Dutch iris, also known as Iris hollandica, have exotic, orchid-like flowers with silky petals. Flower colors range from pale blue and lemon through deep purple, bronze, rose and gold.
Dutch iris are popular cut flowers because they are dramatic, easy to arrange and long-lasting. Unlike other types of iris that grow from thickened roots called rhizomes, Dutch iris grow from teardrop-shaped bulbs that are planted in the fall.
STEP 1 - KNOW
START WITH A BETTER BULB
When you compare two Dutch iris bulbs side by side, it’s easy to see differences in quality. Bigger bulbs (like the one below) contain more stored food energy, which means you'll get a stronger plant with bigger flowers. Longfield Gardens supplies plump, 7/8 cm Dutch iris bulbs so you can enjoy the biggest, brightest blooms.
STEP 2 - PLAN
SUN/SHADE: Dutch Iris can be planted in full sun or partial shade.
ZONE: The bulbs are winter hardy in zones 5-9 and will bloom year after year. You'll find the USDA Hardiness zone map HERE.
WHEN TO PLANT: Plant dutch iris bulbs in mid to late fall, once the weather has cooled down and before the ground freezes.
WHERE TO PLANT DUTCH IRIS
PERENNIAL GARDENS: Dutch iris are ideal for perennial gardens where they will bloom earlier than most other plants. The flowers stand 18 to 24” tall, which is an ideal height for the middle of a border.
CONTAINERS: Dutch iris look great in containers – on their own or mixed with other plants to create a living bouquet. Sturdy stems keep the flowers standing tall and make it easy to admire the delicate beauty of the blossoms.
CUTTING GARDENS: Dutch iris are one of the world’s most popular florist flowers. Their dramatic blossoms and long, straight stems are easy to arrange and last a long time in bouquets. They also combine beautifully with other spring flowers and flowering shrubs.
STEP 3 - GROW
PLANTING IS AS EASY 1-2-3
1. Loosen the soil to a depth of 6", then dig a hole 4" deep.
2. Put the Dutch iris bulb into the hole (add fertilizer if you wish)
3. Cover the bulbs with soil and water if necessary
TIPS FOR GROWING DUTCH IRIS
Like most bulbs, Dutch iris look best when planted in large groups. For an impressive show, plant about a dozen bulbs per square foot.
STEP 4 - AFTERCARE
CARING FOR DUTCH IRIS AFTER THEY BLOOM
When growing conditions are ideal (well-drained soil and hot, dry summers), Dutch iris will come back to bloom a second year. In practice, most gardeners treat these bulbs as annuals and plant fresh bulbs in the fall.
To get a second season of blooms, remove spent iris flowers and as little foliage as possible. Leave the remaining foliage in place until it has withered and yellowed. During the summer months, while the bulbs are dormant, the soil should be kept as dry as possible. In areas with wet summers, Dutch iris may be dug up after they have flowered and the leaves have withered. Store the bulbs in a dry, dark place and replant them the next fall.