Bearded Iris Iris 'Bold Stroke' (IB)

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


The Iris 'Bold Stroke' is a striking plant with a notable appearance that can captivate any garden enthusiast. This plant features large, showy flowers that are the highlight of its display. The flowers have an elegant form, sporting broad and ruffled petals that exude a sense of delicacy and strength at the same time. The coloration of the blossoms is particularly dramatic, with deep purple or violet standards—the upright parts of the flower—contrasting against rich, velvety falls—the lower petals that hang down. These falls may show a wash or infusion of contrasting colors, such as gold or white, which accentuates their boldness and adds to the 'Bold Stroke' namesake. The foliage of this iris is also noteworthy, typically consisting of long, sword-like leaves that arise from a fan-like arrangement at the base. These leaves have a verdant green color and are often glossy, contributing to the plant's lush appearance throughout the growing season, even when it's not in bloom. The greenery forms an attractive backdrop for the dramatic blossoms that perch atop the sturdy, upright flower stalks, which emerge from amongst the leaves. These stalks bear several buds, which open in succession to provide a prolonged display of color. Overall, the Iris 'Bold Stroke' presents a bold and refined accent to garden compositions, with its captivating blooms that suggest elegance and an air of the dramatic. It is a plant that can truly make a statement in any setting where its flowers can be appreciated up close or even from a distance, without the need to consider its specific measurements.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Bearded Iris, German Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Bold Stroke'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Bearded Iris, including the cultivar 'Bold Stroke', contains irisin, iridin, or irisine - toxic compounds that can cause irritation. If ingested, parts of the plant, especially the rhizomes, can lead to nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Handling the plant may also cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.

    • To pets

      Similar to its effect on humans, the Bearded Iris is also toxic to pets. If a pet consumes part of the plant, particularly the rhizomes, symptoms such as salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhea, and abdominal pain can occur. It is advisable to prevent pets from ingesting any part of the Bearded Iris to avoid these adverse health effects.

  • 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

      Europe Asia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: The IB, or Iris 'Bold Stroke', is known for its striking bicolored petals, making it a standout addition to any garden.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, IB can tolerate periods of low water, making it suitable for xeriscaping or drought-prone areas.
    • Low Maintenance: IB generally requires minimal upkeep beyond occasional watering and deadheading, ideal for gardeners looking for low-maintenance plants.
    • Suitable for Cut Flowers: The long stems and vibrant flowers of IB make them perfect for use in floral arrangements.
    • Cold Hardy: IB is resilient in colder climates and can withstand frost, making it a robust plant choice for gardens in cooler regions.
    • Attracts Pollinators: IB flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, thereby helping to support local ecosystems.
    • Adaptability: IB can adapt to a variety of soil types as long as they drain well, giving gardeners flexibility in planting locations.
    • Seasonal Interest: IB typically blooms in late spring to early summer, adding color and visual interest to the garden during this period.
    • Perennial Growth: As a perennial plant, IB will return each year, offering a long-term addition to garden beds and borders.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: IB's stunning flowers and foliage make it versatile for use in mixed borders, beds, and as a focal point in landscape design.

  • 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

    • Crafting Natural Dyes: The petals of the Iris can be boiled to extract natural dyes for fabrics or artisanal paper, yielding a range of colors from yellow to blue-green.
    • Photography Subject: With its striking appearance, Iris 'Bold Stroke' is often used by photographers as a subject for botanical photography and art pieces.
    • Garden Design: Irises are commonly used in thematic gardens, such as moon gardens or white gardens, due to their flowering time and color.
    • Water Filtration: Iris 'Bold Stroke' can be planted in water gardens, where it may help in natural water filtration by absorbing excess nutrients in pond water.
    • Educational Tool: This variety of Iris can be used in educational settings as a live specimen for botany or horticulture classes.
    • Floral Jewelry: Petals of the Iris 'Bold Stroke' can be included in the making of floral jewelry, such as earrings or pendants, usually as pressed or dried flower inclusions.
    • Insect Habitat: Certain species of Irises can provide habitat or food for butterflies and other beneficial insects, promoting biodiversity.
    • Soil Erosion Control: The root system of Iris 'Bold Stroke' helps in soil stabilization and prevention of erosion, particularly along water banks or in wet areas of the garden.
    • Mood Enhancing Decor: Its vibrant colors can be mood-lifting, so the live plant or cut flowers are often used in interior decoration to enhance the ambient atmosphere.
    • Symbolism and Gifts: Irises carry symbolic meanings, such as wisdom, hope, and courage, which makes them suitable for gift-giving on various occasions, like graduations or new ventures.

