Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Siberian Iris
Iris sibirica

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: sibirica (sy-BEER-ah-kuh) (Info)

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Siberian (SIB)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Light Blue
Medium Blue
Dark Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Midseason (MLa)


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

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

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Awards (if applicable):
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 24 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Apr 8, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Siberian irises are first-rate garden perennials, tough and adaptable. They are less prone to disease and iris borer than tall bearded iris, require division less frequently, and perform better under crowded border conditions. Most garden centers carry the old 'Caesar's Brother' and 'Butter and Sugar'.

However, there's been a great deal of progress in Siberian breeding since those two were introduced. Check out the winners of the Morgan-Wood Medal over the last twenty years to see even better irises, most with higher bud count, many with larger flowers, some with repeat bloom, and in a wider variety of colors (including white, yellow, wine red, mulberry, pinkish, violet, true blue, slate gray, and caramel):

As with all siberians, the narrow foliage is tidily upright during bloom season, and then gradually splays open as the season progresses, sometimes smothering close neighbors in the process. Foliage is best removed in late fall to reduce the chance of iris borer overwintering.

In the wild this species grows in moist to wet meadows, but it performs well under ordinary border conditions. More moisture makes for larger plants.

Clumps begin to die out in the center after 3 to 5 years, signaling the need for division. Division is best performed in late summer. Spring divisions will need regular watering their first season.

Positive appleflower On Sep 18, 2011, appleflower from New York, NY wrote:

Two clumps of Siberian iris grow against the house on the north side (very shady) here at altitude 6800 feet altitude in northern New Mexico. The house is 6 years old and we have been here for 16 months. The flowers are lovely. The plants get no attention but they are irrigated from a cistern twice a week (15 minutes) for 4 months a year (we have a short season, average May 15-October 15).

I have been told that they will grow "anywhere" here. I'll try them in a sunny non-irrgated area first.

Positive Gabrielle On Jul 14, 2011, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have several varities of this and prefer the ones with a darker shade of purple. They are gorgeous! Blooms May-June in my garden.

Positive Meig On Jun 3, 2008, Meig from Far Northwest 'burbs, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Dependable in my very windswept, prairie-like garden. Flowers aren't as showy as bearded iris, but I find them charming.

Positive henryr10 On May 14, 2005, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I'm not a fan of the big 'beards'.
(Maybe because we grew hundreds when I was a kid. lol)

This much more dainty and fragile looking Iris is more to my liking.
They may look dainty and fragile but definitely aren't.
Our clump has been here at least 40 years.
Buried in the back under a weedy Wisteria vine for at least 20 years it sprang back beautifully when released.
We divided it last Fall and forgot a clump.
It over-wintered in a pan of water.

Where it is now 2' tall and loaded w/ flowers.

Positive LilyLover_UT On Jan 17, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

This gorgeous perennial has been very easy for me to grow. I haven't had any pest problems. It can withstand some drought and poor soil, although I'm sure it would do better in moist soil. I've also grown it as a pond plant on a shallow ledge. Siberian iris has a short bloom season, and it appreciates some afternoon shade when blooming, since the flowers are fragile.

Neutral Sis On Aug 31, 2001, Sis wrote:

Susceptible to iris borer. The moths lay
their eggs in the leaves and the young
tunnel down the leaves to hollow out the
rhizome. Borers also spread bacterial rot,
which kills the iris from the ground up.

Good culture is the best preventive. Re-
move dead foliage in spring and fall. Smash
the grubs between your fingers while they
are in the leaves. Dig up affected plants
and cut off affected portions of the rhiz-

Neutral eyesoftexas On Aug 10, 2001, eyesoftexas from Toadsuck, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

This versatile iris is suitable for a herbaceous border as well as the margins of an informal pond. The slender, sword-like, midgreen leaves die down in winter. The flowers are about 2 1/2 inches wide and are borne during midsummer. In the original species, they are in various shades of blue with white veining on the falls. Because the original species hybridizes freely, only hybrids are usually available.

Cultivation: Grows best in moist soil, but will also perform well in a herbaceous border, where it usually does not grow so high. lant rhizomes 1 inch deep in the soil in autumn or spring.

Propagation: Easily increased by lifting and dividing every four to five years.


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

Tallassee, Alabama
Anchor Point, Alaska
Auberry, California
Fremont, California
Broomfield, Colorado
Mansfield Center, Connecticut
Dallas, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Machesney Park, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Spring Grove, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Waukegan, Illinois
Logansport, Indiana
Mitchell, Indiana
South Bend, Indiana
Sherrill, Iowa
Wichita, Kansas
Lancaster, Kentucky
Morehead, Kentucky
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Sunset, Louisiana
Harrison, Maine
Lisbon, Maine
Brookeville, Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Norton, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Southborough, Massachusetts
Brighton, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Livingston, New Jersey
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Lamy, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Croton On Hudson, New York
Southold, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Dundee, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
Watsontown, Pennsylvania
West Kingston, Rhode Island
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Leesburg, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Powhatan, Virginia
Wytheville, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Kalama, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Huntington, West Virginia
Sandyville, West Virginia
Marinette, Wisconsin
Pulaski, Wisconsin
Waterloo, Wisconsin
Wittenberg, Wisconsin
Kinnear, Wyoming
Riverton, Wyoming

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