Bearded Iris Care Guide

Photo by Aaron Burden on

Iris germanica

Native to Central and Southern Europe

Native soil conditions: Bearded irises are tolerant to most soil pHs, but thrive in soils with a slightly acidic pH of approximately 6.8. Well-drained soils are preferred for bearded irises or heavy soils with humus added to improve drainage. 

Native light conditions: Bearded irises need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight. They will not flower if grown in shady areas. 

Native rainfall: The native range of the iris includes areas that may be subject to drought, but do not get extensive rainfall. Therefore, the bearded iris is drought resistant and does not require heavy watering. When they first begin to grow, bearded irises require at least 1 inch of water weekly. 

Groundwater quality parameters: It can be hypothesized from the soil and moisture requirements of the bearded iris that groundwater quality is not affected much by this plant. It requires well-drained soil, which means that the groundwater will be filtered quickly by the soil. There will be more groundwater in the table of this soil than water retained in the soil for plant use. 

Unique nutrient requirements: Bearded irises do not have any really unique nutrient requirements, but they can be negatively affected by excess nutrients, especially in the rhizome stage. Soil high in nitrogen can encourage rhizome rot which can be detrimental to the forming plant. 

  • Drainage, sunlight, acidic
  • High nitrogen that causes rhizome rot
  • Poorly drained soil that inhibits plant growth
  • I would like to learn what nutrients this plant would require in a fertilizer to maximize its success.


Featured Plants – Bearded Iris. (2013, April 17). Retrieved from

Growing Irises. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Morris, J. (2011). How to Plant and Grow Bearded Iris. Retrieved from