Iris Leaves Turning Yellow: Causes & Fixes

Greek mythology describes Iris as a divine messenger who rode a rainbow to earth. Flowers appeared immediately wherever she walked. Bearded iris come in a wide range of hues, from pure white to purple/black, and practically every shade in between, making their name, which means “rainbow,” apt.

Faith, knowledge, and bravery are symbolized by the three upright petals of an iris flower.

The most popular fixative for potpourri is an extract from the iris known as orris root, which is added to fragrances. Some gins contain orris as an additional ingredient.

Irises are resilient perennial flowers that are among the simplest to grow. To maintain their health, they do have some particular needs. I’ll describe the problems that can make irises sick, which will be seen in their leaves, along with their causes and solutions.

Iris Plant – What Does It Represent?

Iris, or the genus Iris, is a family of roughly 300 plant species that includes some of the most well-known and diverse garden flowers in the entire world. Although some of the genus’ most attractive species are endemic to the Mediterranean and central Asian regions, the diversity of the genus is concentrated in the north temperate zone.

The Iris plant is the fleur-de-lis of the French royalist banner. It is also a common theme in Japanese floral arrangements and the source of orrisroot, which is used to make the perfume known as “essence of violet.”

Irises have thick, creeping underground stems and are either bulbous or rhizomatous. The stem is typically horizontal, strong, and ringed with leaf scars in species with a rhizome. It frequently grows in the open yet is securely anchored in the ground.

The majority of the iris species that are endemic to southwest Europe develop bulbs. Short and conical in shape, this sort of stem sprouts several leaf bases that are nested inside one another. The majority of the bulb is made up of these bases, which are seamless. To help the plant grow, bulblets appear between the leaf bases on the stalk.

Commonly, the blooms have three sepals, three petals, and three large stigma branches, beneath which the pollen-producing anthers are concealed. The more upright inner segments of the six petal-like floral segments in irises are known as standards, and the typically drooping outer segments are known as falls.

The inferior ovary, which is made up of three carpels fused into a single pistil, is above these floral sections. The ovary section develops into dry capsule fruits as the ovules within it mature into seeds.

Iris Leaves Turning Yellow – What Might Be The Cause?

Iris leaf yellowing can be brought on by overwatering, underwatering, root rot, an improper soil pH, an excess or lack of fertilizer, an improper type of fertilizer, poor lighting, infections, or pests. Fresh, healthy new growth is frequently the outcome of identifying the issue and taking immediate action to fix it.


The problem known as leaf spot is brought on by overwatering iris plants. Circular leaf regions at this point start to become yellow, then eventually turn light brown and dry. There will be various sizes and shapes of the yellowing regions. Overwatering, or keeping the soil wet for an extended period of time, is the main contributor to this.

Improper Sunlight

Irises typically require a minimum of 6 hours each day of direct sunlight. There are iris that are short, medium, and tall. Tall bearded irises require full sun and shouldn’t be planted in areas where they will spend any time in the shadow. Conversely, all other medium and short irises only require six hours per day under direct sunlight.

The distinction between tall bearded irises and short bearded irises can be discerned by the height at which they reach, which varies from 3 to 4 ft (90 to 120 cm) in tall irises. Short and intermediate iris lengths will be considerably less than that.

Wrong Soil pH

Plants require a very particular range of pH in the soil they are growing in. The optimal pH for irises is 6.8. The types of nutrients that are accessible in the soil fluctuate depending on whether the pH is too low (acidic) or too high (basic/alkaline).

The chemical processes in the soil are to blame for this. The leaves will yellow as a result of a deficiency in some nutrients as a result of the pH of the soil.

Iris Leaves Turning Yellow – What Can You Do To Fix It?

Proper Watering

Depending on the climate, water the iris every seven to ten days. Water your plants in the mornings or the nights during summer’s peak, but never around noon. Before watering the iris, allow the top 2 inches of soil to get completely dry.

Water the iris frequently in dry weather, making sure the soil doesn’t get completely dry. Remember that established iris doesn’t require a lot of watering.

Proper Lighting

Check to see that your iris is grown in a location in the garden that faces either the west or south. By doing this, you can be sure that during the summer and spring, the plant receives 6 to 8 hours per day of direct sunlight.

Proper Soil pH

Lime is a good way to repair acidic soil. The acidity is lowered by a half degree with one pound of lime. Sulfur can be added to soil that is alkaline. The pH of the soil should be adjusted to 6.8 to 7.0.

Closing Words

Iris plants’ leaves will turn yellow when they receive insufficient light, too much or too little water, or too much or too little fertilizer. The iris plants’ success depends on moderation. Make sure to follow the above-mentioned steps and a healthy Iris plant will be guaranteed.

Further Reading

Now that you have fixed the problem with your Iris plant, I’m pretty sure you want to know how to fix such problems with other plants, as well.

Learn how to fix the issue with fern leaves turning brown and what might be the possible causes. You can also continue reading about such issues, and you can check why the hibiscus leaves turn yellow and what you can do to prevent it.

As you can see, all the plants can go through a phase of exhaustion, so you should be prepared. Furthermore, you can give a read to the article about corn plant leaves turning brown. 

Aurora Hansen

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