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Iris ‘Ensata Variegata’
(Japanese Water Iris)


Item release date 27 April 2024.
Award Winner
75cm x 50cm
Partial Shade, Sun
Fully Hardy

‘Iris Ensata Variegata’ is cherished in our range for its captivating variegated foliage and graceful blooms. We appreciate its versatility and resilience in most garden settings. We like to pair it with companions like Astilbe or Hosta to create a harmonious display of textures and colours. With its unique variegation and enduring hardy nature, ‘Ensata Variegata’ brings a touch of charming shape and form to any garden, delighting both novice and experienced gardeners alike.

Additional information

Plant Type
Flowering Period
Flower Colour
Fully Grown Size
Garden Position
Light Level
RHS Plants For Pollinators
RHS Garden Merit Award
Pot Size
30 Day Returns


Lifetime Guarantee



'Iris Ensata Variegata' is a mesmerising addition to our range and indeed any garden, renowned for its stunning variegated foliage and striking blooms. Its slender, sword-like leaves are adorned with creamy white and green stripes, providing year-round interest even when not in bloom. Come Summer, it produces elegant, orchid-like flowers in shades of purple, adding a splash of colour to water features or moist borders. This Iris variety thrives in moist, well-drained soil and prefers partial shade to full sun, making it an ideal choice for boggy areas, pond edges, or woodland gardens. Our horticulture team recommend pairing it with moisture-loving plants like Astilbe or Hostas for a harmonious display of texture and colour. With its RHS Garden Merit award, 'Ensata Variegata' is recognised for its outstanding performance and reliability in the garden. Hardy and eye-catching, it withstands a range of conditions, from wet soils to occasional drought, providing garden interest year after year. Whether used as a focal point or planted en masse, this Iris variety adds a touch of elevated design to any garden space.

Planting Conditions

To ensure optimal growth of Iris in your garden, we advise choosing a sunny spot with well-draining soil. Irises thrive in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Ensure the soil is rich in organic matter and slightly acidic to neutral ph., as alkaline soils may cause problems with growth. When planting, set the rhizomes just below the soil surface and space them about 12 to 24 inches apart. Avoid planting them too deep, as this can hinder flowering. Water thoroughly after planting and maintain consistent moisture during the growing season, especially during dry spells.

Watering & Feeding

For Iris we advise providing regular watering, especially during dry spells, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply to encourage strong root development. During the growing season, apply a balanced fertiliser every 4 to 6 weeks to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilisers, as they can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of blooms. Mulch around the plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

General Care

Ensure the best care for your Irises by providing well-drained soil and full sun exposure. Regularly inspect for signs of pests like Iris borers and aphids, promptly addressing any infestations. Deadhead spent blooms to promote continuous flowering and prevent self-seeding. Trim back old foliage in late Summer to tidy the plant and discourage pest habitat. Irises are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but keep an eye out for fungal diseases like leaf spot and bacterial soft rot. Dividing clumps every few years helps maintain vigour and prevents overcrowding.