Louisiana Iris: The Perfect Choice for a Lazy Gardener with a Drainage Problem

Louisiana Iris

Louisiana Iris

By Trish Holder


I must be part Cajun.  That’s how much I love my Louisiana irises.

Talk about your easy-to-grow flower!

We planted these in our “modified rain garden” which we installed in 2010 to help deal with a pretty bad erosion/drainage issue in the southwest corner of our yard.   The plants are thriving, providing me with a second flowering season of absolutely decadent lavender and white blooms.   They should continue to bloom through spring.

Iris Growing Tips? Forget About It!
Louisiana irises come in just about every color you can imagine.  They are also drought tolerant, rain tolerant, and an all-around-easy-keeper of a flower.  In short, they are a perfect choice our unpredictable North Carolina weather.

Getting these irises started was so easy!  We planted them.  We watered them for a few weeks.  We forgot about them.  Then, one day last spring we were presented with an overlapping conglomeration of purple and white ruffled petals forming a bloom that is easily 5-inches across.

Now that my Louisiana irises are in their second season, the stalks are multiplying, begging me to dig some up and fill-in a few more spaces for an even greater display next spring.

The plants, which grow wild in Louisiana swamps, are equally happy here in North Carolina, come rain or shine.  In fact, from what I read, they do well as far north as Illinois. Wet or dry, this is one flower that keeps on giving.  They are ideally suited for problematic areas of the yard where water tends to pool after a rain, which made them perfect for the low-lying corner of our yard.  They are an excellent choice for helping you prevent erosion.

Be Green in the Garden
These are the kind of plants that make a serial plant killer like me feel like a Master Gardener.  Plus, they get five stars for being an environmentally sound choice.  Clearly, they don’t require water or fertilizer, and they are a great choice for slowing down the flow of rainwater, helping it seep into the ground before it gets sucked into a drainage pipe.

Oh – and that’s no stock photo!  That is an untouched photo taken in my own yard with a 7-year-old digital camera.  Not only do these flowers make you feel like an expert gardener, they make you feel like an expert photographer, too.


6 Responses »

  1. I second your nomination of Louisiana irises as perfect rain garden plants. They are happy in standing water of around six inches or so or on the shallow edges. As long as they do not dry out, Louisiana irises are happy. They do like to be fertilized well.


  2. Congrats on a well-written article and on finding a gorgeous solution to your problem! As lovely as orchids and obviously much easier to grow. I need to divide my iris, as I have few blooms this year, and the tubers are really crowded together.


    • Margie,

      I was thinking the very same thing about Orchids — which I would NEVER attempt to grow! My tubers are really crowded too. Is spring a good time to do that? See….I really am dumb when it comes to this stuff! :o)


  3. Gorgeous!! I will ask for them and add them to my daffodil/iris/daylily bed at the corner of the driveway.

  4. Thank you for the article, great info. I am just starting to grow flowers and I am going to give the Louisiana Iris a try. Such a beautiful flower. I have a green thumb with house plants so we will see how I do with flowers.

  5. The perfect plant for those of us too busy & forgetful, to mind the garden every week.

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