Top 10 Bearded Iris Flowers for Your Garden

Updated: Apr. 24, 2024

From bright blue to cheery yellow and even multicolored blooms, brighten up your garden with the beauty of bearded iris flowers.

There’s an iris for every landscape! Bearded irises are divided into six groups based on height and bloom time: miniature dwarf bearded, standard dwarf bearded, intermediate bearded, miniature tall bearded, border bearded and tall bearded.


Beverly Sills Bearded Iris

Zones 4 to 9

Pale coral pink petals and a light apricot beard have earned the Beverly Sills bearded iris numerous awards for its beauty. This fast-growing, elongated bearded iris reaches a mature height of 32 to 38 inches. It produces profuse mid-season blooms and may possibly rebloom in some areas.

Why we love it: The tall, erect stems make it an ideal cut flower, and its lanky semievergreen leaves provide height in the garden even when it isn’t blooming.

You need to know these interesting iris facts.

Iris German Center Line

Center Line

Zones 4 to 9

From a distance, the Center Line bearded iris appears to be a pale pink iris with ruffled petals, but a closer look reveals stunning details: The petals have dark red-purple veins, and the beard is a bold orange hue. The flowers also have a light fragrance. These bearded irises grow 36 to 40 inches tall and bloom from late spring through early summer.

Why we love it: Deer and rabbits tend to steer clear of this low-maintenance, drought-tolerant perennial.

Irises not blooming? In crowded conditions, bearded irises will stop flowering. Dig, divide and replant the rhizomes to give them more space and they will start blooming again. Plan to divide irises every three to five years.

Walters bearded Iris Bernices Legacy Apj17 (2)

Bernice’s Legacy

Zones 4 to 9

Its boldly colored blooms boast shades of garnet, crimson and bronze that are unusual for an iris. The first flowers burst forth in late spring, and may bloom again in early fall, adding seasonal interest in the garden. It’s a vigorous grower that tolerates hot sun and drought and reaches a mature height of 24 to 36 inches.

Why we love it: The luxurious velvety shades of this beautiful bloom are sure to stand out in any garden.

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Iris German Many Mahalos
Ball Horticultural Company

Many Mahalos

Zones 4 to 9

Inspired by the Hawaiian expression “many thanks,” its name alludes to the gratitude gardeners feel when the ruffled petals appear in late spring. Initial blooms from this bearded iris are light orange but subsequent blooms that appear in late summer are a much darker shade of orange.

Why we love it: A color shift between blooms makes it seem like two different irises in the garden.

Add walking iris to your container gardens and more.

Iris German Air Of Mystery
Ball Horticultural Company

Air of Mystery

Zones 4 to 9

Butterscotch-colored standards and violet-tinted hues on the falls are hallmarks of the bicolored blooms—but the hue is just part of Air of Mystery’s appeal. Its petals also have ruffled tan rims and bold orange beards. It reaches a mature height of 37 inches and flowers in midspring.

Why we love it: This easy-to-grow iris can naturalize in the right conditions.

Iris Merchant Marine
Ball Horticultural Company

Merchant Marine

Zones 4 to 9

Plant the rhizomes in fall and delight in the saturated blue hues of the flowers that bloom in mid- to late spring. A descendant of Yaquina Blue iris, the tall bearded iris produces profusely ruffled petals in rich shades of marine blue that earned the iris its name.

Why we love it: It’s an exceptional bloomer in a stunning blue shade that is rarely seen in the garden.

Brecks Grape Zebra 82889
Breck’s Bulb Co.

Grape Zebra

Zones 4 to 9

Bright orange beards pop against the purple and white stippled petals. On mature plants, each stem can produce five to six flowers, and the intense color and oversized flowers attract pollinators. This iris grows up to 36 inches tall, giving it major appeal in back of the garden.

Why we love it: This iris grows well in full sun or partial shade and tolerates a wide range of soils.

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Ball Iris Harvest Of Memories Cjw (2)
Ball Horticultural Company

Harvest of Memories

Zones 4 to 9

Known for a light, sweet fragrance and cheerful yellow blooms, Harvest of Memories produces tons of flowers with arched standards and broad falls. A midspring bloom may be followed by another in late summer to early fall.

Why we love it: Pair it with other bearded irises in contrasting colors for a spectacular garden display.

Backyard tip: Some bearded irises are called rebloomers, but the reliability of having multiple blooms can vary depending on factors such as location and care. The Reblooming Iris Society offers a checklist for choosing the right rebloomers for your zone.

Ball Bloodmoon 80844
Ball Horticultural Company

Blood Moon

Zones 4 to 9

This mid-to-late-season bloomer provides some serious wow factor with contrasting burgundy and yellow, ruffled borders and bright orange beards. Growing up to 38 inches tall, Blood Moon is one of the taller iris varieties.

Why we love it: Each double-branched stem produces up to seven buds, creating a profusion of blooms per stem.

Iris German Adoregon
Ball Horticultural Company


Zones 3 to 8

There is a lot to love about Adoregon, from its fragrance to its ruffled blooms. The flowers have lilac-blue standards with more intense color at the bases, falls of silver-blue and melon-colored beards. Plant in full sun to part shade and watch as it blooms midseason.

Why we love it: First introduced in 2004, Adoregon is celebrating its 20th anniversary.