I like to use variegated foliage to add pattern to my garden and provide interest between bloom cycles when there is little else to draw the eye. One of the more dramatic plants that I use for this purpose is Iris pallida. Although the lavender blooms are beautiful, its creamy yellow and green striped foliage is the feature that really won my heart.
Like other bearded iris, Iris pallida is grown from a rhizome. It looks similar to a ginger root. To plant, dig a hole and mound soil in the middle. Set the rhizome on the mound with the roots fanned out. Cover the roots and leave the top of the rhizome slightly exposed, then water. If the rhizomes that you are planting still have their fan shaped leaves fully intact, cut them back to about half the size before planting. When you plant, choose a sunny location. If you are living in hot climate, a little afternoon shade is beneficial. They like a neutral, well-drained soil. After a few years, you can divide your clumps of Iris pallida to create more plants. Do this in early July.