Growing Guides: How to grow Dutch Iris Bulbs

Growing dutch iris bulbs
Strangely enough, Dutch Iris flowers have never grown wild in Holland! Rather, the dutch iris varieties are a result of clever hybridization by Dutch growers. Popular flowers with florists, dutch iris grow in a pretty array of colors, some with exotic markings, and the flowers are well known for their long vase life. This is the complete guide to growing irisis.

How to Grow Irises, the Vibrant Gems of the Spring Garden

Irises are one of the best-loved flower bulbs, enlivening the spring garden with their jewel-like shades of blue, red, yellow, white, lilac, and bronze - it’s easy to see why they were named for the goddess of the rainbow! Learn how to grow Dutch irises and dwarf irises for a fabulous display.

How to Grow Dutch Irises?

The small, teardrop-shaped bulbs of Dutch irises are planted in the same way as tulips. Plant from September through December, before the soil freezes. Choose a sunny position with well-drained soil and plant the bulbs in groups, with the pointed tips of the bulbs about 3" - 4" below the soil surface and each bulb about 2" - 4" apart. Dutch irises will perennialize but many gardeners treat them as annuals, discarding the old plants and planting fresh bulbs each season.

Planting Dutch Iris Bulbs Step-By-Step:

  1. In the Fall, choose a spot that gets quite a lot of light and has good soil drainage.
  2. Planting dutch iris bulbs is fairly simple. You'll notice when you receive your bulbs that they look like mini onions and it will be easy to see that the spike should point upwards when planting.
  3. Usually the rule of thumb when planting bulbs is that bulbs need at least 2 times their height of soil above them. Dig a 2 to 3 inch deep hole, drop the bulb into it (remember, spike points up!) and cover with soil.
  4. Regarding spacing between bulbs, if planting in beds, leave approx 4 inches between each bulb. If you are planting in containers, you can cluster them a little closer together.
  5. After planting, water well so that the soil above the bulbs settles.
  6. Dutch Iris bulbs will flower in the late Spring. After the flowers die down, the plant can enjoy a warm rest period. You don't have to water too much during this rest period. Leaves will also die back and start to yellow. At this point, you can choose to tidy up the plant and remove the old leaves.

How to Grow Dwarf Irises?

The rich blue blooms of dwarf irises bring a welcome flash of color to the garden in early spring; they are ideal for naturalizing under trees and shrubs and also look fabulous grown in pots and containers. Plant in fall, setting each bulb 4” below the surface of the ground. Dwarf irises look best in groups, planted at a density of 6 bulbs per square foot.

How to Grow Dutch Irises: Aftercare

After the blooms have faded, the stems and foliage will remain throughout the summer, helping to form next season’s bloom. Keep them watered and when they die back, gently pull the dry stalks away leaving the bulb behind.

Have you fallen in love with the rainbow hues of this gorgeous spring bulb? Now that you’ve learned how to grow iris, all you have to decide is which variety to grow. Explore our iris collection, where you will find irises in every color you could dream of, including some new varieties and our exclusive Elite irises.

> Shop All Dutch Iris Bulbs

More questions about growing irisis