Iris not blooming could cause disappointment after all the hard work of growing the plant. Iris produces flowers if its care requirements are matched.

iris plant leavesIf your Iris is not blooming, fear not. We are here to solve this problem, and by following this guide, you will see a blooming plant very soon.

Why Is Iris Not Blooming?

Iris is not blooming due to a few reasons including too much shade, soil condition, overcrowded plantation, mushy rhizomes, over or under-watering plants, pest attacks, incorrect planting, and weather conditions. If the plant is young and still trying to establish its roots, it might not bloom.

– Too Much Shade

Siberian Iris needs full sun for six hours in a day to bloom. If the plant is kept in shade it will grow but will not produce flowers. This usually happens when Iris is planted under a tree or sunlight is blocked by a wall or other plants. Too much shade will also make the plant weak.

– Not Enough or Excess Water

Underwatered or overwatered plants will always be unhealthy, which will affect their ability to produce flowers. Iris needs well-draining soil for optimal growth. The plant itself can resist drought but still needs water to grow well. Iris will need more water in summers and spring and less water in winters.

The blubs become mushy if there is too much water. Such bulbs will continue to grow leaves but will struggle to produce flowers.

– Wrong Planting Technique

Gardners sometimes plant the bulb of Iris too deep into the soil, covering it fully with it. The best way to plant Iris is to keep half of the bulb above the soil so that the sunlight can reach them. This method is best for Iris that would bloom. Nonetheless, if you plant them too deep into the soil, the iris will not bloom.

– Overcrowded Plantations

Iris planted too close together will not produce flowers. Gardeners leave the bulbs to multiply in their gardens resulting in the overcrowded plantation. On the other hand, plants surrounding Iris also sometimes take over the space. Both of these conditions cause Iris to stop blooming.

– Poor Soil Condition

The soil degrades over time if it is not replenished with plant food or organic matter. Poor soil conditions will be not favorable for irises to bloom, which need nutrition.

– Weather Conditions

Iris will not flower if the bulbs have become dormant due to freezing temperatures. Plantation in winters will be of no good if temperatures go below freezing point. In this case, the bulbs will become dormant for months and need a few months to establish themselves before blooming.

– Pest Attack

Pests that feed on the sweet sap affect the growth of the plant and stop Iris from blooming. Pests also affect the bulbs and make them unhealthy. This happens when the soil remains soggy, and the plants are overcrowded too.

How To Make Iris Bloom

You can make your iris bloom again by improving the lighting, watering it moderately, adjusting the planting depth, improving its soil conditions, preventing pest attacks, boosting the fertilizers of the soil, and even you may adjust the weather that the iris is subjected to.

– Improve Lighting

Iris does not bloom in shade. You can bring the potted Iris out in the sun easily but if it’s planted in the ground, dig up the bulbs and move them to a sunny location in spring or summer.

That is the time when plants will be growing fast and will be in the healthiest condition. Make sure the new space has well-draining soil, and it is not covered with trees or bushes that block sunlight.

– Moderate Watering

Overwatering will make the bulbs weak, on the other hand, underwatering may affect the growth of the plant too. Always moderately water your Iris. Do not let the soil dry fully and maintain moisture.

– Correct Planting Depth

If your Iris bulbs are planted too deep or too shallow in the soil they will continue to grow leaves but stop flowering. Iris bulbs should be planted half under the soil, and half of it should be visible above the soil so that the sun can reach them. It is an essential step and a secret to making Iris flower.

You can carefully dig your Iris rhizomes and correct this mistake. Make sure to do this in the growing season and never in winters. The Iris will need some time to adjust to this, and once the plant is settled, it will begin to bloom.

– Correct Plantation Distance

Iris multiplies on its own fast and consumes all the space in between bulbs. This suffocates the plant and plants fight for space and nutrients. This compromises the blooming of Iris. To solve overcrowded planting, remove some bulbs from the middle and make sure each plant is planted 12 to 24 inches apart for optimal growth.

