Iris Iris 'Holidaze' (IB)
The Iris 'Holidaze' is recognized for its ornate and vibrant flowers, which often feature an exquisite combination of colors that can include shades of blues, purples, whites, and yellows. The flowers usually possess a classic iris form, featuring three upright petals known as standards and three downward-curving sepals called falls. The falls may exhibit intricate venation or patterning, with bold or subtle color contrasts that often draw the eye towards a bright yellow or white "beard" – a fuzzy or hairy area on the falls. This beard is not only visually striking but also serves to guide pollinators to the flower's nectar. The blooms typically flaunt a ruffled or flouncy look, adding to their visual interest and elegance. The foliage of the 'Holidaze' iris consists of long, slender, sword-like leaves that arise from the base of the plant in a dense, fan-like arrangement. These leaves are typically a deep green color and have a slightly arching habit, creating an attractive contrast against the colorful blooms. Overall, the appearance of the Iris 'Holidaze' is characterized by its mesmerizing flowers that stand prominently above a lush background of verdant foliage.
About this plant
Intermediate Bearded Iris
Iris 'Holidaze' (IB)
The Iris 'Holidaze' is commonly known simply as an Iris. The Iris family of plants can be toxic if ingested due to the presence of compounds like irisin, iridin, or irisine. While not deadly, the rhizomes (the thick, underground stems) are the most toxic part of the plant. If ingested by humans, symptoms can include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Additionally, handling the plant may sometimes cause skin irritation due to its slightly abrasive foliage. It's recommended to keep this plant out of reach of children and to wash hands after handling it.
Irises, including the 'Holidaze' variety, are considered to be mildly toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. The rhizomes contain the highest concentration of the toxic compounds. If a pet ingests part of the Iris, symptoms may include gastrointestinal upset, characterized by drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, ingestion may lead to lethargy or abdominal pain. It's advisable to monitor your pets around these plants and to contact a veterinarian if you suspect your pet has ingested any part of the plant.
Color of leaves
2 feet (60 cm)
1 foot (30 cm)
Temperate northern hemisphere
- General Benefits
- Ornamental Beauty: The Iris 'Holidaze' adds aesthetic appeal to gardens with its striking flowers and foliage.
- Drought Resistance: Once established, it can survive with minimal watering, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
- Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care beyond initial planting and occasional dividing.
- Cold Hardy: Can withstand cold temperatures, making it a good choice for colder climates.
- Pest Resistance: Generally resistant to many common pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
- Attracts Pollinators: Invites beneficial insects like bees and butterflies to the garden, supporting biodiversity.
- Versatility: Suitable for a variety of landscape styles and can be used in borders, beds, and as cut flowers.
- 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
- Photography Subject: The Iris 'Holidaze' offers stunning blooms that are frequently used in photography for nature portfolios and gardening magazines.
- Craft Projects: The flowers and leaves can be pressed and used in craft projects like making bookmarks or in scrapbooking.
- Dye Production: Historically, some iris species' rhizomes have been used for natural dye production, which could apply to Iris 'Holidaze' if researched for its dye properties.
- Floral Water: The petals can be steeped in water to create a lightly scented floral water that can be used for perfuming a room or linens.
- Culinary Garnish: Although not common for this particular iris, edible iris flowers are sometimes used as a decorative garnish for salads and desserts.
- Art Inspiration: The unique color and form of the Iris 'Holidaze' are often used by artists as a subject for paintings and botanical illustrations.
- Fragrance Extraction: If the Iris 'Holidaze' has a notable scent, it could potentially be used in the creation of perfumes or essential oils.
- Wedding Decor: Due to its striking appearance, the Iris 'Holidaze' can be used in wedding bouquets and centerpieces for an elegant look.
- Educational Tool: In school gardens, the growth and development of this iris can be used to teach children about plant biology and the life cycle of flowers.
- Ice Cubes: Petals of the Iris 'Holidaze' can be frozen into ice cubes to create an unusual and aesthetic element for special drinks at events.
- Feng Shui
The Iris is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Iris is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Hope: The iris often symbolizes hope, representing the expectation of positive outcomes and bright futures.
