Growing Iris

Course CodeVHT111
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Want to be an Iris Expert?

Gain an in-depth appreciation of the iris, how to grow them to achieve optimum results and the identification of different varieties of irises. Significant sections are included on landscaping with irises, hybridisation and propagation, harvest, post-harvest treatments, achieving and assessing quality, and exhibiting the flowers.

This is a valuable course for anyone with a serious interest in irises either as a commercial grower or an enthusiastic home collector.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • Classification of iris into bulbous, rhizomatous and tuberous
    • Scientific classification (into sections, sub sections, series and species)
    • Biology of iris
    • Information sources
    • Review of Iris xiphium
  2. Culture
    • Plant selection
    • Planting
    • Staking
    • Mulching
    • Watering
    • Feeding
    • Pruning, etc.
  3. Propagation and Hybridisation
    • Seed
    • Division
    • Separation
    • Tissue Culture
    • Review of selected species/hybrids.
  4. Review of Major Types of Irises
    • Bearded
    • Loisiana
    • Siberian
    • Dutch
    • English Spanish
  5. Pest and Diseases
    • Review of species from contrasting environments
    • Review of various health problems
  6. Water Irises
    • Review of species
    • Irrigation
    • Irises in Hydroponics
  7. Landscaping with Irises
    • Garden Design
    • Cottage Gardens
    • Using Colour
    • Review of more Iris species
    • Flower bed design
  8. Harvest, Post Harvest, Exhibiting and Quality

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the taxonomy of Iris
  • Explain the normal cultural requirements for different types or Iris.
  • Breed and propagate Iris.
  • Describe the identification and culture of a range of commonly cultivated Iris.
  • Manage pest and disease problems on Iris
  • Manage water requirements for Iris
  • Discuss cultivation of Iris hydroponically
  • Explain the use of Irises in landscaping
  • Describe the production of Iris as a cut flower crop, in particular the harvest and post harvest.


Colour is a major factor in any garden. Whether you acknowledge it or not, colour has a psychological effect on us all. Certain colours are known to relax us while others stimulate. You can use this characteristic to give your cottage garden life, vitality and action, or calmness, serenity and contemplation. Some characteristics of particular colours follow:

•    cool colours: blue, green and white   calm, relaxing and subtle
•    warm colours: red, yellow and orange   lively, stimulating and active

In cool climates, it may be helpful to provide a splash of warm coloured plants to enliven the garden. In warm districts, mass flowers in the blue, green and white colour range will give an effect of soothing and relaxing coolness.

Colour themes of:
•    white flowers with silver and dark green background   cool and harmonious
•    orange, read or yellow flowers with dark green background   warm and tropical
•    warm colours brings the garden closer
•    cool colours makes the garden appear larger

Colours that blend well together are referred to as harmonious colours. Colours that conflict with each other are known as contrasting colours. Contrasting colours are used to make a focal point or to break up monotony that can result from excessive use of a single or two colours. Garden features are frequently surrounded with contrasting flowering plants in order to accentuate the feature. For example pink and mauve are harmonious colours that provide a rhythm and unify the garden together. Alternatively, yellow with mauve are contrasting colours that will focus views to the yellow and emphasise that area or plant.

Contrast can be used to enhance the garden but if incorrectly done may result in chaos which is not wanted in most garden designs.


This is a valuable course for anyone with a serious interest in irises either as a commercial grower or an enthusiastic home collector.






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