How to Plant Iris Plants in Pots: A Comprehensive Guide


Welcome to our guide on how to plant iris plants in pots! Irises are beautiful plants that are known for their vibrant shades of blue, purple, and yellow. They are perfect for adding a pop of color to any outdoor or indoor space. In this article, we will take you through the steps of planting iris plants in pots and provide tips and tricks to help you care for your plants.


Step 1: Choose the Right Pot

When selecting a pot for your iris plant, make sure it is at least 12 inches in diameter and has drainage holes at the bottom. This will allow excess water to drain out of the pot and prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.

Step 2: Select the Right Soil

Irises grow best in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. You can use a commercial potting mix or make your own by mixing equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

Step 3: Place Gravel or Sand at the Bottom of the Pot

Add a layer of gravel or sand at the bottom of the pot to provide drainage and prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged.

Step 4: Plant the Iris Bulbs

Place the iris bulbs in the pot, making sure to space them out evenly. The bulbs should be planted with the roots facing downwards and the top of the bulb just below the surface of the soil.

Step 5: Add Soil

Cover the iris bulbs with soil, leaving about 1 inch of space between the surface of the soil and the top of the pot.

Step 6: Water the Soil

Gently water the soil until it is evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.

Step 7: Place the Pot in a Sunny Spot

Irises need at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. Place the pot in a sunny spot, such as a south-facing window or on a patio that receives direct sunlight.

Step 8: Water Regularly

Water your iris plant regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. Check the soil every few days and water as needed.

Step 9: Fertilize the Plant

Feed your iris plant with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the correct amount to use.

Step 10: Watch for Pests and Diseases

Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids and slugs, which can damage your iris plant. If you notice any signs of pests or diseases, take action immediately to prevent the problem from spreading.

Step 11: Deadhead the Flowers

Remove spent flowers from your iris plant to encourage new blooms. Simply snap off the flower stem at the base of the plant.

Step 12: Cut Back the Leaves in Winter

In the winter, cut back the leaves of your iris plant to about 6 inches above the soil level. This will help the plant conserve energy and prepare for the spring growing season.

Step 13: Repot Every Three Years

Every three years, repot your iris plant in fresh soil to provide it with fresh nutrients and to prevent overcrowding in the pot.

Step 14: Divide the Bulbs

If your iris plant becomes overcrowded, you can divide the bulbs and plant them in separate pots. To do this, gently dig up the bulbs and separate them, making sure each division has a healthy root system.

Step 15: Enjoy Your Beautiful Iris Plant!

Sit back and enjoy the beautiful blooms of your iris plant! With proper care, your plant will continue to thrive and provide you with gorgeous flowers for years to come.

Explanations and Tips

Tip 1: Choose the Right Type of Iris

There are many different types of iris plants, each with their own unique growing requirements. Be sure to choose a variety that is well-suited to growing in pots and that will thrive in your local climate.

Tip 2: Provide Adequate Drainage

Proper drainage is essential for keeping your iris plant healthy. Make sure the pot you choose has drainage holes at the bottom and add a layer of gravel or sand to the bottom of the pot.

Tip 3: Water Correctly

Water your iris plant regularly, but avoid overwatering. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

Tip 4: Feed Regularly

Fertilize your iris plant regularly during the growing season to provide it with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Tip 5: Protect from Pests

Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids and slugs, which can damage your iris plant. Use organic pest control methods to keep your plant healthy.

Tip 6: Protect from Extreme Temperatures

Irises are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so be sure to protect your plant from frost or excessive heat.

Tip 7: Provide Adequate Sunlight

Irises need at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. Choose a sunny spot for your plant and keep it away from shady areas.

Tip 8: Be Patient

Growing iris plants in pots can take some time and patience, but with proper care, your plant will reward you with beautiful blooms for years to come.

Now that you know how to plant iris plants in pots, it’s time to get started! With proper care and attention, your iris plant will thrive and provide you with beautiful blooms for years to come.

Strengths & Weaknesses of Planting Iris Plants in Pots

Advantages (Strengths)

Planting iris plants in pots has several advantages:

Advantages Description
Flexibility You can move pots around at will, allowing you to position the plants for optimal sunlight, temperature, and water. This flexibility also means you can reorganize your garden – or take the plants with you if you move house.
Contamination reduction Potting soil in containers offers an added defense against pests and soil-borne diseases. This means that your iris plants may have fewer problems with root rot, fungus, and other plant diseases.
Convenience While planting in pots may require more frequent watering and fertilization, it makes it easier to care for your iris plants. Because the plants are self-contained, you won’t have to weed as much, preventing unnecessary damage to your plants as you disrupt nearby roots.