- Faith: It's a symbol of faith for many, conveying belief and confidence in various religious, spiritual, or personal convictions.
- Wisdom: Due to its association with the Greek goddess Iris, the plant embodies wisdom and valued knowledge.
- Courage: The iris can also be a symbol of courage, inspiring people to face challenges with bravery.
- Royalty: Historically, the iris was a symbol of power and majesty, particularly in ancient cultures where it was associated with monarchs and royal families.
Intermediate Bearded Iris should be watered deeply but infrequently, as overwatering can cause root rot. During the growing season, aim for about an inch of water per week, either from rainfall or supplemental watering. If the weather is particularly hot and dry, increase the watering slightly, but always allow the soil to dry out between waterings. During the dormant season in late fall to winter, reduce watering significantly to prevent the rhizomes from rotting. It's better to underwater than to overwater these plants.
Intermediate Bearded Iris thrives in a position where it receives full sun. They require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day to bloom successfully. The best spot for these irises is an open area away from taller plants that could provide too much shade. However, in extremely hot climates, they can benefit from light afternoon shade to protect them from intense heat.
Intermediate Bearded Iris prefer a climate with moderate to warm temperatures, thriving in conditions that range between 55°F and 75°F. They can tolerate temperatures as low as -30°F and as high as 90°F but prefer not to remain in such extremes for prolonged periods. The ideal temperature conditions are when daytime temperatures are around 70°F and nighttime temperatures do not drop below 40°F.
Intermediate Bearded Iris should be pruned to remove spent flower stalks after blooming to encourage healthier growth and prevent seed formation. Also, trim back any browned or damaged foliage as needed throughout the growing season to keep the plants tidy and to allow for better air circulation. The best time for a major pruning is right after blooming or in the late summer to early fall when you can cut back the foliage to about 6 inches to prepare the plants for winter.
Intermediate Bearded Irises like 'Holidaze' require well-draining soil that is moderately fertile. A mix of loamy garden soil, compost, and sharp sand or perlite to improve drainage is recommended. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.5 to 7.0. It's important to avoid soil that retains too much water to prevent rot.
Intermediate Bearded Irises such as 'Holidaze' should be divided and repotted about every 3-4 years to maintain vigor and prevent overcrowding. Ideally, repotting should be done after flowering, in late summer to early fall, to give the plants time to establish before winter.
- Humidity & Misting
Intermediate Bearded Irises, including 'Holidaze', prefer outdoor conditions and do well in average humidity levels found in most temperate climates. They do not have specific humidity requirements as long as they are planted in well-draining soil and are not subject to standing water.
- Suitable locations
Place 'Holidaze' near a sunny window; ensure good air flow.
Plant 'Holidaze' in full sun, well-draining soil; water deeply.
- Life cycle
Iris 'Holidaze' begins its life as a dormant rhizome, which is planted in well-drained soil before the growing season. After planting, it enters a vegetative growth phase during which leaves and roots develop. As the plant matures, it forms distinctive fans of foliage and, in the spring to early summer, it produces its showy blooms that are a key feature of the Iris. After flowering, seed pods may form, which can be harvested for propagation or left to self-seed in the garden. The plant then goes into a period of dormancy in late autumn or winter, during which the foliage dies back. In the following growing season, the plant may produce new rhizomes that can be divided and replanted, continuing its life cycle.
Late summer to fall
The Iris 'Holidaze', also known as the Intermediate Bearded Iris, is best propagated through division, which is typically done in late summer after the blooming period has ended. The rhizomes of the iris plant are dug up and cut into pieces with a sharp knife, ensuring each section has at least one fan of leaves and a portion of the rhizome. The cut sections should be allowed to dry for several hours to a day to allow the cuts to callous over, which helps prevent rot. These divisions are then replanted about 12 to 24 inches apart (30 to 60 centimeters) and just barely covered with soil, as bearded iris rhizomes prefer to be close to the soil surface to receive adequate sunlight. Adequate watering is necessary to help the new divisions establish, but over-watering should be avoided to prevent rot.