Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Walking Iris
Neomarica northiana

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Neomarica (nee-oh-mar-EE-kuh) (Info)
Species: northiana (north-ee-AY-nuh) (Info)

Synonym:Moraea northiana

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Provides winter interest
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
By budding

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral hidenhrt On Jun 25, 2012, hidenhrt from Highland Springs, VA wrote:

I have several walking Iris plants, One patch I planted in a pot another needed to root so I have them in water, another patch is in a big pot. Some of the leaf tips are turning brown what should I do. The second I saw these beautiful plants I knew I had to have them. Now I just need some help getting them started on the right foot.

I am not real satisfied I have them planted correctly. I live in Virginia and I think in a pot is best as our winters can get very cold.

Can I plant them in regular Miracle Grow Potting soil?

How big of a pot should I plant them in and how many to a pot?

Thanks for your help. You can email at

Positive Southernbell421 On Jan 13, 2012, Southernbell421 from Ocala, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I was given this plant by a friend around 15 years ago and not knowing what I actually had I planted it under an oak tree which it really did nothing. One day I moved the plant into an container and put it on my back patio where it got full sun and was soon very surprised to see it flower. I then went and did research on it and was happy to find out this plant was a walking Iris. It does very well on my back patio. In the winter I sometimes have to move it to protect it from the frost but otherwise it has done wonderful. I have even divided it and now have 2 huge plants.
The butterflies like it and so do the bees. I water it every day and it looks really nice even when it doesn't flower. It does put out alot of baby plants though and right now all I do is just cut them off and throw them away.

Positive Margiempv On Jul 9, 2008, Margiempv from Oro Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Easy to grow...................increases freely along side it's mother, as well as by new plants forming off of the bloom. Blooms last only a day, but there are many of them!!

Plant is native to South America. Nice indoor or outdoor plant. Recommended.

Positive goode On Jun 29, 2005, goode from Fitzgerald, GA wrote:

I was given a sprig by a close friend,she didn't know what it was, except her plant was beautiful. My sprig is now 3 yrs old. I have the planter sitting on a patio table and the plant is now over 3 ft wide and over 5 ft hi. It bloomed more last yr and only a day at a time. This yr it has bloomed 3 times. The blooms did not seem to be as healthy as before. Some of the babies are touching the porch, some of the older leaves are turning brown. I have noticed cars slowing down to see the pretty blooms and so many comments from strangers also. As far as I know, my plant is the only one in this town that has had the many blooms on it. I will e-mail a pix of my walking iris.
Clare Fussell

Positive broozersnooze On Aug 18, 2003, broozersnooze from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Very easy to grow here in NE Florida. Blooms very fragrant, resemble an orchid but only last 1 day. Plant produces a long, bloom-bearing streamer. After the bloom drops off leaves a "baby".
My pride & joy is 3 feet tall & 3 feet wide, is in a very large planter in part shade. I had to place the planter on a large pedestal to keep the "babies" from touching the floor of my porch. Temps dipped to 19F, never covered it & this plant was none the worse. Come the spring - it just got bigger.
Have several hanging baskets of this, given many away. My neighbor planted hers in her yard covered by oak trees. Shade, sun - whatever, it grows.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Stockton, California
Brooksville, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Seffner, Florida
Valrico, Florida
Gainesville, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Volcano, Hawaii
Choudrant, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)
Zachary, Louisiana
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Austin, Texas
Highland Springs, Virginia

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