Dwarf Bearded Iris Iris 'Chickee' (MTB)

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


The Iris 'Chickee' is a charming and attractive plant, well-known for its beautiful and distinctive flowers. The blooms of the Chickee are typically a mix of pastel shades, often presenting a light yellow or cream color with delicate veining or stippling in a slightly darker hue. Each flower is composed of petals that display an elegant form: the upright standards and the arched or downward curving falls. These petals are velvety in texture and may have ruffled or slightly frilly edges, adding to their ornate appearance. At the center of the flower, one can usually observe a contrasting beard that draws the eye and adds depth to the bloom's color palette. This feathery appendage often appears in a bright and noticeable hue, creating a striking contrast with the softer tones of the petals. The foliage of the Iris 'Chickee' is also quite notable, forming a dense clump of sword-like leaves. The leaves are typically a rich, deep green color, and their vertical orientation creates an interesting textural contrast with the delicate structure of the flowers. The leaves also serve as a lush backdrop for the showy blooms, enhancing their appeal. These plants are popular in gardens for their showy flowers and the vertical accent provided by their foliage. The Iris 'Chickee' adds a touch of elegance to any planting bed and is often used as a border plant or as part of a mixed perennial garden. The plant's ability to produce such charismatic blooms makes it a favorite among gardeners who wish to create a visually stunning display in the spring or early summer when it typically bursts into color.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Dwarf Bearded Iris, Miniature Tall Bearded Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Chickee' (MTB)

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Iris 'Chickee' (Miniature Tall Bearded Iris) is considered to be mildly toxic to humans if ingested. The primary toxic component is the rhizome which can contain irisin, iridin, or irisine. If ingested, symptoms can include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Handling the plant may also cause skin irritation in some individuals due to its irritating sap.

    • To pets

      The Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, commonly known as Iris 'Chickee', is toxic to pets, with the rhizomes being the most dangerous part. If a pet consumes any part of the plant, particularly the rhizomes, they may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, or lethargy. In severe cases, ingestion may lead to gastrointestinal irritation or more serious complications, so veterinary attention should be sought if a pet is suspected of eating any portion of the plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet [61 cm]

    • Spread

      1 foot [30 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Iris 'Chickee' adds aesthetic appeal to gardens with its striking flowers and unique foliage.
    • Low Maintenance: It is generally easy to care for, requiring minimal upkeep once established in the right environment.
    • Drought Tolerance: This plant is relatively drought-tolerant once established, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers of Iris 'Chickee' attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators to the garden.
    • Seasonal Interest: Provides visual interest throughout its blooming season, typically in late spring to early summer.
    • Adaptable: It can grow in a wide range of soil types, provided they are well-draining.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: Suitable for planting in borders, as a specimen plant, or in mass plantings for a dramatic effect.
    • Cold Hardy: It is capable of surviving and thriving in cooler climates.
    • Propagates Easily: Can be propagated by division, allowing gardeners to expand their planting or share with others.
    • Long-lived Perennial: Once established, Iris 'Chickee' can provide beauty and interest for many years.

  • 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

    • Iris 'Chickee' can be used in natural dye production; the petals contain pigments that can be extracted to create natural dyes for fabrics and art projects.
    • The rhizomes of Iris 'Chickee' may be used in perfumery as a fixative; iris rhizomes, especially from other iris species, are known for their use in perfume as "orris root".
    • Iris 'Chickee' can be a subject in photography and painting, providing a popular and aesthetically pleasing motif for artists and photographers.
    • This plant can be incorporated into educational projects and botanical studies due to the unique characteristics of irises in plant morphology and reproduction.
    • The fibrous leaves of Iris 'Chickee' can be used in basket-weaving or as a natural crafting material for creating eco-friendly art.
    • Gardens designed for wildlife attraction often include Iris 'Chickee', as it can serve as a nectar source for bees and butterflies.
    • In water-conserving landscapes, also known as xeriscaping, Iris 'Chickee' can play an integral role due to its drought resistance once established.
    • The plant can serve as a living mulch due to its dense growth habit, helping to regulate soil temperature and moisture levels.
    • Iris 'Chickee' can be used in cultural ceremonies; irises have symbolic significance in various cultures and may be included in events and rituals accordingly.
    • As a companion plant in the vegetable garden, Iris 'Chickee' might help to deter certain pests if specific companion planting principles are followed.

