Tall Bearded Iris Iris 'Ice Dancer' (TB)

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


The Iris 'Ice Dancer' is a captivating perennial that showcases an elegant floral display. This variety, belonging to the Tall Bearded iris category, is known for its exquisitely shaped flowers that exhibit a combination of soft and striking colors. The blossoms of 'Ice Dancer' reveal petals in creamy white hues, often with delicate infusions of pale blue or lavender at the fringes, which can also be centered around the beard. The beard itself is a plush area of tiny hairs that typically stand out in a vibrant yellow or gold tone, contrasting beautifully with the paler petals. The flowers have a classic iris form where each bloom consists of three upright petals known as standards, and three downward-curving petals called falls. The standards are usually ruffled or gently waving, creating a regal and textured appearance, while the falls spread out to showcase their subtle color gradations and inviting beard. The contrast between the structured standards and the cascading falls makes for a visually stunning spectacle when the plant is in full bloom. The foliage of the Iris 'Ice Dancer' complements the flowers with its own visual appeal. The leaves are sword-like, with a bright, fresh green color that emerges in erect, fan-like clusters. These long, slender leaves not only add vertical interest to the landscape but also create a striking backdrop for the flowers, enhancing the overall allure of the plant. Together, the gorgeous blooms and vibrant foliage of the Iris 'Ice Dancer' make it a sensational addition to any garden that aims to achieve a blend of sophistication and hardy charm. The display of color and form is particularly breathtaking in late spring to early summer when the plant typically reaches its flowering peak, transforming garden spaces with a touch of icy elegance reminiscent of its namesake.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Ice Dancer Iris, Tall Bearded Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Ice Dancer' (TB)

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Tall Bearded Iris, commonly referred to as Iris 'Ice Dancer', is not considered highly toxic to humans. However, as with many plants, ingesting parts of the Iris can cause mild stomach upset, with possible symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is important to note that the rhizomes (underground stems) are more likely to contain higher concentrations of irritating compounds. Therefore, consumption of this part of the plant might lead to more severe gastrointestinal discomfort. To remain safe, it is advisable not to ingest any part of the Iris plant.

    • To pets

      Tall Bearded Iris can be toxic to pets, including dogs and cats, if ingested. The primary toxin in Irises is irisin, along with other irritant substances, which can cause gastrointestinal upset in animals. Symptoms of Iris poisoning in pets may include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. The rhizomes of the Iris plant tend to contain higher levels of these irritants, and as such, they pose a more significant risk if your pet consumes them. If you suspect your pet has ingested any part of an Iris 'Ice Dancer', it is crucial to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • 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



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Iris 'Ice Dancer' is known for its striking flowers, which add aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, this Iris variety is relatively drought-tolerant, making it suitable for gardens in dryer climates or for water-wise landscaping.
    • Low Maintenance: Iris 'Ice Dancer' typically requires minimal care beyond the basics, which can include occasional watering and the removal of old foliage.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers can attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Adaptability: It can grow in a variety of soil types, as long as they are well-draining, making it versatile for different garden conditions.
    • Seasonal Interest: This plant blooms in the spring, providing seasonal color and interest in the garden when many other plants may not be flowering.
    • Easy to Divide: Iris 'Ice Dancer' can be easily propagated by dividing the rhizomes, which allows gardeners to expand their planting or share with others.
    • Deer Resistant: It is generally resistant to deer, which makes it a good option for gardens in areas where deer browsing is a problem.

  • 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 Material: The sturdy leaves of the Iris 'Ice Dancer' can be used in crafting, such as for making natural bookmarks or as a part of woven baskets and mats.
    • Artistic Inspiration: Artists and photographers often use the striking appearance of the Iris 'Ice Dancer' as a subject for paintings, drawings, and photographic art pieces.
    • Floral Arrangements: The blooms and foliage of the Iris 'Ice Dancer' are used in floral arrangements to add a unique texture and color accent.
    • Educational Tool: The Iris 'Ice Dancer' can serve as a specimen in educational settings to teach botany and horticulture students about plant characteristics and hybridization.
    • Dye Source: The petals of Iris 'Ice Dancer' can be used to create natural dyes for fabrics, yarns, and craft projects.
    • Garden Design: This variety is often incorporated into themed gardens, like blue or white color schemes, or water-wise garden designs due to its appearance and hardiness.
    • Culinary Decoration: Although not for consumption, the petals of the Iris 'Ice Dancer' can be used as a non-toxic garnish for culinary presentation.
    • Perfumery: Some irises are used in perfumery for their scent; though Iris 'Ice Dancer' is not specifically known for this, it may contribute to the overall garden aroma where aromatic plants are collected for creating natural fragrances.
    • Photoperiod Research: As Irises are sensitive to light, the Iris 'Ice Dancer' can be studied to understand the effects of light on blooming and growth patterns.
    • Companion Planting: The Iris 'Ice Dancer' can be used in companion planting strategies to foster a beneficial environment for neighboring plants, possibly helping to deter certain pests with its strong fragrance and foliage.

