Louisiana Iris Iris 'Shirley Chandler' (IB)

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


The Iris 'Shirley Chandler' is a captivating perennial known for its striking flowers and elegant foliage. The blossoms of this Iris display a beautiful range of colors, usually featuring a mix of lavender, purple, or pink hues. Often, the petals may have intricate vein patterns of a deeper or contrasting shade, adding to the visual interest. These flowers consist of three upright petals known as 'standards,' and three downward-curving petals termed 'falls.' The flowers are characterized by their distinctive form, with each of the falls often showcasing a patch of bright yellow or white at the base, which acts as a signal to pollinators. Complementing their dramatic blooms are the long, sword-shaped leaves that are a vibrant green, creating a dense clump of foliage at the base of the plant. The leaves typically have a slight arch and can contribute to the plant's overall graceful presence. As the Iris 'Shirley Chandler' comes into bloom, it becomes a focal point in any garden setting, providing both vertical interest with its flower spikes and a lush backdrop with its foliage.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Intermediate Bearded Iris, IB Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Shirley Chandler' (IB).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Iris 'Shirley Chandler', commonly known as Intermediate Bearded Iris, is considered to have a level of toxicity to humans. If ingested, the rhizomes (root-like structures) are the most toxic part of the plant. Eating irises can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The severity of the symptoms can vary depending on the amount consumed. Handling the plant, especially the rhizomes, can also cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.

    • To pets

      Intermediate Bearded Iris can be toxic to pets if ingested, particularly the rhizomes. If a pet consumes parts of an iris plant, they may exhibit signs such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to lethargy and more serious gastrointestinal issues. It is advisable to keep pets away from Intermediate Bearded Iris to prevent accidental ingestion and possible poisoning.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet 4 inches (71 centimeters)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 centimeters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Iris 'Shirley Chandler' offers aesthetic appeal with its showy flowers and attractive foliage, making it a popular choice for decorative gardens.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping or low-water gardens.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal care beyond initial planting and occasional upkeep, which is ideal for gardeners seeking low-maintenance plants.
    • Soil Adaptability: It can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, from clay to sandy soils, as long as they are well-draining.
    • Seasonal Interest: It provides seasonal interest with its spring to early summer blooming period and sometimes reblooms in late summer or fall.
    • Cut Flowers: The blooms are suitable for cut flower arrangements, adding beauty to indoor settings.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: The plant can be used in a range of garden styles, including borders, water gardens, and as a focal point in garden designs.
    • Winter hardiness: Iris 'Shirley Chandler' is capable of withstanding cold winter temperatures in many climates.
    • Propagation Ease: It can be easily propagated by dividing rhizomes, allowing gardeners to spread or share the plant.
    • Deer Resistance: It is generally resistant to deer, making it a good choice for gardens in areas with high deer populations.

  • 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

    • Dried arrangements: The blooms and seed pods of the Iris can be dried and used in floral arrangements for long-lasting decoration.
    • Photography subject: Due to their vibrant colors and unique structure, Irises are a popular subject for photographers and artists.
    • Fabric dyeing: The petals of Irises can be used to create natural dyes for textiles, producing a range of colors depending on the mordant used.
    • Perfumery: Some Iris species are used in the perfumery industry for their fragrance, although 'Shirley Chandler' is not commonly used for this purpose.
    • Eco-printing: Leaves and flowers can be used in eco-printing processes to transfer the pigment and patterns onto paper or fabric.
    • Culinary decoration: Edible varieties of Iris can be crystallized or used fresh to decorate desserts and cocktails.
    • Biodegradable confetti: Dried petals of the Iris can serve as a natural and biodegradable option for confetti at celebrations.
    • Water purification: Some Iris species are used in water gardens and natural filtration systems to help remove toxins from the water.
    • Garden design: Irises, with their variety of colors and heights, can play a role in garden design, helping to structure planting schemes.
    • Ink production: Historically, Iris flowers have been used to make natural inks for writing and artwork.

