All About Iris Reticulata

Your Guide to Planning, Planting, and Growing Iris Reticulata

Iris reticulata is one of the earliest flowers of spring, blooming at the same time as snowdrops, chionodoxa and snow crocuses. Commonly known as reticulated iris, the plants have petite, 4 to 6" tall flowers and grassy foliage.

How to Grow Iris Reticulata

Iris reticulata grows wild in the cold and dry mountains of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Russia. The bulbs need a consistent supply of moisture during the spring, but should stay quite dry during summer, autumn and winter. They are likely to rot in heavy or wet soil.

Rock gardens and gravel gardens are ideal planting locations for these bulbs. Also consider fast-draining areas beside a front walk or stone patio. Another option is to grow the bulbs in an elevated alpine trough or in pots.


How to Plant Iris Reticulata

The bulbs of iris reticulata are about the size of a nickel and shaped like teardrops. Plant them 4" deep and 3" apart, with the pointed end up. 

Iris reticulata need well drained soil, and will flower best in full sun, though they can also be grow in partial shade. The plants are both deer resistant and drought tolerant.

When growing conditions are suitable, iris reticulata bulbs can naturalize and multiply. To ensure an abundant display of flowers, it's best to plant fresh bulbs every fall. Bulbs are available HERE for shipping from September through November.


Aftercare for Iris Reticulata

After the plants finish blooming, the foliage quickly fades away. The bulbs are then dormant until the next spring.

When iris reticulata bulbs are happy where they are growing, they will multiply and it's possible for them to become overcrowded. If this happens, the quality of the flowers may begin to suffer. To divide the bulbs, dig them up in late summer and split them apart. Put about half the number back in the same area and find other places to plant the rest.

To learn more, you may be interested in reading:

Earliest Bulbs for Spring Gardens

Bloom Time Planning Guide for Spring and Summer Bulbs


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