Virtues: We love Iris reticulata for its striking, fragrant flowers that bloom in early spring on top of upright, sturdy silvery-green stems. These flowers burst with radiant blues, lavenders, maroons, deep purples and occasionally eye-catching yellows. They are splashed with a bright yellow central ridge, often speckled with white, on each fall, or outer, downturned petal. These irises are perfect for in-ground gardens and for containers.
Common name: Reticulated iris; netted iris
Botanical name: Iris reticulata
Flowers: In spring, stunning, aromatic flowers bloom in alluring shades of purples, blues, lavenders and yellows, with a vibrant golden streak, frequently dotted with white, that contrasts beautifully against the blossoms’ rich color.
Foliage: Narrow, grass-like gray-green foliage creates a lovely backdrop against the colorful iris blossoms. The slender leaves will begin to lengthen after the flowers bloom; often dying back once the plants become dormant during summer.
Habit: Reticulated irises have a small, compact habit. Depending on variety, they typically grow 3 to 9 inches with a 3 inch spread. They are a spring-blooming bulb.
Season: With appealing, beautiful blooms, Iris reticulata offers early spring interest.
Origin: Native to the Caucasus/Western Asia
How to grow Iris reticulata: Netted iris is successful in most average, well-drained soils but will thrive where soil is relatively dry during summer. These irises will separate into offsets or bulblets after boom, slowly making a stand of many plants. They can take a few years to reach flowering size, however, so you may want to also plant new Iris reticulata bulbs each year to ensure continued bloom each spring. You can use a bulb fertilizer once the plant is finished blooming, to encourage larger bulbs. These beautiful plants flourish in full sun and part shade. USDA Zones 5–9.
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