Bearded Iris Iris 'Before the Storm' (TB)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
iris 'Before the Storm'


Iris 'Before the Storm' is a captivating variety of Iris that is particularly noteworthy for its stunningly dark flowers. The petals are a rich, velvety deep purple, almost black in color, which gives it a dramatic and mysterious allure. The flowers are large and consist of multiple layers of petals, with the typical iris form of three upright standards and three downward curving falls. The falls exhibit a slight ruffling along the edges, adding to their elegance. A contrasting bright yellow or white 'beard' is present at the center of the falls, drawing the eye and highlighting the deep color of the petals. The plant has sword-like, upright foliage that is a vibrant green color, which provides a beautiful backdrop for the impressive blooms. The leaves are long and slender, emerging from a rhizomatous base, creating an attractive fan-like form even when the plant is not in flower.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Tall Bearded Iris, Bearded Iris.

    • Common names

      Iris 'Before the Storm'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Tall Bearded Iris, commonly known as the Bearded Iris, has parts that are generally considered to be mildly toxic to humans if ingested. The rhizomes (underground stems) are the most toxic part, and consuming them can lead to digestive discomfort, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It is advisable to handle the plant with care and to avoid ingestion of any part of it to prevent these unpleasant symptoms.

    • To pets

      The Tall Bearded Iris, commonly known as the Bearded Iris, poses a toxicity risk to pets if ingested. The rhizomes are particularly toxic, and if a pet were to consume them, it could experience symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and lethargy. In more severe cases, there may also be a loss of appetite and other signs of systemic involvement. It's important to keep pets away from the plant to avoid these potential adverse health effects.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color

      Blackish purple

    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      18 inches (0.46 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Temperate Northern Hemisphere


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Iris 'Before the Storm' features deep, velvety purple blooms that add a striking visual interest to any garden or landscape setting.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, these irises are quite drought-tolerant, making them suitable for low-water gardens and xeriscaping.
    • Pollinator Friendly: The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, which are essential for a healthy and thriving ecosystem.
    • Low Maintenance: These irises require minimal care, as they are generally resistant to pests and diseases, making them ideal for gardeners looking for low-maintenance plants.
    • Seasonal Interest: Iris 'Before the Storm' blooms in late spring to early summer, providing seasonal interest when many other flowers have not yet started or have already finished blooming.
    • Easy Propagation: These irises can easily be propagated by dividing the rhizomes every few years, allowing gardeners to expand their collection or share with others.
    • Soil Adaptability: They are adaptable to a range of soil conditions, though they perform best in well-drained soils.
    • Cold Hardy: With the right winter care, Iris 'Before the Storm' can survive in cold climates, making it a versatile choice for many temperate gardens.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography Subject: The deep, velvety black-purple blossoms of the Iris make it a stunning subject for photographers interested in capturing the beauty of unique flowers.
    • Artistic Inspiration: Artists may use the dramatic appearance of Iris 'Before the Storm' as inspiration for paintings, drawings, and other forms of art.
    • Educational Tool: Botany teachers can use this Iris variety to illustrate plant genetics and hybridization techniques due to its distinct characteristics.
    • Floral Arrangements: The Iris can add a striking contrast to floral arrangements when paired with lighter colored flowers.
    • Wedding Decor: Because of its unique color, Iris 'Before the Storm' is sometimes used in wedding bouquets and decorations to create a theme of elegance and mystery.
    • Garden Design: Landscapers may utilize this variety as a focal point in garden beds or as part of a color-themed garden design plan.
    • Perfume Industry: Occasionally, the subtle fragrance of the Iris 'Before the Storm' might influence the creation of perfumes and scents.
    • Culinary Garnish: Although not commonly eaten, the petals could be used as unique garnishes for high-end culinary presentations that focus on aesthetics.
    • Crafting: Dried Iris petals and stems can be incorporated into crafts, such as homemade paper or potpourri mixes.
    • Dyeing Fabric: The pigments of the Iris 'Before the Storm' flowers might be used experimentally in the natural dyeing of fabrics.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Iris is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Iris is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: Traditionally, irises convey a message of hope and are often associated with gods and the heavens, symbolizing divine protection.
    • Wisdom: The iris is frequently linked to wisdom, a reflection of the flower’s namesake, the Greek goddess Iris, who was a messenger of the gods and represented wisdom and communication.
    • Faith: Irises are symbolic of faith, embodying trust and belief in various cultures and contexts, often used in religious art.
    • Courage: Due to its upright petals reaching towards the sky, the iris can symbolize courage and admiration, representing the valor to move forward.
    • Purity: The white and lighter colored iris varieties in particular are often associated with purity and innocence, thus they are frequently used in wedding bouquets and arrangements.
    • Royalty: The regal appearance of the iris, along with its association with French monarchs, particularly the Fleur-de-lis symbol, represents royalty and majesty.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Late Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Tall Bearded Iris, including 'Before the Storm,' should be watered deeply to encourage deep root growth. Water the plant once a week with about 1 inch of water, which is roughly 0.6 gallons for a square foot of soil. These plants prefer to dry out slightly between waterings, so let the top inch of soil become dry to the touch before watering again. During the hot summer months or in arid climates, you may need to water more frequently, whereas in cooler weather or with natural rainfall, you may need to water less. Ensure not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Tall Bearded Iris thrives best in full sun, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Plant 'Before the Storm' in a spot where it will receive abundant sunshine throughout the day to ensure vigorous growth and optimal blooming. If you live in a region with extremely hot summers, providing afternoon shade can help protect the plant from excessive heat stress.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Tall Bearded Iris is quite cold hardy and can withstand winter temperatures down to about -20°F but they grow best when daytime temperatures are between 55°F and 75°F. They can survive high temperatures up to 90°F when well-watered. Providing proper air circulation around the plants can help when temperatures are warmer.