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

    • Royalty: The Iris, often associated with royalty, symbolizes supreme power and regality. Its rich hues and stately appearance have historically linked it with kings and queens.
    • Wisdom: The name Iris comes from the Greek word for rainbow, and the goddess Iris was a messenger who represented the link between heaven and earth. As such, the Iris corresponds to wisdom and valued communication.
    • Hope: With its diverse and vibrant colors, the Iris blossoms bring hope by symbolizing faith and cherished expectations for the future.
    • Valor: In some traditions, Irises symbolize bravery and heroism, encapsulating the boldness and courage required for noble deeds.
    • Devotion: Irises may also denote deep, heartfelt connections and a sense of loyalty and devotion in relationships, highlighting emotional bonds.

Every 2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Bearded Irises like 'Bold Stroke' require moderate watering, especially during the growing season in spring and early summer. They prefer a deep, thorough watering to encourage root growth rather than frequent, shallow watering. Provide about 1 gallon of water per square yard once a week if there hasn't been significant rainfall. After blooming, reduce watering, as Bearded Irises are somewhat drought-tolerant and overwatering can cause rot. In winter, water sparingly, just enough to prevent the soil from becoming bone dry.

  • sunLight

    Bearded Iris 'Bold Stroke' thrives in full sun and needs at least six hours of direct sunlight to perform best. Ideal planting spots are areas that receive morning sunlight and are protected from intense afternoon heat. Partial shade can be tolerated, but too little sunlight may result in fewer blooms.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Bearded Iris 'Bold Stroke' is hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as around -20 degrees Fahrenheit during dormancy. They grow best in temperatures that range from 35 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they should be protected from extreme heat, as temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit may stress them.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Bearded Iris 'Bold Stroke' by removing spent flower stems down to the base after blooming to maintain plant appearance and prevent seed formation. In late summer or early fall, cut back the leaves to about 6 inches to minimize winter damage and remove any diseased or damaged foliage, which helps in preventing rot and pests. Pruning is typically done annually.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Bearded Iris 'Bold Stroke' thrives in well-draining, loamy soil enriched with organic matter. A neutral to slightly acidic pH of 6.8 to 7.0 is ideal for this plant. Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to enhance its structure and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Bearded Irises, including 'Bold Stroke', generally do not need frequent repotting and can be left undisturbed for several years. They should be divided and repotted every 3 to 5 years to prevent overcrowding and to rejuvenate the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Bearded Irises like 'Bold Stroke' are tolerant of a wide range of humidity conditions and do not require high humidity. Average outdoor humidity levels are suitable for their optimal growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in a sunny spot with good airflow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in a sunny spot with well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of the Iris 'Bold Stroke' (Bearded Iris) begins with seed germination, where the seed absorbs water and the embryo begins to grow, eventually emerging from the soil. The plant then enters the vegetative stage, where the roots, leaves, and stems develop and the plant undergoes photosynthesis to gather energy. As the Bearded Iris matures, it undergoes the flowering stage, where it develops distinctive flowers that can be pollinated by insects, leading to the production of seeds. After blooming, which generally occurs in late spring to early summer, the plant enters a period of dormancy, particularly in climates with cold winters, where the above-ground parts may die back. During this dormant stage, the underground rhizomes survive and store energy for the next growing season. Finally, the plant resumes growth from the rhizomes, completing the cycle and starting it anew when the conditions are favorable.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Iris 'Bold Stroke', commonly referred to as Bearded Iris, is typically propagated by division, which is the most popular method for this plant. The ideal time for dividing Bearded Iris clumps is late summer to early fall, after they have finished blooming. To propagate by division, the gardener should carefully dig up the iris clumps and gently separate the rhizomes, which are the horizontal stem structures that grow underground. It's important to use a sharp knife to cut apart the rhizomes, ensuring each section has at least one fan of leaves and healthy roots. The divided rhizomes should then be replanted promptly, setting them so the top of the rhizome is slightly below the soil's surface, at a depth of about an inch (2.54 centimeters), and spaced about 12 to 24 inches (30 to 61 centimeters) apart to allow for adequate growth and air circulation. After planting, watering the newly planted rhizomes will help them establish in their new location. This method of division helps to rejuvenate older clumps and can also increase the number of plants in a garden.