– Soil Improvement

Soil loses nutrients over time and needs natural or synthetic fertilizers to remain fertile. Iris will like a treat of half cup of 5-10-10 plant food or fertilizer in the growing season which is spring. Give it another treat when the plant starts flowering.

Never pour fertilizers on top of the bulbs, spread or pour it around the plant. If the plant is healthy but still not blooming, you can give it a boost with a fertilizer that is 10-55-10 in spring.

Nonetheless, it is important to note that too much nitrogen will also stop the blooming of the Iris. Make sure that you are not over-fertilizing the plants.

– Respect Weather

Weather is a factor that is not in our control and we need to learn to adapt. Since Iris bulbs go to a dormant state under extreme cold, it is not a good idea to disturb the plant in winters. Stop watering frequently, transplanting, thinning, or fertilizing during winters. Let the plants rest and prepare for spring.

– Pests Attack Prevention

Pests also lead to damaged plants. You can use natural pesticides to keep them away from the foliage. Sap-sucking pests discourage plants from blooming. Neem oil can be a good natural pesticide if used with water.

– Nutrients for the soil

Epsom salt is good for Iris only when the plant has a deficiency of magnesium. The deficiency can be identified by the yellowing of old foliage. If the plant is healthy looking there is no need to add Epsom salt, in the soil of the plant, because this way the magnesium level will increase and the plant will bloom with more grace.

Since the Iris flower likes pH is between 6.8 to 7. They will enjoy a treat of coffee grounds too. If you add coffee grounds to the soil, the flowers will be more colorful. Feel free to add these during the growing season.

Frequently Asked Questions

– For How Long Does Iris Bloom?

Iris blooms annually for two weeks. Some varieties rebloom too. Other types will flower after two years. The best practice is to plant multiple varieties in the garden so that they are blooming at varied times and there is always a flower to enjoy in the garden.

– What Are The Best Iris Varieties for Flowers?

There are early and mid-season blooming Iris which makes growing these plants a very rewarding practice. Iris Anything Goes is an award-winning variety of Iris that blooms in early spring, and its colors look splendid.

It has a good bud count and stays fresh in a vase for a long time. Blue nettle Iris is another variety that blooms early in winter. Natascha Iris produces white flowers that pop up early in the season. There are many more cultivars.

Iris Better Than Butter grows eight buds per stalk and is famous for its musky fragrance. Some Japanese and Siberian iris select flowers from mid-spring to early summer and are called the mid-season blooming Iris.

A simple trick to get flowers of Iris all year long is to mix early, mid-season, and reblooming varieties in your garden. If you are planting in rows, the first row can be of early bloomers, following a row of mid-season flowering Iris, and at the back, you can have a reblooming variety that is tall and grows multiple stems.

For this outstanding display, follow a regime of enriching your soil and keeping pests away from the plants. Maintain watering, good light, and planting space for optimal growth.

– How Can I Rejuvenate Iris?

You can rejuvenate Iris by lifting the plant from the soil and dividing it during the growing season. This helps remove debris, and old weak plants left during the winters and refresh the soil. Make sure you add nutrients to the poor soil while doing this.

– How Long Does Bearded Iris Take to Rebloom Second Time?

Be it a miniature dwarf bearded Irises or the Tall bearded Iris, it takes around four to eight weeks for them to rebloom after the first flowering. The second blooms depend on the quality of the soil, geographic location, and climate.

iris plant


Iris does not bloom if its growing conditions are suitable. There can be many factors involved, and here is what we learned:

  • Freezing temperatures, poor soil, too much or too little water, excess fertilizer, overcrowded plantation, and improper depth of the bulb can all lead to Iris not blooming.
  • Provide good light and rich soil, space the plant properly, and moderately water your plants to encourage blooming.
  • The Iris plant sometimes reblooms too, but it depends on its location, soil, and climate.
  • There are early and mid-season varieties to choose from for your garden.
  • Iris blooms for two weeks each year in optimal conditions.

Plant a variety of Iris in your garden and give them the best care to boost your chance of getting flowers throughout the year.

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