Dwarf Iris Iris 'Pauline' (Reticulata)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Netted Iris 'Pauline'


Iris 'Pauline' is a striking plant known for its distinctive flowers and elegant foliage. The flowers typically display deep purple petals which sometimes appear almost velvet-like in texture. These petals often feature a contrasting pattern, commonly a yellow or white 'blotch' or marking that serves as a striking highlight. The blooms are structured in a classic iris form, with three upright petals known as 'standards' and three downward-curling petals referred to as 'falls'. Surrounding the blossoms, the foliage of Iris 'Pauline' is composed of slender, grass-like leaves. These leaves are bright green, providing a fresh contrast to the rich tones of the flowers. The leaves are sturdy yet graceful, often forming a fan-like arrangement that adds to the overall elegance of the plant. The overall appearance of Iris 'Pauline' is one of both bold color and fine structural details, making it a favorite for gardeners seeking to add a splash of color to their early spring garden. Its flowers can create a dramatic visual impact, whether planted in clusters or woven into the fabric of a mixed border.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Pauline Reticulated Iris, Pauline Dwarf Iris, Pauline Netted Iris

    • Common names

      Iris reticulata var. pauline.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Dwarf Iris is generally considered to have a low level of toxicity to humans. Ingesting parts of the plant, especially the rhizomes, can cause digestive distress, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Handling the plant can sometimes lead to skin irritation due to the presence of irritating compounds.

    • To pets

      The Dwarf Iris is also toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. If ingested, the most common symptoms of poisoning are gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. Ingesting large quantities might lead to more severe symptoms such as drooling, lethargy, and in some cases, abdominal pain. It is advisable to keep pets away from this plant to avoid accidental ingestion.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 inches (10-15 cm)

    • Spread

      3 inches (7.5 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Early Spring Blooms: Iris 'Pauline' is one of the first flowers to bloom in early spring, adding color to the garden when many other plants are still dormant.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The vibrant flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators that are crucial for the health and reproduction of plants.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, this iris variety requires minimal care, making it an ideal choice for busy gardeners and those looking for easy-to-maintain landscapes.
    • Drought Resistance: Iris 'Pauline' can withstand periods of low water, making it suitable for xeriscaping and reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Hardiness: This plant is cold-hardy, capable of surviving in cooler climates and returning each year with minimal winter protection.
    • Compact Size: Its small and compact growth habit makes it perfect for rock gardens, border fronts, and container gardening where space is limited.
    • Decorative Cut Flowers: The blossoms of Iris 'Pauline' make beautiful cut flowers, adding a touch of elegance to indoor floral arrangements.
    • Deer and Rabbit Resistant: These plants are typically not favored by deer or rabbits, reducing the likelihood of damage from garden pests.
    • Variety of Uses: Ideal for use in garden beds, borders, rockeries, and as a naturalizing plant that will multiply over time to form beautiful clusters.

  • 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

    • Photography Prop: The striking purple flowers of the Iris 'Pauline' can be used as an elegant subject or backdrop in macro photography, creating stunning visual compositions.
    • Educational Tool: Botany teachers or educators may use the Iris 'Pauline' to demonstrate bulb plant growth, structure, and reproduction to students.
    • Fragrance Extraction: Though not a common use, the faint scent of Iris 'Pauline' flowers can be captured and used in creating custom perfumes or fragrances.
    • Dye Source: The pigments in the petals of Iris 'Pauline' can be used naturally to dye fabrics or papers, providing a unique violet hue.
    • Artistic Inspiration: Artists may draw inspiration from the unique beauty of Iris 'Pauline' to create paintings, illustrations, or even in floral design themes.
    • Pressing and Crafts: The petals and flowers can be carefully pressed, preserved, and used in crafting activities such as scrapbooking or card making.
    • Theme Gardens: Iris 'Pauline' can be incorporated into a monochromatic or 'cool colors' garden theme, adding contrasts of purple among other plants.
    • Literary Symbol: The flower serves as a symbol in poetry and literature to represent messages, themes, or emotions, such as wisdom or eloquence.
    • Ceremonial Use: In some cases, the Iris 'Pauline' can be used in ceremonies to represent faith, hope, or other symbolic meanings associated with the iris flower.
    • Ikebana: This Japanese art of flower arrangement may utilize Iris 'Pauline' for its aesthetic appeal and to express the beauty of nature through structured form and harmony.