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 is often associated with hope, signifying expectations for positive outcomes and future happiness.
    • Wisdom: Irises are symbolic of wisdom and intelligence, perhaps due to their regal appearance and historical association with royalty and noble values.
    • Faith: Representing faith and belief, the iris is indicative of trust in oneself and the universe.
    • Courage: Throughout history, the iris has embodied the spirit of courage, inspiring individuals to face challenges with bravery.
    • Purity: The iris can symbolize purity and innocence, with its delicate petals and intricate patterns reflecting an untainted and virtuous essence.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer to early fall
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Intermediate Bearded Irises like 'Shirley Chandler' prefer a moderate amount of water, requiring thorough watering about once a week during the growing season, especially if the weather is dry. It is essential to avoid over-watering as this can lead to root rot. A good rule of thumb is to provide about an inch of water, which translates to approximately 0.623 gallons, per square foot per week. During the dormant season, reduce watering significantly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Adjust your watering frequency based on rain, temperature, and soil type since well-drained soil assists in preventing excess moisture.

  • sunLight

    Intermediate Bearded Irises such as 'Shirley Chandler' thrive best in full sun conditions, meaning they should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The ideal spot for these irises is an area with bright, unfiltered sunlight which promotes healthy blooms and vigorous growth. Partial shade can be tolerated, especially in hotter climates, but may result in fewer flowers.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Intermediate Bearded Irises are hardy plants that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, typically from as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 'Shirley Chandler' performs best in the moderate temperatures found in spring and fall. The ideal temperature range for growth and flowering is generally between 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It's crucial to protect the rhizomes from extreme heat and frost.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Intermediate Bearded Irises, such as 'Shirley Chandler', involves trimming spent flowers to promote a tidier appearance and potentially encourage rebloom. The best time to prune is right after the blooms have faded. In late summer or early fall, cut the foliage down to a height of about 6 inches to prepare the plant for winter. Prune again in early spring to remove any winter damage and to maintain plant health.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Intermediate Bearded Iris prefers well-draining soil with a pH of 6.8 to 7.0. A mix of loam, compost, and sharp sand is ideal for ensuring adequate drainage and fertility. Regularly amending the soil with organic matter can help maintain the soil conditions that Intermediate Bearded Iris thrives in.

  • plantRepotting

    Intermediate Bearded Iris typically does not require frequent repotting; it can be divided and replanted every 3 to 5 years to maintain vigor and prevent overcrowding. Division is usually done after the blooming period in late summer.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Intermediate Bearded Iris tolerates a wide range of humidity conditions but does best in conditions where there is good air circulation to prevent issues such as rot. Average outdoor humidity levels are adequate for this robust plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Iris in a bright spot, ensure good air flow and drainage.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-drained soil; divide clumps every few years.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Iris 'Shirley Chandler', also known as Intermediate Bearded Iris, begins its life cycle as a rhizome planted in well-draining soil during late summer to early fall. The first stage is germination, where the rhizome sprouts roots and shoots, and by spring, foliage starts to emerge. During the second stage, the Iris establishes itself with sword-like leaves and begins vegetative growth. The third stage is marked by flowering in late spring to early summer, revealing colorful blossoms that attract pollinators for a brief but prolific blooming period. After blooming, the plant enters a period of senescence for its above-ground parts, while the rhizome remains dormant during the heat of summer. Lastly, Iris 'Shirley Chandler' can propagate either vegetatively by division of the rhizome every few years or through seed production if flowers were pollinated, thus continuing its life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to early fall

    • Propogation: The Iris 'Shirley Chandler', a type of bearded iris, is best propagated through division, which is typically done in late summer after the flowers have finished blooming, but no later than six weeks before your first hard frost. This allows ample time for the rhizomes to establish before the onset of winter. The popular method involves gently digging up the clumps of irises and washing or brushing off the soil to reveal the rhizomes and roots. Using a sharp knife, you can then cut apart the rhizomes, ensuring each section has at least one healthy fan of leaves and a portion of root. Trim the leaves to about 6 inches (15 centimeters) to reduce water loss and replant the divisions 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 centimeters) apart, setting the rhizome slightly above the surface of the soil to prevent rot. Water the newly planted divisions well to help establish the roots. This straightforward approach encourages rejuvenation of the plant, prevents overcrowding, and is an excellent way to share or expand your iris garden.