Iris Companion Plants

Updated April 17, 2017

Companion plants are planted in the same garden with other plants to help them grow. There are several types of Iris plants, including bearded varieties, which are tall, border, miniature tall, intermediate, standard dwarf and miniature dwarf; Japanese; Siberian; spurias; Pacific Coast hybrids; arilbreds; and Louisianas. To make gardening easy, choose companion plants that require the same type of maintenance as the iris plant you're growing.


When choosing your companion plants, use a bit of creative license. Instead of just focusing on the health of the garden, also consider which colours and textures will complement the iris plants you're growing.

Companion Plants

Companion plants that work well when planted near irises are columbine, sweetrocket, pyrethrum, blue salvia, coralbells and narcissus. Lilies, hybrid hemerocallis, penstemons, phlox and chrysanthemums are also used in conjunction with irises. Gardenters use forsythia plants in poor soils, meaning that some gardeners use them in gardens where the soil can sometimes cause a problem.

Beautiful Blooms

Peonies are traditionally companions flowers for irises. If you plant a garden with irises, peonies and roses, the bloom in May and early June will be gorgeous. Forsythia not only helps irises grow, but they also provide beautiful colour contrasts. Forsythia's bloom yellow flowers during the spring. Iris reticulate blooms in spring as well, and this plant's flowers are blue. Planting vinca minor plants around the base of an Iris allows the vinca minor to creep and grow around the iris which would otherwise be bare. Vinca minor plants should be in moist soil and in an area that's partly shaded. Purple coneflower plants bloom during the summer, which may be late for some Iris plants, but now the bearded iris, which blooms later in the year. Purple coneflowers pair nicely with long-stemmed iris, and you can cut both plants for bouquets. Place purple coneflower plants in an area where the soil is rocky.


Where iris plants are spiked, forsythia plants contrast nicely with their rounded look. Lamb's Ear plants have soft leaves that contrast nicely with the pointy leaves of an iris. Since lamb's ear plants grow to almost a foot, they hide the iris plant's base. Place lamb's ear in an area that gets plenty of sunlight and a small amount of shade.

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About the Author

As a full-time writer in New York's Hudson Valley, Lindsay Pietroluongo's nightlife column and photos have appeared regularly in the "Poughkeepsie Journal" since 2007. Additional publications include "Chronogram," the "New Paltz Sojourn," "About Town" newspaper and "Outsider" magazine. Pietroluongo graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in English.