En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - April 22, 2007

From: Lago Vista, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Companion plants for irises
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello...what do you suggest as a companion plant for irises? I live in the Texas Hill Country. Thanks.

ANSWER:

There are several of possibilities for companion plants for your iris, depending on whether they are growing in a flower bed or growing in a wet boggy area. Many native irises [e.g., Iris brevicaulis (zigzag iris) and Iris fulva (copper iris)] grow in marshy areas in the wild, but they also adapt to growing in traditional garden flower beds.

First, here are some suggestions for plants with contrasting color and foliage for a regular well-drained (but with moist soil) flowerbed:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Stachys coccinea (scarlet hedgenettle)

Physostegia intermedia (slender false dragonhead)

If your irises are growing in a semi-aquatic or aquatic area, then here are other suggestions:

Marsilea macropoda (bigfoot waterclover)

Bacopa monnieri (herb of grace)

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)

Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed)


Iris brevicaulis

Iris fulva

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias incarnata

Salvia coccinea

Stachys coccinea

 


Physostegia intermedia

Marsilea macropoda

Bacopa monnieri

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Saururus cernuus

Pontederia cordata
 

More Water Gardens Questions

Wildflowers for a pond in MO
September 10, 2011 - I have a spring fed pond in Missouri and would like to plant perennial wildflowers in the area around it. Are there any that would do better or others that are not recommended? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plants for wet soil in turtle enclosure in Virginia
September 03, 2010 - We recently installed a turtle pond in our backyard in Arlington, VA. We built an enclosure around the pond to protect the turtle from raccoons and herons, and left some open area for the turtle to g...
view the full question and answer

Understory plants for Lake Forest IL
June 21, 2009 - We have a large mostly hardwood lot in Lake County. It floods when it rains hard and remains damp most of the year due to the amount of shade and clay based top soil. Besides the hardwood trees and ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation information from Queens NY
October 04, 2012 - Hello. I would appreciate information on when to plant the following plants. I found on the USDA website that all these plants could withstand the cold. ALthough they can withstand harsh weather, ...
view the full question and answer

Water absorbing plant from Surbiton, England
May 21, 2011 - Ground soggy with rain, is there a plant that will absorb water?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center