© RHS/Mark Bolton


Irises for wet or moist soil

Sometimes called Laevigatae or water irises, these vigorous clumping plants add flashes of colour to the shallow margins of a pond or streamside in late spring and early summer.


Stately perennials with stiff upright leaves, shooting upwards from the base.They have brightly coloured flowers, usually smaller than those of border irises.


These irises need reliably damp soil (ideally acidic) in a sunny position to thrive. They can be grown in containers placed on a shelf at the edge of a pond.


They will not grow in dry soil or in deep shade. Water irises tolerate ordinary garden soil, but grow with less vigour than when planted in wet ground.

Did you know?

The flowers of water-loving Iris pseudocorus are familiar as a heraldic symbol – their shapes have been adapted to make the fleur-de-lys and (it's sometimes thought) the Prince of Wales feathers.

Growing guide

Irises we recommend for wet soil

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