Gainesville landscaping with regina iris in the foreground foliage in the back ground. Image reads "plant of the month:Regina Iris"

May Plant of the Month: Regina Iris

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In May, the Regina Iris is blooming and it is such a treat! These ornamental flowers have large, lightly fragrant blooms and lush foliage. They are a hardy, low-maintenance plant that is perfect for withstanding the harsh Gainesville summer.

Regina iris plant bed in Gainesville Landscaping. Foreground is in focus, black ground blurred with white.

Recognizable because of their distinctive flowers, Irises are a nice source of color and texture for your landscaping. They have wide purple and blue petals that are rippled around the edges. The center petals have distinctive black and white stripes, with spots of maroon closest to the inside of the flower. The blooms are at the top of stems which can grow up to 3-4 feet tall, and this height provides great visual interest to your plant beds.

Another feature of the Regina Iris is the leaves of the plant. They are lush and tall and stay green throughout the year, even when the flower is not visible. The blades are similar in texture and coverage to ornamental grasses and can be used to give a rich, full look to plant beds.

As always, we recommend plants that are low-maintenance and can stand up to the climate here in Gainesville. The Regina Iris passes the test! It’s sturdy enough to weather any hard freezes we may get in the winter, but as a plant native to Brazil, it is also capable of handling the heat of a Florida summer. The Regina is also drought-tolerant, so it won’t require watering during drier seasons.

Gainesville landscaping with bright blue and purple regina irises and green foliageIrises are a great choice for people with allergies and those sensitive to heavy fragrances. Their pollen is heavy and is located deep inside of the flowers, protected by the large petals. This makes them a safe choice for even the most sensitive allergy sufferers. The blooms are very lightly scented, nearly impossible to smell at even a short distance. If you omit flowers from your landscape to avoid seasonal suffering, irises can give you gorgeous color without increasing your pollen count.

Planting should be done between July and September. Part of your spring and summer gardening plan should be to look at where you would like to see some more color in May, and where you need some year-round texture and ground cover so you can be ready for planting season.

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