Dwarf Iris Iris 'George' (Reticulata)
The Iris 'George' is a captivating early spring blooming plant known for its striking flowers. The blossoms exhibit a deep purple hue, often with a velvety texture, and sport a distinctive yellow or white patterned marking on their falls – the three lower petals that often hang down or flare out. These markings are not just decorative; they actually serve to guide pollinators to the flower's center. The falls contrast beautifully with the standards, which are the three upper petals that stand upright and may be of a lighter shade. The leaves of Iris 'George' are slender, elongated, and sword-like, with a bright green color adding to the plant's upright structure. The foliage emerges from the base of the plant, forming a dense clump and providing a complementary backdrop to the ornate flowers that appear on slim, sturdy stems above the leaves. Overall, the plant has an elegant and structured appearance that is highly prized in gardens and landscapes for its ornamental qualities.
About this plant
Dwarf Iris, Reticulated Iris, George Iris, Netted Iris, George Reticulated Iris
Iris 'George' (Reticulata).
The Dwarf Iris, specifically Iris 'George' (Reticulata), is considered to be minimally toxic to humans. However, if ingested, it can cause mild stomach upset. The bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant and should be handled with caution to avoid skin irritation. Ingestion might lead to nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It is advisable to seek medical attention if any part of the plant is ingested to ensure proper management of symptoms.
The Dwarf Iris, including the variety Iris 'George' (Reticulata), is toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. If ingested, the plant, especially the bulbs, can cause symptoms including salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea. In severe cases, ingestion may lead to more serious symptoms, such as dermatitis or even central nervous system issues. It is recommended to contact a veterinarian immediately if a pet ingests any part of the Dwarf Iris plant.
Color of leaves
4-6 inches (10-15 cm)
4-6 inches (10-15 cm)
- General Benefits
- Early Spring Blooms: Iris 'George' is one of the earliest flowering plants in spring, adding color to the garden when little else is blooming.
- Attracts Pollinators: The vivid colors and fragrant flowers of this plant attract bees and other pollinators to the garden.
- Easy to Grow: This iris variety is known for being hardy and easy to grow, requiring minimal care once established.
- Compact Size: Its small stature makes it ideal for rock gardens, borders, or small garden spaces.
- Drought Tolerant: Once established, it is quite tolerant of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping and arid climate gardening.
- Cold Resistant: It is cold hardy, often able to survive freezing temperatures with proper mulching.
- Breeds Easily: Iris 'George' can propagate easily, allowing gardeners to divide and spread the plant to other areas of their garden as it matures.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Dye Production: The Iris 'George' can be used to produce natural dyes, particularly from the rhizomes, which can yield various shades of yellow, green, brown, and even black.
- Perfumery: The essential oils extracted from Iris 'George' flowers can be used as a component in perfumes, offering a delicate and unique floral scent.
- Garden Design: Iris 'George' is often used for rock gardens due to its compact size and striking colors, offering an aesthetic appeal and texture contrast.
- Photography Subject: With its deep purple blooms, photographers may use Iris 'George' as a subject for botanical photography, art projects, and photo competitions.
- Floral Arrangements: The long stems and vibrant blossoms of Iris 'George' make it suitable for cut flower arrangements, giving them a touch of elegance.
- Eco-printing: The leaves and flowers of Iris 'George' can be used in eco-printing, a natural process that transfers plant pigments onto paper or fabric to create patterns and designs.
- Ink Making: The extracts from the Iris 'George' can be used in the craft of making natural inks for use in artistic pursuits like calligraphy and watercolor painting.
- Culinary Garnish: The flowers of Iris 'George' may serve as an eye-catching garnish in high-end culinary presentations due to their vibrant hue and shape.
- Education: This plant serves as an example in botanical studies due to its specific traits, such as the reticulated bulb coatings and unique blooming patterns.
- Bioindicator: Iris 'George' may be used in environmental studies as a bioindicator, helping indicate the health of terrestrial ecosystems where it naturally occurs.
