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'Carolina' Dwarf Iris Bulbs

Iris reticulata 'Carolina'Feefo logo

The details

Reticulate Iris - Carolina
  • Colour: pale and deep blue
  • Height: 10-15cm
  • Scent: none
  • Flowering: January-March
  • Bulb Size: 5-6cm
  • Planting Depth: 2-3 times the height of the bulb
  • Planting Months: September-November
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Pack of 50
4 +
£ 10.98


Carolina Iris

 Iris reticulata Carolina carries flowers of classic iris blue that burst up through a veil of fresh February snow (that is when we get snow). This is a winter beauty whose size belies her impact. Carolina Irises are stunning at just the time when gardens can look a bit grey but combine her with aconites (best planted in February/March) and crocuses and things change. Her petals start sky blue at the centre, the 'falls' ending up a deep, velvety near-midnight shade, a vivid splash of yellow on white running down the centre. The end result is a little like Van Gogh's Starry Night in flower form - one of our truly beautiful rockery bulbs for sale.

Iris reticulata love sunshine

Choose a really sunny spot for Carolina irises, in an alpine bed, a rockery or at the front of a flower border – remember dwarf irises hail from the bright, stony mountainsides of Russia, Turkey and the Middle East. She'll thrive in pots, too, placed somewhere you can admire her as she struts her stuff – near a kitchen window, or on the doorstep to welcome you home. In pots or borders, Iris Carolina looks great alongside grasses such as Festuca glauca or combined with other early-spring bulbs such as snowdrops or winter aconites. Or you can weave drifts of Carolina irises through deeper blue Iris reticulata Harmony. Like all dwarf irises, it's best to give Carolina a little space when planting, so you can fully appreciate the shape and form of those remarkable petals; plant good, bold drifts by all means –but don't pack the bulbs in too tightly.

Features of Carolina Iris

  • Colour: pale sky blue with deep blue tips and a yellow splash
  • Height: 10-15cm
  • Scent: none
  • Flowering: January-March
  • Bulb Size: 5-6cm
  • Planting Depth: 2 to 3 times the height of the bulb
  • Planting Months: late September - early November

Inside story

If you like, you can 'force' Iris reticulata Carolina for indoor flowers. Plant in October or November in pots of well-drained compost mixed with some horticultural grit, then keep them in a cool, dark place for around 8 weeks, before bringing them out, when the shoots are 5cm tall, to a spot that gets about 4 hours' sunlight a day. Then just aim to keep them cool, so that the flowers last as long as possible.

Other common names include Early Bulbous or Netted Iris. Reticulated means netted (reticulum is "little net" in Latin), which refers to the pattern of the veins on the bulbs. 

Planting Instructions

Carolina Reticulated Iris love a sunny spot. Remember they are in flower when most trees and shrubs are leafless and the winter sun is low in the sky, so you can plant them in areas that become shady only in late spring and summer.

They need good drainage so well-drained, open soil makes them happy and you'll need to add plenty of horticultural grit and/or garden sand if your soil is heavy. They do well in neutral to alkaline soils. Plant the bulbs about twice as deep as they are tall and 10cm apart. Finish off with a layer of sharp grit to discourage snails and other pests.

Reticulated iris are best planted in early autumn - September to October; the relatively warm soil encourages them to root well. They don't need to be dug up after flowering; just leave them to multiply. Divide and replant when congested.

What to expect

Bareroot plants


Bareroot plants have no soil around the roots. They are light, easy to carry and plant.

Perfect for Winter

The ground tends to be wet in winter, ideal for planting bareroot plants.

Value for money

You pay less for the same size bareroot plants, compared to potted.


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