Terminology and information about growing bearded iris.

Bearded iris classifications

MDB - Miniature Dwarf Bearded, grow to a height of up to 20 cm and are the earliest to bloom. 
SDB - Standard Dwarf Bearded, height ranges from 21 cm to 40 cm and begin to bloom as the MDBs are ending. 
IB - Intermediate Bearded, height from 41 cm to 70 cm. They bloom between the SBDs and the TBs. 
MTB - Miniature Tall Bearded, height from 41 cm to 70 cm. Bloom season mostly with TBs. Have dainty blooms, slender stalks and thinner leaves than TB's.
BB - Border Bearded, smaller version of TBs with the height and bloom size of IBs. Bloom season with TBs.  
TB - Tall Bearded, height above 70 cm. Typically the last to bloom.

Bloom season for bearded iris

This chart shows approximately when and how long bearded iris bloom (dependant on weather and location).

Planting bearded iris


Plant bareroot rhizomes in July-August in well-drained soil in a position that receives at least 6 hours of sun a day.


Rhizomes should be planted 30 – 40cm apart. When planting make sure the tops of the rhizomes exposed and spread the roots out facing downward in the soil.


Water well and keep moist until the first signs of growth. Once established, bearded iris only need water when exceptionally dry.

Bearded iris culture

The 'Doddington system' of iris division. We grow our iris according to this method as opposed to the traditional method of lifting and dividing every 3 to 4 years.

Doddington System of iris division
Downloaded from www.rhs.org.uk, originally published by www.englishiriscompany.com
Doddington System.pdf
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Iris- und Rosen-Schaugarten / iris and rose display garden


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