Bearded Iris Iris 'Regal Surprise' (SpH)

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


Iris 'Regal Surprise' is a visually striking perennial plant that is well known for its captivating floral display. Its foliage consists of stiff, sword-like leaves that create a structured, upright fan shape. These leaves are a rich green color and present a striking contrast against the vibrant flowers. The most remarkable feature of Iris 'Regal Surprise' is its flowers, which are a combination of intricate colors and patterns. The blooms exhibit a range of hues, often consisting of deep purples, blues, and vibrant yellows, with each petal possibly having a unique blend of these colors. The flowers have six lobes, with three outer hanging petals (falls) that may showcase a lovely beard-like crested area or a smooth surface. Above these falls, three upright petals (standards) reach towards the sky, giving the flower a three-dimensional form. The texture of the petals is typically delicate and silky; they may show veining or stippling that adds to the overall complexity of the flower's design. These sophisticated flowers are held aloft on sturdy flowering stalks that emerge from the midst of the plant's foliage. The blooms are often fragrant and lure a range of pollinators to the garden. Due to the distinctive appearance and coloration of the blooms, Iris 'Regal Surprise' is a prized addition to any garden bed or border, providing a royal touch to the landscape during its blooming season.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      No common names available.

    • Common names

      Iris 'Regal Surprise' (SpH).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Iris can be toxic to humans. If ingested, the underground rhizomes of irises contain compounds that can cause digestive upset, with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Handling the plant can sometimes lead to skin irritation due to the presence of certain irritating substances.

    • To pets

      Irises are also toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. If a pet consumes parts of the Iris, especially the rhizomes, they may experience symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to more serious issues like an increased heart rate or changes in breathing, warranting immediate veterinary attention.

  • 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 Value: Iris 'Regal Surprise' adds striking visual interest to gardens with its unique, variegated foliage and vibrant flowers.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is considered to be quite drought-tolerant, requiring less watering compared to other plants.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal care beyond the basics, making it ideal for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Long Blooming Period: The plant typically has a long blooming period, offering beauty and color over an extended time.
    • Pest Resistance: Iris 'Regal Surprise' is known to be resistant to many common garden pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Soil Adaptability: It can grow in a range of soil types, although it prefers well-draining soils.
    • Cold Hardy: This variety of iris is capable of withstanding colder temperatures, making it suitable for gardens in cooler climates.

  • 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

    • Artistic inspiration: Due to the unique coloration and form of the Iris 'Regal Surprise', it is often used by artists as a subject for watercolor paintings, illustrations, and other forms of floral artwork.
    • Educational tool: Horticulture educators and botany teachers may use the Iris 'Regal Surprise' as a living example when teaching plant taxonomy, hybridization techniques, and plant care.
    • Photography: This particular iris, with its attractive blooms, is a popular choice for photographers who specialize in macro photography and nature-inspired portfolios.
    • Perfumery: While not common, some specialty perfumers may experiment with the scent of the Iris 'Regal Surprise' as a component in creating bespoke or niche fragrances.
    • Culinary presentation: Some high-end restaurants use the petals of the Iris 'Regal Surprise' as a decorative edible garnish for their artistic dish presentations.
    • Landscape design: Landscape architects might incorporate the Iris 'Regal Surprise' into their designs as an accent plant for its dramatic color and tall, striking foliage.
    • Eco-friendly clothing dye: The petals of the Iris 'Regal Surprise' could potentially be used to create a natural, environmentally friendly fabric dye for textiles.
    • Craft materials: Dried petals and stems of the Iris 'Regal Surprise' can be integrated into craft projects like making homemade paper or potpourri mixes.
    • Special events: The blooms of this iris may be used in arrangements for weddings, banquets, and other events where their regal appearance can contribute to an elegant atmosphere.
    • Thematic gardening: Gardeners might create a royalty-themed garden and feature the Iris 'Regal Surprise' prominently due to its regal name and impressive blooms.

