Dutch Iris Iris 'Blue Ballerina' (CH)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
iris 'Blue Ballerina'


The Iris 'Blue Ballerina' is an ornamental perennial famous for its beautiful and striking flowers. Its blooms are notable for their elegant blue hues, which can range from light to deep sapphire depending on individual flowers and lighting conditions. Each bloom consists of six petals; three upright petals called standards, and three hanging petals known as falls. The falls typically exhibit a delicate veining or marbling pattern, often in a deeper or contrasting shade of blue, and they sometimes have a light, white or yellowish "beard" or crest in the center, which adds to the intricate appearance of the flowers. The standards rise gracefully above this, giving a poised and elegant display. The plant itself has long, slender, sword-shaped leaves that are a rich green color and can create a dense clump of foliage at the base. These leaves emerge from sturdy, upright stems which also bear the regal flowers. The foliage provides an attractive contrast to the bold blue of the flowers and gives the plant a lush, full appearance even when not in bloom. The Iris 'Blue Ballerina' demonstrates durability along with its beauty, making it a favorite among garden enthusiasts for adding a splash of blue to their garden palette.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Blue Ballerina Iris, Charming Billy

    • Common names

      Iris 'Blue Ballerina'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as the Iris can be toxic if ingested by humans. The rhizomes (underground stems) contain the highest concentration of the toxic compounds, although other parts of the plant can also be harmful if consumed. Symptoms of Iris poisoning can include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, irritation of the mouth and throat. Skin contact with the sap can also cause irritation and dermatitis in some individuals. It is important to avoid ingesting any part of the plant and to handle it with care.

    • To pets

      The Iris is also toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. Ingestion of any part of the plant, especially the rhizomes, can lead to symptoms such as excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. It is crucial to prevent pets from chewing or consuming any portion of the Iris. If you suspect your pet has ingested this plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (60-90 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Iris 'Blue Ballerina' adds aesthetic appeal to gardens with its striking blue flowers and elegant form.
    • Easy to Grow: This plant is known for being low-maintenance and easy to cultivate, even for beginner gardeners.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it has a reasonable tolerance to dry conditions and requires less water compared to other plants.
    • Attracts Wildlife: The flowers can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Seasonal Interest: Provides beautiful blooms in spring or early summer, adding seasonal color to the landscape.
    • Border Planting: Suitable for use in borders due to its moderate height and clumping growth habit.
    • Cut Flowers: The blooms are ideal for creating floral arrangements, offering an enduring vase life.
    • Versatility: Can be planted in a variety of settings including beds, borders, and containers.
    • Diversity: Available in a range of colors, allowing for varied design and color schemes in the garden.
    • Herbaceous Perennial: As a perennial, it will return year after year, providing long-term presence in the garden.

  • 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

    • Artistic inspiration: Artists and photographers often use the captivating beauty of the Iris 'Blue Ballerina' as a muse for paintings, drawings, and photography, capturing its vibrant blue hues.
    • Dye production: Historically, some iris species have been used to produce natural dyes, and the 'Blue Ballerina' can be explored for its potential in creating blue or purple dyes.
    • Perfumery: The scent of some iris flowers is used in the perfume industry, and 'Blue Ballerina' could contribute its aroma to fragrance blends.
    • Floating decorations: Individual blooms or small arrangements of Iris ‘Blue Ballerina’ can be floated in bowls of water as elegant table centerpieces for events.
    • Floral arrangements: The flowers can be used in fresh or dried floral arrangements, adding a touch of blue elegance to bouquets or home decor.
    • Educational tool: Due to its distinct morphology, the plant can be used to teach botany students about the unique features of iris flowers.
    • Culinary garnish: Although irises are not typically eaten, the colorful petals of 'Blue Ballerina' can be used as a decorative garnish for dishes in high-end culinary presentations.
    • Printmaking: The textured petals and leaves of the Iris 'Blue Ballerina' can be used in printmaking to create organic, botanical designs on paper or fabric.
    • Pot-pourri ingredients: Dried petals can be included in pot-pourri mixes to add color and a mild fragrance to a room.
    • Wedding decor: The eye-catching colors of the 'Blue Ballerina' make it a popular choice for wedding flower arrangements and venue decorations.

