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

Note on pond over oak roots from Round Rock TX
December 23, 2012 - Thanks very much to Barbara for answering my question about the live oaks - covering parts of their root systems with a pond. Your answer inspired discussion, and we changed our pond plan and moved th...
view the full question and answer

Perennial plants for full sun around pond
April 28, 2012 - I am looking for full sun perennial plants for the exterior of a water pond. Planting suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Plants for wet soils in North Carolina
October 03, 2009 - I'm looking for evergreen plants (shrubs or ground cover)that will tolerate wet conditions for the zone 8 area of North Carolina. The local garden centers here do not stock these types of plants, eve...
view the full question and answer

Remake of church grotto in Highlands, TX
April 24, 2010 - I'm looking to reform our Church Grado. I would like some beautiful (fitting) flowers that are native to Texas. Low upkeep preferred. Possible some nice water flowers to put into waterways. Plan to a...
view the full question and answer

Need water absorbing plants in Syracuse, NY
August 18, 2010 - I'm Looking for water absorbing plants and shrubs -not so much trees. My rain barrels and downspouts are still creating too much run off. I want to line a walkway and keep rainwater run-off from drai...
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