  • scissorsPruning

    Tall Bearded Iris should be pruned to remove spent flower stalks after blooming to promote plant health and reduce the chance of disease. Also, in late summer or early fall, cut back the foliage to about 6 inches to prepare the plant for winter. Divide and prune the rhizomes every 3 to 5 years to prevent overcrowding and to rejuvenate the plant for more vigorous blooming. The best time for division and pruning is soon after flowering has finished.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Before the Storm' thrives in well-draining soil with a pH of slightly acidic to neutral (6.8 to 7.0). A good soil mix consists of loamy garden soil with added organic matter such as compost. Ensure it has good drainage to prevent water-logging.

  • plantRepotting

    Tall Bearded Iris 'Before the Storm' generally does not need frequent repotting and can be left undisturbed for several years. However, it's recommended to divide and repot them every 3 to 5 years to maintain vigor and flower production.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Before the Storm' is tolerant of the typical outdoor humidity levels and does not require specific humidity adjustments. Normal garden conditions are usually sufficient.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in a sunny spot and ensure soil drainage.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sunny area with well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of the Iris 'Before the Storm', commonly known as a type of Tall Bearded Iris, begins with seed germination in favorable conditions of moisture and temperature, though cultivation is more commonly through division of rhizomes. After germination, the plant enters the vegetative stage where leaves and roots develop, typically requiring a period of chilling to promote future flowering. During spring, the growth of new foliage is followed by the emergence of flower stalks that will showcase the plant’s distinctive deep purple blooms. After flowering, which happens between late spring to early summer, the plant focuses energy on strengthening its rhizome for the next cycle. As the flowering period ends, the plant will enter a period of dormancy, especially in colder climates, to survive through winter. With the return of favorable conditions in the following spring, the Iris 'Before the Storm' resumes its cycle, often spreading through rhizome division, which gardeners can separate to propagate new plants.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Summer

    • Propogation: Iris 'Before the Storm', commonly known as a Tall Bearded Iris, is usually propagated by division. The optimal time for dividing and replanting irises is late summer to early fall, several weeks after the blooming period has ended, but when the plants still have time to establish themselves before the onset of winter. To propagate, one should carefully dig up the clumps of iris, gently separating healthy rhizomes from the old central clump which is likely to be less vigorous. The best rhizomes for replanting are those with one or two leaf fans attached. These rhizomes should be trimmed to about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) in length, and the leaves should be cut back to about one-third their height to reduce water loss. Rhizomes are then replanted in the ground at a shallow depth so that the top of the rhizome is just barely covered with soil, and spaced about 12 to 24 inches (30 to 61 cm) apart to allow for adequate growth and air circulation.