Go Back Iris Bearded Variegata Tall

Iris pallida 'Variegata' ('Zebra')
Butterfly IconDeer Resistant IconRock Garden Icon

Plant Type: Perennials

Striking golden variegated foliage with green and creamy yellow stripes. Classic lavender-blue flowers in late spring. The brightly colored, striped foliage of Sweet Flag Irises effectively add interest and cheer anywhere they are planted. Their relatively short stature make them good for edging. These are the most reliable and disease-resistant of all Tall Bearded Irises.

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Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Bearded Irises will absolutely not tolerate "wet feet" and require very well-drained soil at all times of the year. They will grow in any good garden soil as long as this drainage is provided. Regular tall bearded irises should not be fertilized during the summer and should only be watered when absolutely necessary. Overwatering will cause the rhizomes to rot. Reblooming irises, however, require regular watering and feeding to promote the additional flowering. Irises are generally heavy feeders, and should be fertilized 3 times per year: first in the spring when new growth appears, second right after bloom, and third in the fall. When planting them for the first time or when transplanting, use a no-nitrogen fertilizer such as 0-10-10 worked into the soil. Division is recommended every 3-4 years to maintain healthy plants and achieve the maximum bloom. The best time of year to plant irises is in late summer after they are done blooming. Dig up the entire clump and use a sharp knife to cut apart the rhizomes. Keep only the newer ones around the outer edge of the clump and discard the old, woody center. Replant the new divisions 12-18 in. apart to allow ample room for new growth and good air circulation. Planting at the correct level is critical to the plant's health and flower production. Rhizomes should be planted so the soil barely covers the top of them, or 1-2 in. deep in light, sandy soil. Doing so will help to prevent soft rot. Rhizomes should be planted at the soil surface. If planted too deeply, it can reduce the amount of blooms per season.

Flower Color

Lavendar blue

Foliage Color

Green and creamy yellow

Plant Spread

18-24 in.

Good Companions

Avens (Geum coccineum), Coreopsis-Threadleaf (Coreopsis verticillata), Corydalis-Yellow (Corydalis lutea), Geranium-Hardy (Geranium sanguineum), Painted Daisy (Tanacetum ), Peony-Tree (Paeonia suffruticosa), Poppy-Oriental (Papaver orientale), Spurge-Cushion (Euphorbia polychroma), Stonecrop-Autumn (Sedum ), Yarrow (Achillea )

Plant Height

34 in.

Scape Height

Hardness Zone


Soil Moisture

Low to average water needs

Characteristics & Attributes


Mass Plant, Dried Flower, Border, Salt Tolerant, Drought Tolerant, Cut flower or foliage, Specimen

Bloom Time

Late spring

Critter Resistance

Deer and rabbit resistant


Full sun to part shade

Growth Rate


Seasonal Interests