Tall Bearded Iris Iris 'Mister Matthew' (TB)

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


The Iris 'Mister Matthew' is an exquisite variety of the common bearded iris, known for its showy and elegant flowers. This particular bearded iris boasts blooms in a striking combination of colors, with petals that feature bold hues and delicate veins or patterns which may vary from plant to plant. The flowers typically have a classic iris form with three upright petals known as standards, and three downward-curving petals called falls. The falls usually exhibit a graceful beard, which is a fuzzy, caterpillar-like appendage, often in a contrasting color that adds to its dramatic appearance. The flower's brilliant colors and the gentle ruffled edges of the petals make it a standout in any garden. The foliage of the Iris 'Mister Matthew' is equally attractive, with long, sword-shaped leaves that are a vibrant green color, adding a vertical element and contrasting texture to garden beds and borders. The leaves grow in a dense clump, emanating from the base of the plant, and can be quite lush, accentuating the beauty of the blossoms that rise on sturdy stalks above. The overall appearance of this iris cultivar is one of regal elegance and vivid coloration, which makes it a popular choice among gardeners who wish to add a splash of color and a touch of class to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Tall Bearded Iris, Bearded Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Mister Matthew' (TB)

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The common name of Iris 'Mister Matthew' (TB) is Tall Bearded Iris. This plant is considered mildly toxic to humans if ingested. The rhizomes (rootstocks) contain irisin, iridin, or irisine, which can induce gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Handling the plant may also cause skin irritation in some individuals due to the presence of certain compounds. In general, ingestion should be avoided to prevent the potential adverse effects associated with the plant's toxicity.

    • To pets

      The common name of Iris 'Mister Matthew' (TB) is Tall Bearded Iris. This plant is toxic to pets if ingested. The rhizomes are particularly poisonous and contain compounds that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In severe cases, ingestion could lead to more serious symptoms such as lethargy or even liver damage. Pets should be prevented from chewing on any part of the plant to avoid these possible consequences.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (91 cm)

    • Spread

      1.5 feet (46 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Temperate Northern Hemisphere


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Visual Appeal: The Iris 'Mister Matthew' (Tall Bearded Iris) has striking flowers that add vibrant color and a touch of elegance to gardens.
    • Pollinator Attraction: They attract bees and other pollinators, which are essential for the health of the ecosystem and for pollination of other plants in the garden.
    • Easy to Grow: Tall Bearded Iris are known for being low-maintenance, requiring minimal care once established in an appropriate setting.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, they are fairly drought-tolerant, making them suitable for gardens in dryer climates or for gardeners seeking water-efficient plants.
    • Perennial Growth: As a perennial, the Iris 'Mister Matthew' returns year after year, providing long-term value and reducing the need for annual replanting.
    • Soil Adaptability: This plant can grow in a variety of soil conditions, although it prefers well-draining soil, making it adaptable to different garden setups.
    • Seasonal Interest: Tall Bearded Irises generally bloom in late spring to early summer, filling the gap after early spring bulbs and before the full flush of summer bloomers.

  • 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

    • The leaves of the iris can be woven into baskets or mats, using traditional crafting techniques.
    • Iris rhizomes can be used in perfumery to extract orris root, which carries a sweet, floral fragrance.
    • Dried iris petals can be incorporated into homemade potpourris to add a natural and delicate scent to a room.
    • The robust nature of the iris allows it to be used for natural landscaping and soil erosion control in suitable climates.
    • Some irises, when processed correctly, can be used for natural dye, providing colors varying from yellow to purple depending on the species.
    • Iris components, particularly the seeds, can be used in making jewelry, like necklaces and bracelets.
    • The plant's distinctive shape allows it to be used in floral arrangements to provide vertical interest and a unique texture.
    • In some cultures, the iris is used symbolically in ceremonies or given as a gift to convey a message or sentiment, such as wisdom or hope.
    • The visual appeal of irises makes them a popular subject for photographers and painters who seek to capture the flower's unique beauty.
    • The distinctive silhouette of the iris can inspire design elements in architecture, fashion, and decorative arts.

