Where to position different species of Iris plants

Pond shelf Iris:

Iris laevigata, Iris pseudacorus, Iris versicolor and the Louisiana Iris will all sit on the shelf in a pond with water over the crown of the plant.

Iris pseudacorus will take more water than the others but check in the ‘planting details’ for each plant because most of those will also cope if you plant them in a boggy or moist soil. Iris laevigata Variegata is the least resilient requiring a small amount of water over its crown at all times.

The wildlife value of these emergent Iris is that they will allow dragon and damselfly larvae to use the tall leaf growth to climb up and out of the pond water to emerge as adults.

Iris robusta Dark Aura will grow well in waterlogged soil so with its crown at ground level but able to withstand water around its roots and a small amount of flooding by water over its crown in Winter.  It will also grow in good moist conditions. So it is part way between being a pond Iris and a moisture loving Iris.

Moist loving Iris:

These will NOT grow submerged in water or with their roots in wet waterlogged soil in winter.

These include Iris ensata, Iris setosa and Iris sibirica. The Iris ensata will handle wet soil in Summer but not in Winter as they will rot and Iris setosa and sibirica will only enjoy moist soil and will survive in soil that has dried out for a short time so need to be placed in a prepared area where the amount of water can be controlled. They will not cope in an area near natural water that is prone to flooding for long periods in Winter.

There can be an Iris of one variety or another in flower from May – July if they are planted in the sun. Starting with the versicolor and sibirica, then the ensata, laevigata and pseudacorus through June to the last Louisiana Iris in July.

Iris is a family of plants that will give much colour and flower shapes to enjoy over a long period of time if you give each one the conditions it enjoys.