Dutch Iris Bulbs: Taking Proper Care

Irises are beautiful flowers to incorporate into your landscape or grow in a container. Irises are known to be low-maintenance flowers, and Dutch iris bulbs are just as simple to cultivate. The most common varieties have deep indigo blooms, and others grow in shades of lavender, yellow, white and even red.

When growing flowers, it is important to know not only what conditions they like, but why they like them. Once you know understand their preferences and requirements, taking good care of your flowers will come fluently. This guide will give you some tips on properly caring for your Dutch Iris bulbs.


Plant your iris in early fall. Whether planting in your garden or in a container, plant your Dutch iris with specific spacing and depth to promise healthy plants. If you are planting your bulbs in a garden, plant them in 4 inches deep and around 3 inches apart from one another. Make sure that no flooding occurs and the soil is well-drained.

Plant container irises 2 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. You can use almost any type of commercially-bought soil so long as excess water can escape. If you do not have soil that drains well, your Dutch Iris bulb will likely begin to rot.

Your Dutch irises should bloom in spring and last throughout summer. When they wither in the fall, let them die back as this is the time when they take all of the food from the flower and stem and put it back in the bulb. After they have died back, pull on the stem and it should easily dislodge from the bulb.

Dividing Bulbs

You will occasionally need to divide your plants—the more they clump together, the less nutrients in the soil for the bulbs to share. During early fall, dig up the bulbs. Let them dry out for a few days and split them up. Plant again about 4 inches apart from one another.

If you notice that you're having to do this often, try planting them further apart—up to a foot. This will give them more room to grow and give you more time before you have to dig them up again. These are very hardy flowers so don't be afraid of hurting them by taking them out of the soil.

Fertilizer and Watering

The only time you really need to water your Dutch irises is right after planting, when the soil needs to be moist deep in the ground as well as on top. After this, you don't need to water your iris unless there are drought conditions.

You can use many different fertilizers on your Dutch iris bulbs. It is best to steer clear from fertilizers with high nitrogen content. Bone meal is popular for a fertilizer and releases phosphorus. 6-10-10 fertilizer is also well-rounded nourishment for irises. Apply either of these in a light dose once to twice per bloom period.