Siberian irises (Iris sibirica) light up the garden in late spring and early summer with their small but abundant blooms.
These bold perennials are a fixture at flower shows like Chelsea, where you’ll often see them growing in colourful clumps of foliage and flowers with plants like astrantias, candelabra primulas, ranunculus and geums.
To give them the conditions they enjoy, grow Siberian irises in full sun or partial shade with moist, slightly acidic soil and give them plenty of room to spread. They look especially beautiful growing as marginals near water, which will reflect the colourful flowers.
Check out some of our favourite siberian irises to grow.
Iris sibirica ‘Perry’s Blue’
This stunning variety has pale violet-blue flowers. The three upright petals, known as ‘standards’, are a fixed tone, while the lower three petals, called ‘falls’, are decorated with royal blue veining and apricot-coloured bases.
Height x Spread 100cm x 50cm
Pale violet-blue and apricot iris ‘Perry’s Blue’
Iris sibirica ‘Summer Sky’
‘Summer Sky’ is a compact variety with mauve ‘standards’ and mauve-yellow ‘falls’. In between these are three white ‘arms’ that provide beautiful contrast with the other petals.
H x S 90cm x 45cm
Mauve, yellow and white iris ‘Summer Sky’
Iris sibirica ‘Silver Edge’
As the name suggests, the gorgeous indigo flowers of ‘Silver Edge’ are fringed with silvery blue. Planted here with cream-flowered digitalis and carmine astrantias, the flowers create an eye-catching trio.
H x S 100cm x 50cm
Blue iris ‘Silver Edge’
Iris sibirica ‘Cambridge’
‘Cambridge’ is a particularly floriferous variety with pale lilac ‘standards’ and central ‘arms’. The ‘falls’ are flushed a darker shade with warm yellow bases and mid-purple veining.
H x S 100cm x 50cm
Lilac/yellow blooms of iris ‘Cambridge’
Iris sibirica ‘Tropic Night’
The intricate venation on the petals of ‘Tropic Night’ combined with a cornflower blue colour makes this variety really dazzle. Rusty orange petal bases bring lovely contrast to the otherwise cool-toned flowers.
H x S 150cm x 100cm
Cornflower blue, white and rusty orange flowers of iris ‘Tropic Night’
Iris sibirica ‘Tamberg’
This compact variety is ideal for smaller borders with moist soil. Pictured is ‘Tamberg’ growing alongside orange Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ and Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ to create a vivid combination.
H x S 90cm x 60cm
Blue iris ‘Tamberg’ growing in a border with contrasting magenta thistles and orange geums
Iris sibirica ‘Blue King’
‘Blue King’ has suitably dramatic, royal blue flowers with ornate veining on the falls and warm yellow bases. A good variety for planting in bold drifts through beds and borders.
H x S 90cm x 40cm
Deep-blue iris ‘Blue King’
Caring for Siberian irises
Keep your Siberian irises in top condition by mulching around clumps with some well-rotted organic matter in early spring, as the new growth is emerging. Incorporate this into the soil when planting, too. Cut them back after flowering if needed to tidy up. Divide from midsummer to early autumn.