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Iris for Wet Sites

Any recommendations on varieties of Iris that can thrive in a sometimes wet, sometimes dry climate?

Try Siberian (Iris sibirica), Japanese (Iris ensata formerly Iris kempferi), or blue flag (Iris versicolor) iris. All tolerate moist soils and will even tolerate temporary flooding.

Siberian iris, hardy in zones 3 to 9, is easy to grow and provides four seasons of interest. They have beautiful blue, purple or white flowers in the spring and grass-like foliage that looks good all summer. The leaves turn an attractive yellow with an orange tinge in the fall and the seedpods can provide winter interest. Siberian iris are usually sold with the perennials at most garden centers.

Japanese iris is hardy in zones 4 to 9, blooms white, blue, purple, reddish purple and lavender-pink in early to midsummer.

The native blue flag iris can be found growing on lake shores, swamp, wet meadows and even in shallow water. The two to four foot tall plant produces blue flowers in spring and is hardy in zones 3 to 8.

Though the yellow flag iris (Iris pseudoacorus) tolerates wet soil it is invasive in many states. Check before adding this aggressive grower in your landscape.


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