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: The Iris often symbolizes hope, with its lush petals reaching upwards towards the sky as if aspiring for better times.
    • Wisdom: Irises are associated with wisdom, as the flower is named after the Greek messenger goddess Iris, who was thought to connect humanity to the divine.
    • Trust: With its strong and upright posture, the Iris can symbolize trust and reliability, the way it consistently blooms with vibrant color.
    • Faith: In various religious contexts, the Iris is seen as a symbol of faith, representing belief in the unseen and spiritual.
    • Valor: The historical use of the Iris as a royal symbol, especially in France (fleur-de-lis), connects it with valor and knighthood.
    • Purity: The pure, bright colors of the Iris, especially the white varieties, can symbolize purity and innocence.

Every 2 weeks
5000 - 25000 Lux
Every 2-5 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Bearded Iris, specifically 'Blue Ballerina,' thrives when the soil is kept evenly moist but not waterlogged. It should be watered deeply once a week, providing about an inch of water which can be roughly 0.62 gallons per square yard of soil. During the active growth periods in spring and early summer, consistent watering is crucial. However, it is essential to reduce watering after blooming has finished and during dormant periods, especially in the fall and winter. To avoid common fungal problems, water at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry.

  • sunLight

    Bearded Iris 'Blue Ballerina' requires full sun to bloom optimally, meaning at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. The ideal spot for planting is in an area with bright, unfiltered sunlight, although light afternoon shade can be beneficial in extremely hot climates.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Bearded Iris 'Blue Ballerina' is adaptable to a wide range of temperatures but prefers conditions between 35°F and 90°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to -20°F as long as the ground is not waterlogged, preventing root rot. The ideal growing temperature is between 55°F and 75°F for vigorous growth and flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Bearded Iris 'Blue Ballerina' should be pruned to remove any dead or diseased foliage and spent flower stalks to encourage healthy growth and prevent disease. After blooming, cut flower stalks close to the base without harming the leaves. Pruning is also necessary when dividing irises, which is best done every 3 to 5 years, typically in late summer.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Bearded Iris 'Blue Ballerina' thrives best in a well-draining soil mix with good fertility. It can tolerate a pH range of 6.5 to 7 (slightly acidic to neutral). Incorporating organic matter like compost into the garden soil can enhance its structure and nutrition. Avoid heavy, saturated soils that can lead to rot.

  • plantRepotting

    Bearded Irises, like 'Blue Ballerina', are typically not repotted often since they are grown in gardens. However, they should be divided every 3-4 years to prevent overcrowding and rejuvenate the plant's vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Bearded Irises such as 'Blue Ballerina' prefer low to moderate humidity levels but are quite adaptable and resilient to varying atmospheric moisture.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure ample light, cool temps, and good airflow for indoor Bearded Iris.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun, moderate water, well-draining soil; mulch lightly.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Iris 'Blue Ballerina,' also commonly known as Siberian Iris, begins its life cycle as a dormant rhizome or seed planted in moist, well-drained soil in late summer or fall. The rhizome sprouts in early spring, producing long, slender leaves and stems that grow upward. Vegetative growth continues and by late spring to early summer, the plant bears distinctive blue-violet flowers with falls and standards, which are its reproductive organs. After pollination, typically by insects, the flowers fade and seed pods develop, which dry out and eventually release seeds. The plant then enters a period of dormancy in late fall to winter, with the foliage dying back. The rhizome survives underground during this dormant period and will regenerate the next spring, completing the cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The Iris 'Blue Ballerina', also known as the Dutch Iris, is often propagated through division, which is the most popular method for this species. The best time to divide and propagate these irises is in late summer, after flowering has finished and the foliage has begun to die back. To propagate through division, carefully lift the clump of iris with a fork or spade, gently separating the rhizomes, being sure to leave several healthy leaves attached to each section. Trim the leaves to about one-third of their height to reduce water loss. Plant the rhizome divisions at least 12 inches apart (≈30 cm) in a well-draining soil, with the top of the rhizome just barely visible above the soil surface. Water well after planting to help establish the divisions. This method encourages rejuvenation of the plants and helps to maintain the vigor and flowering capability of the iris.