Irises come in an astounding number of different varieties, varying in size, colour and appearance. The Iris genus contains over 300 species, from large bearded irises to dwarf irises.

Bearded irises get their name from the way the outer petals curl into ruffled "beards".

They can be subdivided into dwarf, intermediate, border and tall forms.

The most commonly grown beardless varieties are the Siberian, Louisiana and the Japanese iris.

Beardless irises tend to bloom in mid summer, after the bearded irises. They produce flowers in a variety of colours including, white, yellow, pink, purple and blue. 

With all iris; avoid high-nitrogen fertilisers that encourage vegetative growth. Use a balanced fertiliser, such as 10-10-10, in spring and again in summer 


  • Bearded

    Classics of the traditional herbaceous border, and popular in contemporary garden designs. Bearded Iris are easy to grow hardy plants for full sun to light shade, in a garden border or in pots. 

    There are thousands of cultivars in a huge range of colours and colour combinations that are are rarely seen in other garden plants, varieties flowering from early April through to July and many varieties re blooming again in autumn. 

    Bearded iris are classified by their height and flower size into 6 Groups. Because these groups flower at different times you can add colour and fragrance to your garden throughout spring and summer, even into autumn.

    Did you know many bearded iris are fragrant?

    Use the Tabs and filters on the web site to help you select the colour, height, flowering period and scent of the iris you want. 

  • Siberica

    The Siberian Iris is a tall perennial with large flowers above sword shaped, grassy green foliage which give a backdrop to other border plants for the remainder of the year.

    Full sun or part shade.

    Each plant will produce several flower stems throughout spring and summer with striking frilly flowers that are often veined or streaked, usually against a white patch gradating to yellow.

    Siberica require moist soil conditions in a bog garden, stream, pond edge or a garden border, rather than in water.

    An excellent choice be it cottage or city garden border or in pots and planters. They can handle coastal environments quite well and always make a strong statement wherever they are planted.

    Try a clump alongside Japanese, Ensata Iris to get a prolonged flowering period.

    Siberian Iris are hardy, long lived plants that, once established, will grace your garden for generations. 

  • Louisiana

    From the swamps in Louisiana, America comes this group of iris that consists of 5 different species (namely, Iris brevicaulis, Iris fulva, Iris giganticaerulea, Iris hexagona and Iris nelsonii).

    The flowers are very large 10-13cm across in a wide palette of colouring often with dramatic markings.

    They can be grown successfully in standing water, in damp or boggy areas such as along the edge of streams or ponds or as ordinary garden perennials as long as they are given plenty of water.

  • Ensata

    Iris ensata, commonly called Japanese iris, is a beardless perennial iris that grows in slowly expanding clumps to 60-120cm tall.

    Sword-shaped, linear green leaves (up to 60cm long) have prominent midribs. Huge flowers (typically 10-15cm across) have a distinctively flattened appearance. Cultivars come in single, double and peony flowered forms in a wide range of colours including shades of blue, lavender, violet-red, pink and white. Blooms early to mid summer (later than both Bearded and Siberian iris).

    Iris ensata plants are not suitable for standing permanently in water (unlike Louisiana Iris), they require moist but open soil conditions and will rot if left standing in water over winter, so plant at the margins of ponds or streams, or in perennial borders.

    Try a clump alongside Sibirica Iris to get a prolonged flowering period.

  • Species

    Species are the world's wildflowers, and Species Iris deserve a place in many garden situations.

    There are Species Iris for full sun, shade, dry gardens, wet damp areas even for the garden pond or bog garden.  

    In fact it's these various wild forms and naturally occurring hybrids of the Sweet Iris (I. pallida) and the Hungarian iris (I. variegata) form the basis of most hybrid bearded iris. Crosses between tall and dwarf species like Iris pumila have given rise to the Median forms of bearded iris; intermediate bearded (IB), miniature tall bearded (MTB) etc.

  • Tools

    At Chailey Iris Garden we offer a small range of high quality garden tools. 

    These tools combine high quality materials with ergonomic design, taking the hard work out of gardening.

    We have been using these tools for many years ourselves both in the nursery and the garden.

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