Iris ensata 'Variegata'
  Common Name: Iris-Japanese
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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

Attractive both in and out of bloom, this variegated Japanese Iris has beautifully striped green and creamy white, sword-like foliage.  Large bright royal purple flowers with a small yellow signal are produced from early to midsummer.
  

Unlike the Tall Bearded Iris, the beardless Japanese Iris has a flat bloom, narrower leaves, and smaller, more compact rhizomes. They have the largest flowers of all irises, and make wonderful spring accents for the edge of water gardens.  Japanese irises are the latest to bloom, about a month after the Siberian irises.

Origin: Not Native to North America

Characteristics:



Height:
  18-24 Inches
Spread:
  12-18 Inches
Flower Color:
  Purple shades
Foliage Color:
  Green shades
Hardiness Zone:
4,5,6,7,8,9
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
  Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Consistent water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts hummingbirds
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Deer resistant
  Rabbit resistant
How fast should it grow?:
  Medium
  Rapid
When should it bloom?:
  Early summer
  Midsummer
How's your soil?:
  Average Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
  Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Cottage
  Asian
  Eclectic

  Click here to view the Grower Cultural Sheet

Size(s) Offered:

  Bare Root: #1 Grade (25ct)

Attributes:

Border plants
Cut flower or foliage
Mass Planting

Awards:

  Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit 1995

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Above all else, no other factor is a greater influence on Japanese Irises than water. A lack of moisture will stunt the plants and flowers, while a consistent supply of water will result in large, healthy plants with large flowers. They are lovely planted beside ponds or near streams where the water table is high, but not covering the roots. Mulch the plants heavily to ensure that the soil never dries out.

Japanese Irises should be planted in heavy, acidic, rich soil that has been amended with compost or manure. For new plantings, do not add granular fertilizer around your newly planted irises. Instead, add the fertilizer to the soil a month or two before planting the Japanese Irises. Once established, fertilize them in early spring and again right after they are finished blooming.

Most Japanese Irises require division every 3-4 years. When dividing mature clumps in spring or fall, it is best to dig up the entire clump and replant the divisions somewhere else in the garden where Japanese Irises have not been grown before. The rhizomes should be planted 2-3 inches deep. New roots form above the old roots each year, so by the time you can see the roots growing at the soil surface, it's time to divide them again.


Companions:

Common/Botanical Name
Zones  
Myosotis sylvatica 'Royal Blue Compact'
Common Name: Forget-Me-Not
3,4,5,6,7,8
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Astilbe YOUNIQUE LILAC™ (‘Verslilac’ PP19847)
Common Name: Astilbe
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Colocasia gigantea 'Thailand Giant'
Common Name: Elephant Ear-Giant
8,9,10
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Hibiscus SUMMERIFIC® 'Berrylicious' PP24062 CPBRAF
Common Name: Rose Mallow
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Monarda didyma 'Purple Rooster'
Common Name: Bee Balm
4,5,6,7,8,9
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While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.