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 often symbolizes hope, inspired by its abundant blooms and hardiness.
    • Wisdom: In some cultures, the iris is associated with wisdom, partly due to its namesake, the Greek goddess Iris who is considered a messenger of the gods and a symbol of communication and messages.
    • Faith: The flower is also a representation of faith, showcasing the trust in something unseen akin to the faith one has in beliefs or in others.
    • Courage: Historically, the iris has been a symbol of courage and valor, especially due to its sword-like leaves, which resemble blades.
    • Purity: The clean, striking appearance of the iris gives it an air of purity and innocence, making it a common choice in wedding bouquets and ceremonies.
    • Royalty: Due to its regal appearance, the iris is often associated with royalty and noble bearing.

Every week
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Late Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    For the Tall Bearded Iris, regular watering is important, especially during the growing season. Water the plant deeply once a week, providing about one to two gallons of water per plant. Ensure that the soil is allowed to dry out slightly between waterings to prevent overwatering and root rot. During the hot summer months, you may need to increase the frequency to twice a week, whereas in cooler seasons or rainy weather, reduce the amount as necessary. It's crucial to avoid standing water around the rhizomes to keep them healthy.

  • sunLight

    Tall Bearded Irises thrive in full sun conditions. They need at least six hours of direct sunlight a day to bloom well. Place them in a spot where they can receive unfiltered sunlight throughout the day for optimum growth and flower production. Avoid shady areas as too little light can reduce blooming and weaken the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Tall Bearded Irises perform best in a temperature range between 35°F and 85°F. They can survive minimum temperatures down to around 5°F with proper winter protection. However, the ideal growing conditions for this Iris involve warm, sunny days and cooler night temperatures to encourage robust growth and flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Tall Bearded Irises by removing spent flower stems down to the base after blooming to promote healthy growth and discourage disease. Additionally, trim away any damaged or yellowing leaves throughout the growing season to keep the plant tidy. The best time for more extensive pruning is late summer to early fall, where you can cut back the leaves to about six inches to prepare the plant for winter and next year's growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Mister Matthew' thrives in well-draining soil with slight acidity to neutral pH, roughly between 6.8 and 7.0. The best soil mix for this iris should include loamy or sandy soil amended with organic matter like compost to improve fertility and drainage. The soil should be well-aerated to prevent waterlogging, which can cause rhizome rot.

  • plantRepotting

    Tall Bearded Iris, including 'Mister Matthew,' do not need frequent repotting and are typically divided and replanted every 3 to 5 years to prevent overcrowding and ensure vigorous growth. It's best to repot or divide them after their blooming season, usually in late summer.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Mister Matthew' prefers average outdoor humidity levels. They are well adapted to the conditions found in most temperate gardens and do not require specific humidity adjustments when planted outdoors.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow in sunny spot, well-draining soil; limited space.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-drained soil, full sun, divide every 3-5 years.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Iris 'Mister Matthew' (Tall Bearded Iris) starts its life cycle with seed germination, typically after a period of stratification, where seeds experience cold temperatures to break dormancy. After germination, the seedlings grow and develop into juvenile plants, producing slender leaves and establishing a root system. As the irises mature, they form thick, underground stems called rhizomes, which store nutrients and give rise to new shoots and leaves. Once the rhizomes are well-developed, typically within 2-3 years, the iris enters the flowering stage, producing tall, sturdy stems that display the characteristic large, showy flowers that may come in a variety of colors. After blooming, which occurs in late spring to early summer, the plant enters a period of vegetative growth where it focuses on storing energy in the rhizomes for the next year. Finally, after several years, the irises may become overcrowded and require division to rejuvenate and continue the life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for the Tall Bearded Iris 'Mister Matthew' is by division of its rhizomes. This process is typically carried out in the late summer, after the blooming period has ended. Gardeners should carefully dig up the clumps of iris, taking care not to damage the rhizomes more than necessary. The rhizomes are then cut apart with a sharp knife so that each section has at least one fan of leaves and a portion of the root system attached. It's important to trim the leaves to about one third of their height, which is roughly 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters), to reduce water loss while the newly planted rhizome establishes itself. The divisions should be replanted promptly in well-draining soil with the top of the rhizome slightly exposed to the sun, as irises prefer not to be buried too deeply. Regular watering should commence until the plant is established, but care should be taken not to overwater as irises are prone to rot in soggy conditions.