Bog Plants: Water Iris

Bog Plants Water Iris


Irises are among the most favored of the bog plants. Their folliage is attractive and is good as a backdrop or as an adjunct to the other plants in the bog. Their flowers have an obvious appeal, being among the most exotic flowers in the hobby. They are useful as filtering agents in ponds and can be grown in any moist area. Louisiana Iris can be planted along the ponds edge or directly in the water itself. They should be planted in shallow water, preferably in a container that is wider than it is deep, i.e., a kitty litter tray. In this way, the plant can spread as it wants to and is not as likely to overgrow the pot as it would be
if it were planted in a tall, narrow container. Iris pseudacorus, on the other hand, does just fine if started out in normal pot. It will quickly overgrow the pot and will act as a very effective filter if the water is made to flow through the extensive root system that develops. All of the water Irises do best if cut back and thinned out every two years, or so, and if the dead leaves are not allowed to accumulate.

Water Iris is a good choice for Koi ponds as the plant is very tough and less likely to be eaten by Koi or other pond fish. The true water irises, which grow best with water over their crown throughout the year, even in fall and winter, include

  • Iris fulva (red flag or copper iris)
    I. laevigata (rabbit-ear iris)
  • I. prismatica (cube-seed iris)
  • I. pseudacorus (yellow flag)
  • I. versicolor (blue flag; pictured)
  • I. virginica (southern blue flag)
  • Louisiana irises.

Water garden irises perform well if they receive a full day of sunlight. They also grow well and bloom reliably if given at least six hours of sun. Cultivars whose
flowers are white or light-colored often prefer some shade to protect their blossoms from drying out too quickly. Generally, water garden irises will not flower if
sunlight drops to an average of less than four hours per day. If an iris plant is to be placed in a partially shaded spot, morning sun is usually preferable to
afternoon sun. Gentle breezes can be an aesthetic benefit to a water garden with irises, sending ripples across the water and gently nudging the iris blossoms.
Too much wind, however, can cause substantial damage to iris flowers and can even reduce the height of the foliage. Grasses planted around the pond, outside the liner,
make a great windscreen. Most water irises will tolerate a range of water depths, say from moist soil to water a few inches over the crown. Submersion within the range
given will provide them with proper growing conditions.


Water irises are dependent upon seasonal changes in day length and water or soil temperature to induce them to go dormant in the winter and to prompt them to start growing again in the spring. This being so, it is critical that potted water irises be brought up near the surface of the pond in the early spring where the water is warmer. This awakens the irises from their winter slumber and causes them to begin bud formation. Irises that are planted in soil near the edge of the pond should be cleaned of mulch and debris in early spring to allow the sun’s rays to warm the plant and its soil environment. Water garden irises are heavy feeders and benefit from early-spring fertilizer to supplement the soil’s nutrients. The more fertilizer they receive, the more they will grow and flower. As a general rule, begin fertilizing irises when the pond temperature reaches 65°F and continue to fertilize at one-month intervals through the season, well after they have started to sprout. Stop fertilizing about a month before the last frost-free date in the area, to allow the irises to harden off for the winter. In climates without frost, withhold fertilizer once the plants show signs of going dormant.

Irises are carefree aquatic plants and need minimal attention through the summer. Deadheading spent flowers will curtail the impulse of those especially energetic strains to seed themselves throughout the pond. Other more restrained varieties benefit from deadheading simply for the sake of appearance. For the same reason, trim back older leaves as they develop a tan or brown color. Trimming off old or unsightly foliage reduces the threat of pests and diseases, another excellent reason to keep the plants well tended. Fall cleaning of irises also prevents diseases or insects from overwintering on the plant. Generally, irises that like to grow in water year-round are easily prepared for winter’s cold winds. As the foliage dies down in the fall, trim the leaves back to just an inch or so above the crown of the plant. Leave the plants in the pond, making sure that they will stay wet throughout the winter.

If you have any questions about other Aquatic Pond Plants, Water Lilies, Bog Plants or have questions about getting the right pond plants for your pond, please visit our full service Pond Supply store or call Sunland Water Gardens @ 818-353-5131

Water Iris, Pond plants, bog plant, aquatic plants for sale

Water Iris, Pond plants, bog plant, aquatic plants for sale

Got Qustions - We Know Ponds - Your Pond Supply Leader

If you have any questions about other Pond Plants, Water Lilies, Bog Plants or have questions about getting the right pond plants for your pond, please visit our full service Pond Supply store or call Sunland Water Gardens @ 818-353-5131

Pond Supplies: Bog Plants: Water Iris
Source: Sunland Water Gardens
Author: Jacklyn Rodman
Also See: Aquatic Plants; Bog Plants
Aquatic Plants / Bog Plants / Water Iris

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Aquatic Plants / Bog Plants

Bog Plants: Water Iris

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