Friday, March 11, 2011


   Median Bearded Iris are the smaller classifications of iris. They come in a few different shapes and sizes as you can see in the diagram below.  The best reasons to add them to the garden is the earlier bloom season and the shorter sizes. They tolerate wide varieties of conditions with the MDB's and SDB's being much more cold tolerant (not as heat tolerant) and ideal in rock garden type conditions.

   The IB's bloom next and fill in the garden until the tall and border bearded iris bloom. Often, IB's and BB's are a combination of SDB's crossed with tall beardeds, giving them more tolerance of weather conditions.

   We are big fans of these babies and highly recommend trying some in your garden. For more on the medians go the Median Iris Society website. We offer many different varieties at our own site, Stout Gardens at Dancingtree.

Happy Gardening!


  1. Is there a variety that is more likely to rebloom again later in the season?

  2. Yes, there are many rebloomers. However it is really dependant on where you are. Many so called rebloomers may do so in warm zone 8 or better climates but won't do it farther north.
    We have a reblooming category on our website and try to say whether they in fact rebloom for us in zone 7.

  3. So reblooming is actually based on longer growing seasons than the actual iris itself? As a hybridizer, is reblooming a trait you attempt to bring out in your new varieties, and if so, how much weight is placed on the value of reblooming in comparison to other strengths the iris may have?

  4. There is a difference in rebloom between iris and daylilies. Rebloom in iris refers to a whole second bloom season, usually in the fall. Daylily rebloom refers to a plant sending up more stalks through the bloom season.
    There are a couple of iris hybridizers working on rebloomers. However their locations in California and Virginia don't always translate in to rebloomers in cooler climates.
    I have started working with some rebloomers in the medians which should translate into more cold tolerant rebloomers. I was reluctant to mess too much with them because they often rebloom either too late in the fall and are damaged by frost, or rebloom too soon which causes them to melt in the summer sun.
    Definitely room for improvement in this area. :)