Planting Mini Iris (Specie Iris) Bulbs for the Spring Garden
Watch Our Video On Planting Mini Iris Bulbs
Thinking of Irises brings to mind big, flouncy flowers with tall stately foliage, stalwarts of the summer garden. But hidden among the Iris genus are resilient, dwarf wildflower Irises (Iris reticulata or Specie Iris) that can light up the garden in early spring.
Growing Mini Wildflower Iris (Iris reticulata or Specie Iris)
Dwarf Iris are among the earliest bloomers in our gardens. Popping up in late winter to very early spring on sturdy stems and only 4-6” tall, they are perfect to plant with early Crocus, Snowdrops (Galanthus) and Scilla. Elegant in form, these little flowers are awe inspiring in detail, making them a great choice for an early season showstopper. Sweetly fragrant and deer resistant, they even provide nectar for hungry early season pollinators.
Dwarf Iris prefers a well-drained, sunny to part-shade location, where the soil is moist and will dry out some in the summer.
Where To Plant Mini Iris
Ideal locations are rock gardens (the rocks will absorb early season heat and encourage early blooms), along a border or path edge or clustered around a post or entrance to your home. Being very early bloomers plant them where you will see their cheery blossoms. They may also be planted into lawns or along the edges of a wooded area. A mix of Crocus and wildflower Iris can add a colorful touch to a winter lawn. Be sure to allow the leaves to yellow and die back naturally before mowing.
Hardy in zones 3-9, they need a winter chill to thrive. If you live in a warm zone, you can chill the bulbs before planting to mimic the effect of winter. In cooler zones, they are easy-care, long-lived bulbs that will multiply and return year after year.
How To Plant Mini Iris
As with all small flowering bulbs, they look best when planted in natural, tightly planted groupings. Luckily, this is super easy! A favorite technique is to dig a hole to a depth of 2-4 inches deep. I like to plant at least 12 bulbs in a location, so an area of 1 square foot (or 12” X 12”) is all you need. Remember this is a general guide, and you can dig any shape you like. Then sprinkle in your bulbs. Pick up each one and place the flat or root side down and the pointy end up, pretty much where they fell. This will create a random, more natural effect. If you can’t tell which end should go up, simply plant it on its side, and the bulb will right itself. If bulb loving critters such as squirrels are a problem, cut a piece of chicken wire to place over your bulbs. Cover with soil and water well.
When To Fertilize Mini Iris
A yearly spring application of organic fertilizer or bulb food will help your Iris thrive and multiply. After several years (usually 3-4), your Iris may become overcrowded, resulting in fewer flowers. When this happens, once the plants have died back, in the fall, gently dig up the clusters of bulbs and separate them. Replant your area and move others to new locations.
Wildflower Iris range in colors from blue, deep purple, yellow and white, many with intricate, delicate details that are simply mesmerizing. Iris reticulata, Iris histrioides ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ and Iris histrioides ‘George’ have all received the British Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit – quite an accolade for a diminutive spring flower!
In an age where bigger is regarded as better, there is a growing appreciation for small spaces and quiet interludes away from the cacophony of sensory input. In the approach of spring in our garden we can enjoy the sturdy, elegant small flowers such as Mini Iris, that herald spring quietly, but oh, so beautifully, reminding us to look closely at the world around us.
A particularly strong spreader in the garden, ‚Harmony‚ will create a carpet of bright blue in just a few seasons....Learn MoreHarmony Specie Iris (Mini Iris) Harmony Specie Iris (Mini Iris) Iris reticulata Harmony$10.99 Sale $8.24Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 25A particularly strong spreader in the garden, 'Harmony' will create a carpet of bright blue in just a few seasons.
Iris histrioides George is a Mini Iris with early-blooming, fragrant plum purple flowers with a touch of yellow that grows to about 6„ tall. Good for forcing, rock gardens and ...Learn MoreGeorge Specie Iris (Mini Iris) George Specie Iris (Mini Iris) Iris histrioides George$12.99 Sale $9.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 25Iris histrioides George is a Mini Iris with early-blooming, fragrant plum purple flowers with a touch of yellow that grows to about 6" tall. Good for forcing, rock gardens and perennial beds.
Iris reticulata ‚Dark Blue‚ (Specie Iris) will reward you with dark blue blooms in early spring. Extremely cold hardy, this wildflower Iris can be grown almost anywhere f...Learn MoreDark Blue Specie Iris (Mini Iris) Dark Blue Specie Iris (Mini Iris) Iris reticulata Dark Blue$11.99 Sale $8.99Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 25Iris reticulata 'Dark Blue' (Specie Iris) will reward you with dark blue blooms in early spring. Extremely cold hardy, this wildflower Iris can be grown almost anywhere from zones 2-10.
This Dwarf Iris Mix (Specie Iris Mix) has bright yellow blooms of Iris danfordiae contrasting with the purple flowers of Iris reticulata. This Iris mix is extremely cold hardy, and c...Learn MoreDwarf Specie Iris Mix (Mini Iris) Dwarf Specie Iris Mix (Mini Iris) Iris reticulata and danfordiaea Mix$11.99 Sale $8.99Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 25This Dwarf Iris Mix (Specie Iris Mix) has bright yellow blooms of Iris danfordiae contrasting with the purple flowers of Iris reticulata. This Iris mix is extremely cold hardy, and can be grown from zones 2-10.
Emerging in late winter to early spring, our Wildflower Iris Collection brightens the spirits and lights the way to springtime. These low-growing flowers can be planted in containers...Learn MoreWildflower Iris Bulb Collection Wildflower Iris Bulb Collection$43.99 Sale $32.99Sale Price I Save 25%Per Collection of 100Emerging in late winter to early spring, our Wildflower Iris Collection brightens the spirits and lights the way to springtime. These low-growing flowers can be planted in containers, layered below taller spring blooming bulbs, or planted for a natural look to add jewels of color in a lawn. The collection includes four varieties of Specie Iris beautiful shades of deep purples, blues, and violets with sunny yellow highlights to chase away the winter blues. Collection of 100 bulbs.
Our Early Spring Blooming Bulb Collection offers an assortment of easy-to-grow fall-planted bulbs that will come back year after year and naturalize (establishing larger colonies as ...Learn MoreEarly Spring Blooming Bulb Collection Early Spring Blooming Bulb Collection$62.99 Sale $47.24Sale Price I Save 25%Per Collection of 121Our Early Spring Blooming Bulb Collection offers an assortment of easy-to-grow fall-planted bulbs that will come back year after year and naturalize (establishing larger colonies as they propagate themselves underground with more bulbs). Includes Wildflower Tulip 'Little Beauty', Muscari 'Delft Blue Mix', Daffodil 'Tete-A-Tete', Iris reticulata 'Harmony', and Crocus 'Yellow Mammoth'.
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