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

    • Faith: The Iris commonly symbolizes faith, reflecting the plant's reliability and consistent beauty.
    • Wisdom: Historically, Irises are also associated with wisdom, a nod to their stately and elegant appearance.
    • Hope: The striking bloom of the Iris is often seen as a symbol of hope, a representation of optimism for the future.
    • Courage: Due to its bold colors and commanding presence, the Iris can represent courage and admiration.
    • Purity: In some cultures, the Iris is a symbol of purity and innocence, particularly the white Iris.
    • Royalty: The luxurious appearance of the Iris has lent it to be a symbol of royalty and regal bearing.

Every 2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3 years
Late summer to fall
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Dwarf iris, including Iris 'Pauline', typically prefers consistent moisture during the spring when they are actively growing and blooming. Water them thoroughly at planting and continue to give them about an inch of water per week. In the absence of rainfall, water your irises once or twice a week to maintain moist soil. After flowering, when the foliage begins to die back, reduce watering as the bulbs enter a dormant state. It is not necessary to water them regularly during this dormancy period, but make sure they do not sit in excessively dry soil for extended periods.

  • sunLight

    The dwarf iris thrives best in full sun to partial shade. For optimal growth and flowering, plant Iris 'Pauline' in a spot where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. These irises can also tolerate light dappled shade, especially in hotter climates where the afternoon sun can be too intense.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Dwarf iris varieties like Iris 'Pauline' are hardy and can survive in temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit during their dormant period in winter. They prefer cooler temperature ranges between 35 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit for active growth and flowering. Protecting them from extreme heat by providing some afternoon shade in hot climates can prevent stress and maintain health.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune dwarf irises like Iris 'Pauline' by removing any dead or diseased foliage and spent flower stems to encourage healthy growth and prevent disease spread. Pruning is best done after flowering, typically in late spring or early summer. Regular deadheading during the blooming season promotes additional blooms and keeps the plant looking tidy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Dwarf Iris 'Pauline' thrives in well-drained, moderately fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A good mix is one-part loam, one-part sharp sand or grit, and one-part leaf mold or compost.

  • plantRepotting

    Dwarf Iris 'Pauline' bulbs should be lifted and divided every three to five years to maintain vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Dwarf Iris 'Pauline' does well in average humidity levels; it is not particularly demanding in terms of atmospheric moisture.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use well-draining soil, bright light, and cool temps for indoor Dwarf Iris 'Pauline'.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Dwarf Iris 'Pauline' in well-draining soil, full sun to partial shade.

    • Hardiness zone

      Dwarf Iris 'Pauline' is suitable for USDA zones 4-9.

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Iris 'Pauline', commonly known as Dwarf Iris, begins with the dormant bulb stage, where it rests underground during the summer after blooming. In fall, as temperatures drop, roots start to grow to collect nutrients and water. Growth resumes in late winter or early spring when the foliage starts to emerge from the soil, soon followed by the distinct flowers, which typically come in shades of purple with a central yellow or white stripe on the falls. After flowering, usually in late spring, the plant goes through a period of vegetative growth where it stores energy in the bulb for the next season. The foliage then dies back in early summer, signaling the start of the dormant period where the bulb lies inactive again. Completion of this annual cycle is crucial for the bulb to mature and eventually propagate, either by seed after flowering if pollinated or vegetatively through bulb offsets.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to fall

    • The preferred time to propagate Iris 'Pauline', commonly known as Reticulata Iris, is during the late summer when the flowering has ceased and the foliage has died back. The most popular method of propagation is by dividing the bulbs. To propagate by division, gently lift the clump of bulbs from the ground using a trowel or garden fork, taking care not to damage the bulbs. Brush off any excess soil and separate the bulbs by hand, looking for natural dividing points. Each section should have at least one healthy bulb that can be replanted immediately. Replant the bulbs about 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 centimeters) deep and 3 to 4 inches apart in well-drained soil. Water the newly planted bulbs thoroughly to help establish them. This method allows for the healthy increase of your Iris 'Pauline' collection and can rejuvenate older clumps that may have become overcrowded, resulting in reduced flowering.