© RHS/Tim Sandall


Border irises

This is a large group of hardy perennials which includes Siberian irises and bearded irises. They are popular in both traditional and modern garden design. With a wide colour range (apart from a clear red), they add real style to the border.


Flowers of bearded iris can be blue, yellow, white, pink, maroon, or orange; whereas Siberian irises are available in violets, blues and creamy yellows. Bearded iris's blade-like leaves emerge from a thick, horizontal root (actually a stem called a rhizome) in spring. Other species have greener, generally upright leaves.


Border irises do well in any soil that drains freely in a position in full sun.


These irises dislike very wet soil. Congestion can inhibit flowering, so dig up and divide plants every few years to give them the space they need.

Did you know?

After a hot summer, some irises flower for a second time.

Growing guide

Border irises we recommend

Useful advice

Iris diseases

Iris diseases

Irises: dividing

Irises: dividing

Perennial borders: choosing plants

Perennial borders: choosing plants

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