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

    • Faith: The iris commonly symbolizes faith, reflecting the plant's reliability and the trust one can have in its perennial return.
    • Wisdom: Often associated with wisdom, irises may represent knowledge and good judgement, reminiscent of their namesake, the Greek goddess Iris.
    • Hope: Like many flowers that bloom in spring, irises symbolize hope, heralding the season of renewal and growth.
    • Courage: In some cultures, the iris is a symbol of courage, owing to its bold colors and commanding presence in the garden.
    • Purity: The iris, with its clear lines and elegant form, is sometimes used to convey a message of purity and innocence.

Every week
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Iris 'Chickee', commonly known as Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, prefers consistent moisture, especially when active growth occurs in spring and blooming begins. Watering should be done early in the morning, applying approximately one inch of water per week, directly to the base to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to disease. During hot, dry periods, additional watering may be necessary, ensuring the soil is moist but never waterlogged. After blooming, reduce watering to promote dormancy.

  • sunLight

    Miniature Tall Bearded Iris thrives in full sun conditions, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to bloom effectively. It is best planted in a spot where it can receive unhindered sunlight from morning to afternoon. However, in regions with extremely hot climates, some light afternoon shade will help protect the blooms from fading.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Miniature Tall Bearded Iris performs well across a wide range of temperatures but grows best when daytime temperatures are between 70°F and 80°F. They can withstand cold down to 0°F and should be protected from extreme heat above 90°F. They enter dormancy in colder months, which helps them prepare for the next growing cycle.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Miniature Tall Bearded Iris involves removing spent flower stems at their base to maintain plant aesthetics and redirect energy to rhizome growth. In late summer, trim the foliage into a fan shape to encourage good air circulation, which helps prevent disease. Prune away any yellow or damaged leaves throughout the growing season to keep the plant tidy and healthy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for a Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, commonly known as Iris 'Chickee', is well-draining, fertile, and slightly acidic to neutral, with a pH of 6.1 to 7.0. A combination of loamy garden soil, compost, and sandy soil or perlite would create an ideal environment for iris rhizomes to thrive.

  • plantRepotting

    Miniature Tall Bearded Irises typically do not need frequent repotting and can be divided every 3-4 years to maintain vigor and flower production. It's best to replant or divide irises in late summer after they bloom.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Miniature Tall Bearded Irises do not require high humidity and are relatively adaptable but prefer conditions that mimic their natural habitat, which typically involves moderate atmospheric humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, cool temps, and good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-draining soil, provide winter mulch.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Iris 'Chickee' (Miniature Tall Bearded Iris) begins its life cycle as a rhizome, which is essentially a thickened stem that grows horizontally underground. In spring, new shoots emerge from the rhizome, developing into tall, slender stems with long, narrow leaves and producing characteristic showy flowers that can be various colors, often with a pleasant fragrance. After blooming, usually in late spring to early summer, the flowers are pollinated by insects, leading to the formation of seed pods. Once the pods mature, they split open to disperse seeds that can grow into new plants if they find suitable growing conditions. Iris 'Chickee' enters a period of dormancy in late fall and winter, where growth slows down or stops entirely as the plant conserves energy. With the arrival of warm weather in the following spring, the cycle restarts with the rhizome producing new shoots and the plant continuing to multiply, often necessitating division every few years to prevent overcrowding and to maintain plant vigor.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating the Iris 'Chickee', which is a type of Miniature Tall Bearded (MTB) iris, is by division, typically done in late summer after the blooming season has finished. This is the time when the plant's energy is focused on root development, making it ideal for propagation. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the iris clump, preserving as much of the root system as possible. Wash the dirt off the roots so you can clearly see the individual rhizomes, which are the horizontal stems that grow just at or slightly below the soil surface. Cut or break apart the rhizomes, ensuring that each division has at least one fan of leaves and a portion of healthy roots. Trim the leaves to about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) to reduce water loss and replant the divisions, positioning the rhizome so the top is slightly exposed to the sun. Water them well to help establish the new plants.