- Feng Shui
The Iris is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Iris is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Faith: The iris often symbolizes faith, representing trust and belief in something beyond oneself.
- Hope: This plant can be a symbol of hope, suggesting a positive expectation and optimism for the future.
- Wisdom: Due to its regal appearance, the iris is sometimes associated with wisdom and valued knowledge.
- Valor: The iris may symbolize courage and admiration, often linked to its bold colors that stand out in the garden.
- Purity: White irises, in particular, are associated with purity and innocence.
- Royalty: With its majestic stance, the iris is often connected to royalty and grandeur.
Dwarf irises, like Iris 'George' Reticulata, require moderate watering. In the active growing season, they should be watered once a week with about one gallon of water per plant, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. If there is significant rainfall, you can skip watering for the week. During the dormant season, after the foliage has died back, reduce watering significantly to prevent bulb rot. Over the winter, the bulbs should be kept mostly dry, as they have a resting period when they don't need extra moisture.
The Dwarf Iris 'George' thrives in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot for this plant is in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, which will encourage vigorous growth and abundant blooming. Light dappled shade in the afternoon is tolerable, especially in hotter climates to prevent scorching, but too much shade can lead to poor flowering.
Dwarf Iris 'George' is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures but performs best in cooler conditions. The ideal temperature range for growth is between 35°F and 70°F. These plants can survive temporary dips down to 14°F, but prolonged exposure to temperatures below this can damage or kill the bulbs. During the hot summer months, it's important the bulbs remain cooler, as this helps trigger flower bud formation for the following season.
Pruning Dwarf Iris 'George' is mainly focused on removing spent flower stems after blooming to maintain a tidy appearance and prevent the plant from expending energy on seed production. Additionally, any yellowing or dead leaves should be removed to discourage disease. The best time for pruning is post-flowering and in late fall to prepare the plant for dormancy.
Dwarf Iris 'George' prefers well-drained soil that's rich in organic matter with a neutral to slightly acidic pH, around 6.0 to 7.0. A mix of loamy soil, compost, and sand or perlite is ideal to ensure good drainage and fertility.
Dwarf Iris 'George' typically doesn't require frequent repotting and can be replanted every 3 to 4 years, or when the clumps become overcrowded.
- Humidity & Misting
Dwarf Iris 'George' tolerates a wide range of humidity levels but thrives best in moderate humidity typical of outdoor garden conditions.
- Suitable locations
Place in well-lit area & ensure soil doesn't stay wet.
Plant in partial sun, ensure well-drained soil.
- Life cycle
Iris 'George', or more commonly known as Dwarf Iris, starts its life cycle as a bulb planted in late summer to early autumn. The plant begins to grow roots in the autumn period before entering dormancy in the winter. With the arrival of early spring, the Dwarf Iris emerges, producing narrow, grass-like leaves and a singular, striking purple or bluish flower on each stem. After blooming, which typically occurs in late winter to early spring, the plant enters a period of photosynthesis and energy storage before the foliage dies back in late spring to early summer. During the summer months, the bulb lies dormant, conserving energy for the next growth cycle. Yearly, the bulb reproduces by division, creating offsets that can be separated and planted to propagate new plants.
The most popular method of propagation for Iris 'George' (Reticulata), commonly known as the George Dwarf Iris, is through division of its bulbs. The best time to propagate by division is in late summer, after the foliage has died back, which allows the bulb to gather energy for next year's growth. To propagate, carefully lift the clump of bulbs from the ground using a garden fork or spade. Gently separate the bulbs and remove any that are damaged or diseased. Replant the healthy bulbs at a depth of 3 to 4 inches (approximately 7.5 to 10 centimeters) and about 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) apart, placing them in well-drained soil in a location that receives full sun to partial shade. Water the newly planted bulbs to settle the soil around them and to help establish roots. This method allows for natural increase and maintenance of the Iris 'George' and can result in a rejuvenated flowering display the following spring.