Suitable Iris Companion Plants: What To Plant With Iris In The Garden

By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Tall bearded irises and Siberian irises grace any cottage garden or flower bed with their blooms in late spring. After the blooms fade and iris bulbs consume the plants’ energy in preparation for winter, a patch of iris can look shabby. Planting iris plant companions that fill out and bloom later in the season can hide spent iris plants. Companion plants for irises can also be spring blooming flowers that accentuate and contrast iris blooms.

Iris Companion Plants

Companion planting is the practice of combining plants that benefit each other. Sometimes companion plant help each other resist diseases and pests. Some companion plants benefit the taste and scent of each other. Other plant companions simply benefit each other aesthetically.

While irises won’t affect the flavor or pest resistance of their companions, they do fit beautifully into almost every garden. Iris tubers take up very little room in the garden and don’t compete with many plants for space or nutrients.

They can be tucked in spaces in full sun to part shade to add beautiful blooms in late spring. Iris doesn’t seem to mind growing alongside any plant. They can even be grown near black walnuts and other juglone producing plants.

What to Plant With Iris

When selecting companion plants for iris, think of season long color. In the spring, irises will need complimentary plants. When iris flowers fade, you’ll need plants that will quickly fill in their gap.

For a spring garden full of blooms, use these companion plants for iris:

  • Columbine
  • Daffodil
  • Tulips
  • Allium
  • Pansy
  • Peony
  • Violet
  • Lupine
  • Phlox
  • Dianthus

Spring blooming shrubs are old fashioned favorite iris companion plants. Try the following:

  • Forsythia
  • Flowering almond
  • Lilacs
  • Snowball bush
  • Weigela

Some other iris companion plants that will quickly fill in as blooms fade are:

  • Salvia
  • Coral bells
  • Poppy
  • Daylilies
  • Black eyed susan
  • Daisy
  • Cranesbill
  • Foxglove
  • Monkshood
  • Delphiniums
  • Yarrow
  • Hyssop
  • Chamomile
  • Sedums

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Watch the video: The Smaller Bearded Irises and Their Companion Plants - NARGS Piedmont Chapter Lecture

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