Disadvantages (Weaknesses)

Despite its many advantages, planting iris plants in pots also has several disadvantages:

Disadvantages Description
Water management Potting plants requires careful water management, as overwatering or underwatering can damage or even kill the plants. Too much water can cause root rot, while too little can harm plant growth and vitality.
Root restrictions Root systems in potted plants can become restricted, limiting their growth potential. This can lead to plants that are smaller, less robust, and less productive than those planted in the ground.
Cost and availability of pots Large pots and specialized containers can be expensive, especially if you want to plant several iris plants. Moreover, those pots may not be readily available for purchase, especially in areas without garden suppliers or nurseries.


While there are disadvantages to planting iris plants in pots, the advantages generally outweigh any downsides for most gardeners. With proper care and attention, potted iris plants can thrive and beautify a garden, yielding an impressive array of vibrant blooms.


Q1. Can I plant iris plants in pots?

Yes, iris plants can be planted in pots as long as the pot is large enough for its roots to grow comfortably.

Q2. What is the best time to plant iris plants in pots?

The best time to plant iris plants in pots is in the fall or spring when the weather is cooler.

Q3. How big should the pot be for an iris plant?

The pot should be at least 12 inches deep and 12-14 inches wide to accommodate the iris plant’s root system.

Q4. What kind of soil should I use for planting iris plants in pots?

Use a well-draining soil mix with a pH level of 6 to 7. Add some organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or perlite to improve soil drainage and aeration.

Q5. How often should I water my iris plants in pots?

Water your iris plants whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. Make sure not to overwater to avoid root rot.

Q6. Should I fertilize my iris plants in pots?

Yes, iris plants should be fertilized every four weeks during the growing season with balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) according to package instructions.

Q7. Is it necessary to deadhead iris plants?

Yes, it is necessary to deadhead iris plants regularly. This ensures that the plant expends its energy on new growth rather than wasted on dead flowers.

Q8. How deep should I plant the iris rhizome in the pot?

Plant the iris rhizome 2-3 inches deep in the pot, with the top part exposed above the soil level.

Q9. Can I grow different types of iris plants in the same pot?

Yes, you can grow different types of iris plants in the same pot as long as there is enough space for each to grow.

Q10. How do I store iris plants in pots during the winter?

Store iris plants in pots in a cool, dark place such as a garage or basement during the winter. Water sparingly during dormancy.

Q11. Do iris plants in pots need extra protection during extreme weather conditions?

Yes, iris plants in pots need extra protection during extreme weather conditions such as high winds or frost. Move them to a sheltered area or wrap them with horticultural fleece or a blanket.

Q12. How can I avoid overwatering my iris plants in pots?

Avoid overwatering your iris plants by checking the soil moisture level regularly and only watering when the top inch of soil feels dry. Install drainage holes in the pot to prevent waterlogging of the roots.

Q13. Can I bring my iris plants in pots indoors during the winter?

Yes, you can bring your iris plants in pots indoors during the winter. Place them in an area with bright but indirect sunlight and maintain moderate humidity levels. Remember to water sparingly during dormancy.


In conclusion, planting iris plants in pots is a simple process that requires a few basic steps. It is essential to choose the right pot, the right soil, and the best iris variety for your climate. Ensure that you use well-draining soil and place the pot in an area with plenty of sunlight. The pot should have drainage holes to prevent overwatering, and frequent watering is needed to keep the soil moist. It is essential to keep the plant free from pests and diseases by regularly inspecting and taking care of any issues that may arise.

Moreover, planting iris in pots provides many benefits, primarily when there is limited space. If you have no garden or only a small balcony, planting iris in pots is an excellent way to enjoy this beautiful plant. Also, it allows you to move the pots around your home, updating the décor and creating an entirely new look with little effort. It also allows you to control the environment, making it easier to care for, and with precise control over the soil and water, you can ensure that the iris plants thrive. Overall, planting iris plants in pots is a wonderful way to enjoy one of the most colorful and beautiful flowers in the world, and it is easy to do with just a little bit of knowledge and effort.