Whilst Iris ensata is native to northern China, Korea, eastern Russia as well as Japan, it is Japanese gardeners who first started the long process of turning a fairly small modest although beautiful Iris wildling into the extravagant, flamboyant fantasies that these Iris have become.
Although Iris ensata varieties can take odd periodical flooding the crowns will drown if they are permanently under water. In its natural habitat Iris ensata grows at the side of ponds or in wet meadows where the soil is always moist and will grow happily in well nourished garden soil as long as they are given a good soak during hot dry periods.
Iris ensata will also grow happily in pots. Indeed this was how the old Japanese garden masters used to grow them. The pots were brought indoors when the plants started to bloom and carefully placed to display their full glory.
Iris ensata is herbaceous, meaning that is it dies down to the root stock every winter.
In the Lambley garden we often pick the flowers when they are in pencil that is just before they begin to unfurl. The blooms open perfectly indoors. Read more about Iris ensata The Japanese Iris