Iris Iris 'Headcorn' (MTB)

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


The Iris 'Headcorn' is a part of the Miniature Tall Bearded class and showcases an elegant display of color and form. It has a striking presence in the garden with its delicate, yet vibrant blossoms. Each flower is a work of art, with petals that exhibit a rich blend of hues. These petals are arranged in a typical iris fashion, with the outer segments, known as falls, draping downwards, while the inner segments, or standards, stand upright and contribute to the plant’s stately appearance. The falls often display a deeper shade or contrasting color in comparison to the standards, adding to the depth and complexity of the bloom. Additionally, each petal may be adorned with delicate veining or a wash of color that radiates from the throat, where the petal attaches to the stem, toward the edges. At the base of the petals, one may notice the beard, which is a fuzzy line or patch that adds another layer of interest and texture. It typically stands out in a contrasting color, capturing the attention of both gardeners and pollinators alike. The foliage of the Iris 'Headcorn' consists of long, slender, sword-shaped leaves that grow in a clump, adding a vertical element of greenery that serves as the perfect backdrop for the eye-catching flowers. The leaves provide a lush contrast to the colorful blooms and remain attractive even when the plant is not in flower, contributing to the overall aesthetics of the garden throughout the growing season. Overall, the Iris 'Headcorn' is a plant with visually striking flowers that can add both color and a touch of elegance to any space it inhabits. Its combination of colorful petals, distinctive beard, and graceful foliage makes it a beloved choice for garden enthusiasts.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Table Iris, Miniature Tall Bearded Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Headcorn' (MTB)

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Iris, specifically Iris 'Headcorn', is generally considered to contain mild to moderate levels of toxicity to humans. If ingested, parts of the plant, especially the rhizomes, can cause gastrointestinal upset, including symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Handling the plant could also lead to skin irritation in sensitive individuals.

    • To pets

      The Iris, including Iris 'Headcorn', is toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. Ingestion of any part of the plant, but particularly the rhizomes, can lead to symptoms of toxicity which include salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, and diarrhea. In severe cases, ingestion may also lead to more serious consequences like depression of the central nervous system. If you suspect your pet has ingested this plant, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Blooms: Iris 'Headcorn' produces beautiful flowers that can add aesthetic appeal to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, it is relatively drought-tolerant, making it suitable for xeriscaping or areas with low water availability.
    • Ease of Care: It is generally low-maintenance, requiring minimal care beyond the occasional watering and fertilizing.
    • Long Bloom Season: With proper care, it can have a prolonged blooming period, offering a long season of visual interest.
    • Pest Resistance: The plant is resistant to most common garden pests, reducing the need for chemical pesticides.
    • Hardiness: It is hardy in a range of climates and can withstand cold temperatures once established.
    • Soil Adaptability: Iris 'Headcorn' can adapt to various soil types, although it prefers well-drained soils.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, benefiting the local ecosystem.
    • Design Versatility: Its striking flowers make it a versatile choice for mixed borders, beds, and cottage gardens.
    • Propagation: The plant can easily be propagated through division, helping gardeners to expand their gardens economically.

  • 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 'Headcorn' petals can be crushed and infused into inks or dyes for a natural colorant, often producing soft hues suitable for textiles and art projects.
    • The strong fibers of Iris 'Headcorn' leaves may be woven into small baskets or used as natural twine for garden tying and crafting.
    • Dry Iris 'Headcorn' leaves can be included in homemade potpourri mixes for their subtle color and texture contrasts.
    • Pressed Iris 'Headcorn' flowers can be used in botanical paper making, providing decorative elements in handmade papers.
    • The plant can serve as a natural pest repellent in gardens due to its fragrance, which is unattractive to certain insects.
    • Iris 'Headcorn' can be used as a natural indicator of soil health, as they may not bloom well in poor soil conditions.
    • When planted near ponds or water features, Iris 'Headcorn' can help reduce soil erosion with its root structure.
    • As a companion plant, Iris 'Headcorn' can benefit certain vegetables by attracting pollinators or deterring pests with its distinct scent.
    • The blooms of Iris 'Headcorn' can be floated in decorative water bowls for a temporary indoor water feature or centerpiece.
    • Dried stems of Iris 'Headcorn' can be incorporated into rustic floral arrangements or used as natural décor during fall and winter seasons.

