Growing Guide
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Iris, Japanese

Herbaceous Perennial Flower

Iris ensata
Iridaceae Family
Synonym: Iris kaempferi

More than just beautiful flowering plants, Japanese Irises are an artform. For over 500 years, Japanese horticulturalists have developed exquisite hybrids of this species. Great for damp sites.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade

Soil conditions:

  • requires acid soil
  • requires damp soil

Hardiness zones:

  • 5 to 9
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet

Bloom time:

  • early summer
  • mid-summer

Flower color:

  • blue
  • violet
  • white

Foliage color: medium green

Foliage texture: medium


  • upright
  • fan-shaped

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Each flower stem bears 3 to 4 blooms.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to Japan.
Special uses:
  • cut flowers
  • bog garden
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by division or separation - Divide every 3 to 4 years.

Maintenance and care:
Maintain acid soil pH. Divide every 3 to 4 years in fall.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

‘Cry of Rejoice’: yellow centered deep purple blooms.

‘Eleanor Perry’: purple veined violet flowers.

‘Festive Greeting’: white veined red blooms.

‘Hidden Treasure’: silvery white veined maroon blooms.

‘Moonlight Waves’: white blooms.

‘Pinstripe’: pale purple blooms with deep purple veining and centers.

‘Summer Storm’: dark violet blooms.