You may cover the seedling for added protection against snow. This is not usually necessary for mature irises in subsequent growing seasons, but is beneficial for a young, spring-planted iris.

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