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

    • Hope - The Iris 'Ice Dancer' is often seen as a symbol of hope, flowering as it does in the early spring and bringing one of the first splashes of color back into gardens after the winter months.
    • Faith - Historically, the iris represents faith and has been a prominent feature in ancient cultures as a symbol of belief and trust.
    • Wisdom - In Greek mythology, Iris is the messenger of the gods, linked to communication and wisdom, which is why the plant often symbolizes wisdom.
    • Courage - The strong and upright growth of the iris is emblematic of courage, often used to encourage people to be brave.
    • Royalty - With its regal appearance and history of being used in royal emblems, the iris is associated with royalty and royal power.
    • Purity - The pure white color of 'Ice Dancer' in particular exemplifies innocence and purity, making it a fitting gift for significant life events.

Every 2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer to fall
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Tall Bearded Irises, including the Iris 'Ice Dancer', require thorough watering when the soil becomes dry to the touch, generally amounting to about one inch of water per week during the growing season. It is essential to water deeply to encourage root growth, which means supplying the plant with approximately half a gallon every five to seven days, depending on weather conditions. Overwatering can cause rot, so ensure the soil is well-draining and check the moisture level before watering. During dormancy in winter, reduce watering, but do not allow the roots to dry out completely.

  • sunLight

    Tall Bearded Irises, such as the Iris 'Ice Dancer', thrive best in full sun where they can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. A spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade can be beneficial in extremely hot climates to prevent foliage burn. Avoid planting them in heavily shaded areas, as inadequate light can lead to poor flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The ideal temperature range for the Tall Bearded Iris, such as the Iris 'Ice Dancer', is between 35 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit in winter and as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. However, the rhizomes are at risk of damage if the temperature drops significantly below freezing, and prolonged exposure to extreme heat above 95 degrees Fahrenheit may stress the plants.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune your Tall Bearded Iris, such as the Iris 'Ice Dancer', by removing spent flower stems down to the base after blooming to tidy the plant and redirect energy to the rhizomes. In late summer or early fall, trim the foliage to a height of about 4 to 6 inches to prepare the plant for winter and promote healthy new growth in the spring. It's also a good time to remove any damaged or diseased leaves to prevent the spread of fungal infections.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Ice Dancer' prefers well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH of around 6.8 to 7.0. A soil mix rich in organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, will provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Tall Bearded Irises like 'Ice Dancer' typically do not need to be repotted frequently. They should be divided and replanted about every 3 to 4 years to maintain vigor and flower production.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Ice Dancer' is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels, but it performs best in moderate humidity conditions typical of outdoor environments rather than excessively humid or dry indoor conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure full sun, well-drained soil, and cool, airy room for the Tall Bearded Iris.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-drained soil; divide every 3-4 years.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Iris 'Ice Dancer', also known as Bearded Iris, begins its life when its seeds or rhizomes are planted in well-drained soil in a sunny location. During its germination phase, the rhizomes sprout roots and shoots, which develop into distinctive strappy leaves. In the vegetative stage, the plant continues to grow foliage and strengthen its root system throughout the spring. The reproductive phase typically occurs in late spring to early summer when the plant produces tall flowering stalks with showy, intricate blossoms that attract pollinators. After pollination, if successful, seed pods may form, containing seeds that can disperse to produce new plants. The Bearded Iris enters dormancy in the late fall or winter, with the foliage dying back, and the rhizomes storing energy to survive the cold and regenerate the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to fall

    • Propogation: The Iris 'Ice Dancer', also known as the Tall Bearded Iris, is commonly propagated through division, a process best undertaken in late summer after the bloom period has ended. To propagate by division, carefully lift the clump of rhizomes from the ground using a spade or fork. Gently separate the rhizomes by breaking them apart with your hands, making sure that each division has at least one fan of leaves and a portion of healthy roots. Trim the leaves to about a third of their height, which is roughly 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters), to reduce water loss and make handling easier. Replant the divisions promptly, setting the rhizome so the top is slightly exposed to the air, in well-draining soil, spacing them about 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 centimeters) apart to allow for ample growth. Water the newly planted divisions well to help establish them. This method allows for the distribution of clones of the original plant and helps revitalize older clumps that may have become overcrowded.