Iris Flower Types and Facts You Should Know

There’s more to this floral family than you know. Learn more about how to choose iris flower types and their best growing conditions.

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Purple Bearded IrisMara Lee/Getty Images
Close up of a bearded iris

Bearded Iris Flower Types Are Widespread

Bearded irises are among the most commonly planted iris flower types and are divided into six different classes by the American Iris Society. See more easy flowers anyone can grow.

Another plus to growing bearded irises: They grow in Zones 3 to 9, which means they’re found in 49 states—all except Hawaii. Here’s how plant zones work and how to find yours.

Try Large Siberian Iris and Dwarf Iris Flowers

Irises come in a wide array of sizes and looks. Siberian irises can reach a whopping 4 feet tall, while dwarf irises max out at 6 inches.

Check out the biggest blooms to make your flower garden pop.

Irises Love Sunlight

Blue flag irisPhotoshopped/Getty Images
Blue flag iris

Most irises thrive in full sun for at least six hours per day. The rhizomes should be partially exposed to light and air to keep them dry and safe from rot.

Check out 10 purple flowers to grow in your garden.

Choose to Grow Native Iris Flower Types

You can find 28 native plant species of irises in the United States, including western blue flag, crested and Klamath.

Plant one of these native trees that attract birds to bring more wildlife to your yard.

Most Iris Flower Types Are Perennials

wren on iris flowerCourtesy Deborah Bryk
House wren on purple bearded iris

Almost 300 species exist within the iris family. Most are perennials that grow via rhizomes, which are horizontal underground plant stems that form shoots. Learn how, when and why you should divide perennials and how to get the best results.

Kaitlin Stainbrook
Kaitlin Stainbrook has been writing about birding and gardening for nearly a decade. As the former associate editor of Birds & Blooms magazine, she wrote and edited articles across a wide range of topics from houseplants to hummingbirds. She's worked closely with top birding and gardening experts and continues to learn everything she can about the natural world around us.