Skip to Content

Irises as Cut Flowers: How To Ensure a Long-Lasting Bouquet

Irises as Cut Flowers: How To Ensure a Long-Lasting Bouquet

Arranging cut irises requires its own unique skill. One must carefully trim the stems, remove any excess foliage, and artfully arrange the flowers into a stunning bouquet. However, the irises eventually begin to droop.

There must be a way to make the flower arrangement last a little longer.

Irises are an excellent choice for flower bouquets. Their vase life can be extended by keeping them in a cool room away from direct sunlight. Make sure the water is room temperature, and trim off 1 inch from the bottom of the stems every couple of days to keep the irises fresh for a long time.

Iris bouquets are worth the time and trouble you put into making them. However, there are a few secrets to making them last. Read more to find out those secrets.

Iris as Cut Flowers – What To Know

Many people grow irises not just to enjoy their cheerful blooms in the garden but to cut them and bring that beauty inside, but irises have a notoriously short vase life.

Within a few days, they start to fade with the edges of the petals drying up and turning brown.

If only there was a way to make those delightful blooms last longer in the vase. Actually, there are a few tricks to extend the life of your iris bouquet.

Do Irises Do Well in a Vase?

Although they look great in a vase, irises have a short life once you cut them. The stems tend to rot underwater and the leaves wilt.

The blooms themselves follow suit, and by the end of the week, you will have a bouquet of dying flowers.

It’s not the most pleasant sight, especially after all the trouble you went through growing the irises, cutting, and arranging them.

How Long Do Irises Last as Cut Flowers?

Once you cut your irises, you have a small window of enjoying all their splendor. Within 5 to 7 days, the flowers wilt and fade.

Even in ideal conditions with controlled air temperature and when using tepid water in the vase, the irises will not last longer than a week. 

A close look at a light-purple iris flower.

When To Cut Iris Flowers

The secret to enjoying a long-lasting bouquet of iris flowers is to cut the irises as buds before they open up. The best time to cut the flowers is early in the day, preferably when they’re still covered with morning dew.

Once the sun heats up, the flowers lose more moisture than the plant can replenish. If you cut the flowers when they’re dehydrated, they will die within a couple of days.

Will Irises Bloom in a Vase?

One of the advantages of cutting irises is that they continue to bloom after being cut. Cutting the irises as buds is a sure way of prolonging their vase life.

In the right conditions, the buds will bloom in the vase and give you a few more days or even an extra week of iris beauty in the vase before they wilt.

Should You Trim Faded Iris Flowers in a Vase?

It’s no secret that faded iris flowers are not something you’d like to see in your living room or any other place in the house for that matter.

Apart from their looks, faded iris flowers are also prone to many diseases including botrytis, which would infect the healthy blooms and might contaminate other houseplants in the vicinity.

To avoid all of these troubles, you should trim faded iris flowers and only keep healthy flowers in the base.

How To Make Your Iris Flowers Last Longer

To make iris flowers last longer in the vase, cut them before they bloom. The buds will open up in the vase and take longer to fade.

Make sure the water in the vase is tepid or at room temperature. Don’t place the vase in the sun or let the irises get direct exposure to sunlight.

Keep the vase in a cool place, and cut 1 inch of the stem every couple of days.

Best Iris for Cut Flowers

Some iris species are better for cut flowers than others. The bearded iris is one of the best iris varieties in the vase. Not only does it look good, but it’s not prone to wilting as quickly as the other species.

The dwarf bearded iris is a cultivar that also has a long vase life. You can also try the Dutch iris, a colorful variety that doesn’t fade quickly after cutting.

Pretty blue irises blooming abundantly.

Tips for Growing Prolific Irises

Although irises are easy to grow, caring for the plants can be the difference between large and vibrant blooms and irises that barely look alive.

Here are a few tips to help you grow prolific irises that make your garden the envy of the neighborhood.

  • Plant the iris bulbs or rhizomes in late summer or early fall.
  • Choose a sunny spot, and build a raised bed to improve drainage.
  • Turn up the top 10 or 12 inches of the soil, and let the bed sit in the sun for two weeks before planting.
  • Plant the bulbs 5 inches in the soil, and space them 6 inches apart.
  • Check the soil acidity (this gadget makes it simple), and ensure it’s either neutral or slightly acidic. 
  • Trim off dead or fading flowers, but don’t cut down the foliage.
  • Iris rhizomes should be divided every 3 to 5 years. 

Flower Arranging Tips: Beginners

Arranging flowers is more art than science. That means you should allow the inner artist in you to do the arranging.

If you trust your instincts and don’t try to imitate a specific design, you’ll pull off this artistic feat and have a bouquet worth looking at every morning.

It helps to follow these tips:

  • Try to envision the bouquet beforehand. This will help you make the right design decision and avoid having to redo the whole thing over and over.
  • Choose a theme or concept for the bouquet, and follow it through to the end. Don’t change your mind halfway.
  • Break down the flowers you have into four categories: focal flowers to take a prominent place, shorter flowers for the edges, filler flowers for empty gaps, and detail flowers to add an airy ambiance to the bouquet.
  • Decide on the dominant color for the bouquet.
  • Layer the blooms, and follow a color gradient from the outside to the focal flowers in the center.
  • Review your final design in a mirror. This will help you see it with fresh eyes.

What To Do With Irises After They Bloom?

At the end of the bloom season, you’ll have a lot of dead or fading flowers and plenty of leaves and stems.

Cut down the fading flowers but leave the foliage. The leaves are necessary to generate plant energy that gets stored in the rhizomes. Remove dead or brown tips leaves along with the fading flowers.

Related Questions:

Can Iris Grow in Pots Indoors?

You can grow irises indoors in pots. Make sure the pot is about 12 inches in diameter for regular iris species and 8 inches wide for dwarf iris species. The pot should have at least five drainage holes, and the soil should drain well.

What Do Iris Flowers Symbolize?

Irises are delightful flowers that symbolize hope, faith, prosperity, admiration, and a cheerful outlook. Purple irises are symbols of wisdom, and it is considered a compliment to give them to someone.

Blue irises represent hope and encouragement. Yellow irises convey passion and deep love. As for white irises, they symbolize purity.  

Closing Thoughts

Iris flowers bring joy to any setting. If you’re growing iris flowers in the garden, cut them as buds before they open. They’ll bloom in the vase and can last up to 2 weeks in tepid water away from direct sunlight.