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 trusting relationship one may have with another or confidence in certain beliefs.
    • Hope: It represents hope, indicating expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
    • Wisdom: This flower is often associated with wisdom, suggesting the valuable insights and knowledge one has gained through experiences.
    • Courage: Irises can signify courage, denoting the strength in facing difficulty, adversity, and danger.
    • Purity: It can also symbolize purity, usually in a spiritual or moral sense, often connected with innocence and chastity.
    • Royalty: Due to its regal appearance, the iris is associated with royalty and sovereignty, embodying the splendor and dignity of a throne.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, or MTB Iris 'Headcorn', thrives with consistent moisture during its growing season. Water the plant deeply to encourage deep root growth, providing approximately 1 gallon per week. During the dry periods, increase watering frequency to maintain evenly moist soil but take care not to over-water. After bloom season, reduce the amount of water as the plant enters dormancy. The watering needs may vary depending on the climate and the soil's ability to retain moisture, but it is crucial to avoid waterlogging.

  • sunLight

    The Miniature Tall Bearded Iris requires full sun exposure to flourish. Plant it in a location where it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The ideal spot would be in an area with southern or western exposure, ensuring ample light for strong growth and vibrant blooms.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Miniature Tall Bearded Irises, including the variety 'Headcorn', are hardy and can withstand a range of temperatures. They can survive winter lows down to about -20 degrees Fahrenheit and prefer the growing season temperatures to be between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal conditions for these irises include warm days and cooler night temperatures to achieve the best growth and bloom results.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Miniature Tall Bearded Iris 'Headcorn' to remove any spent blooms and to cut back the foliage to about 6 inches after the plant has finished blooming, which is typically in late spring. This helps to prevent disease and encourages the plant to store energy for the next growing season. Additionally, remove any damaged or diseased leaves as soon as they are spotted throughout the growing season. The best time for a major pruning is just after blooming or in the early fall to prepare the plant for winter.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Miniature Tall Bearded Iris 'Headcorn' is well-draining, loamy soil with a pH of slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.5 to 7.0). Incorporate organic matter like compost to improve soil fertility and structure.

  • plantRepotting

    Miniature Tall Bearded Irises like 'Headcorn' generally do not need to be repotted often; they should be divided and replanted every 3 to 5 years to maintain vigor and increase blooming.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Miniature Tall Bearded Iris 'Headcorn' tolerates a wide range of humidity levels and does not require high humidity; average outdoor conditions are appropriate as they are typically hardy garden plants.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright indirect light and ensure good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-drained soil, and space rhizomes apart.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Iris 'Headcorn' (MTB), also known as Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, begins its life cycle when seeds are sown and germinate, usually requiring a period of chilling to break dormancy. These seeds give rise to seedlings, which develop a small rhizome that will eventually become the plant's storage organ. As it matures, the rhizome sends up sword-shaped leaves and a flowering stalk, typically in late spring or early summer, showcasing the plant's distinctive blossoms that come in various shades, often with a pleasant fragrance. After blooming, the flowers fade and seed pods may form, containing the seeds for the next generation, while the foliage continues to photosynthesize and store energy in the rhizome. The plant enters a period of dormancy in late autumn, particularly in colder climates, where the leaves may die back. Each year, the rhizome can expand, sending up more shoots and thus gradually increasing the size of the clump, which can be divided every few years to encourage rejuvenation and prevent overcrowding.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The Iris 'Headcorn', commonly referred to as a Miniature Tall Bearded (MTB) iris, is most commonly propagated through division. The best time to divide and propagate these irises is late summer, after they have bloomed and when the weather starts to cool. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the iris clumps and gently separate the rhizomes, which are the horizontal underground stems, ensuring each division has at least one fan of leaves and a section of root. Trim the leaves back to about 6 inches (15 centimeters) to reduce water loss and replant the rhizome sections at the soil surface with the roots spread out beneath, in a well-drained, sunny spot. Water the new planting moderately to help establish the roots without causing rot. This process rejuvenates the plant by reducing overcrowding and promotes vigorous growth in the next blooming season.