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

    • Royalty - The iris is often associated with royalty due to its regal appearance, signified by the variety name 'Regal Surprise'.
    • Wisdom - Irises were historically linked to wisdom, as the Greek goddess Iris is considered a messenger of the gods and a symbol of communication and wisdom.
    • Hope - The graceful form and vibrant colors of the iris symbolize hope and a belief in better things to come.
    • Valour - In the language of flowers, the iris represents bravery due to its sword-like leaves that could be likened to blades.
    • Faith - The iris can symbolize faith, reflecting trust in oneself and the universe.
    • Purity - Depending on the color, an iris may signify purity and innocence, particularly white irises.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Late summer to early fall
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For Tall Bearded Iris, which is the most common name of Iris 'Regal Surprise', watering should be done deeply and infrequently to encourage strong root growth, typically a gallon per plant every week to every other week, depending on climate conditions. During the growing season, especially in dry spells, make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can cause root rot, so allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. During the dormant season, rainfall often provides enough moisture, but if conditions are particularly dry, an occasional deep watering may be necessary.

  • sunLight

    Tall Bearded Iris thrives in full sun, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to bloom successfully. The ideal spot for this iris is a location where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade, as intense heat can sometimes be detrimental. Dappled light conditions can work as well, though flowering might not be as prolific.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Tall Bearded Iris can survive in temperatures ranging from well below freezing to over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They enter dormancy in winter, withstanding cold temperatures down to at least -20 degrees. The ideal temperature for robust growth and flowering is between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, representing typical spring conditions.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Tall Bearded Iris by removing dead blooms and stalks after flowering to encourage future blooms and prevent seed formation, which can sap energy from the rhizome. Additionally, trim away any brown or damaged leaves throughout the season to maintain plant health and appearance. The best time for major pruning is post-flowering or in late summer before new growth begins for the following season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Tall Bearded Iris 'Regal Surprise', a well-draining, fertile soil with neutral to slightly acidic pH between 6.8 and 7.0 is ideal. Mix garden soil with compost and sand to improve drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Tall Bearded Irises, including 'Regal Surprise', typically do not need to be repotted often. They should be divided and transplanted every three to five years to prevent overcrowding and promote vigorous growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Tall Bearded Iris 'Regal Surprise' thrives in average garden humidity conditions. They do not require high humidity and are tolerant of the humidity levels typically found in temperate climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, ensure good airflow, and maintain moderate humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun and well-draining soil are key. Keep spacing for airflow.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Iris 'Regal Surprise', commonly known as Spuria Iris, begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in late winter or early spring. The seedlings develop into a rosette of leaves and form underground rhizomes, which continue to grow and store nutrients. In the following spring, the plant enters its vegetative stage; the foliage grows taller and becomes more robust. After a couple of years, the Iris 'Regal Surprise' reaches maturity and enters the flowering stage, usually blooming in late spring to early summer, showcasing its unique and colorful flowers. Once pollination occurs, if successful, the plant produces seed capsules that mature over summer, eventually drying and releasing seeds to start a new generation. During autumn, the plant's foliage begins to wither, and it enters dormancy for the winter, drawing energy from the rhizomes until the cycle restarts with the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to early fall

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating the Iris 'Regal Surprise', commonly known as the bearded iris, is by dividing its rhizomes. This is best done in late summer, after the blooming season has ended. To propagate by division, dig up the iris clumps carefully to avoid damaging the rhizomes. Gently separate the rhizomes by hand, ensuring that each division has a fan of leaves and healthy roots. Trim the leaves to about 6 inches (approximately 15 centimeters) to reduce water loss and replant the divisions at least 12 inches (about 30 centimeters) apart, with the rhizome slightly exposed to the sun. Water the newly planted irises well to help establish them. This technique allows the grower to control the size of the iris clumps and rejuvenate older plants that have become overcrowded.