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 plant has petite, 4 to 6" tall flowers and grassy foliage.

The flowers of iris reticulata 'Harmony' are a brilliant, cobalt blue with yellow markings on the falls. Though the blossoms are only 3" wide and 4" tall, their vibrant blue color is impossible to miss. 

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 shaped like teardrops and have a netting-like tunic that covers the outside of the bulb. Correct planting depth is 4" deep and 3" apart, with the pointed end up. 

Plant iris reticulata bulbs in well drained soil. They flower best in full sun, but may also be grown in partial shade. Iris reticulata are both deer resistant and drought tolerant.

Though iris reticulata bulbs may multiply over time, it takes several years for the bulblets to mature and begin flowering. The best way to guarantee an abundant display of flowers each spring is to plant fresh bulbs each fall. Bulbs are available HERE for shipping from September through November.


Aftercare for Iris Reticulata

After the plants have finished blooming, the foliage will quickly fade away and the bulbs will remain dormant underground 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:

Earliest Bulbs for Spring Gardens

Bloomtime Chart for Spring and Summer Bulbs


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