I have several times started both "candy lily" and "blackberry lily" from seed, and had almost 100% germination without any stratification. I soaked the seeds overnight and planted them maybe 1/4 inch below the surface (indoors under lights - started on heatmat. Once they start coming up, they grow very quickly.
However, once planted in the garden, I have not had much success at all with them. I do grow bearded iris without too much trouble, but my belamcanda and pardancanda have mostly either withered and died very quickly, or not overwintered, and I've yet to see them flower. This year, for the first time, a fraction of those I planted last year have come back, so we'll see if they live to produce flowers.
My suspected blackberry lilies were also winter sown, or, actually potted as if I thought they might grow anytime but half sunk in a shady garden bed. I don't actually remember the time frame of how they came up. It's not too bad a way to treat things you have no clue about.
I would not have a garden without blackberry lilies. They are one of the flowers I always look forward to seeing each summer. Mine is an informal garden, with many volunteers allowed to grow as they will. Each Fall, as I put my garden to bed, I will simply scatter some of the seeds and let nature take its course. Each Spring, I am blessed with more new plants than I can handle, much to my friends' delight. Many times, I have given extra "blackberries" to fellow gardeners and tell them to just toss the seeds onto a sunny patch of earth...nothing more. Many have thanked me for their beautiful lilies the following year. Keep in mind, I live in zone 4 which is really a bit too cold for them to overwinter. The flowers I get are like annuals, for the winter cold will kill them. Still, when they bloom in late summer, the flower stalks are 3-4 feet tall and the flowers are abundant. Blackberry lilies have provided me with great pleasure for almost no effort. It does not get much better than that.
Sally and all,
We're in St. Louis and have grown candy lily for probably 15 years now. Natural stratification must work well here because after planting the first few transplants I've never helped them further and they have spread. I don't mean just larger clumps but they are in many more areas of the garden now. Getting rid of them requires deep digging; you can't pull them up and Roundup won't hurt them. They're beautiful though and also are interesting in cut arrangements.
I have a grouping of Candy Lilies (Iris) which have been growing in my garden for at least 30 years. I do not know what variety they are but I grew them from seeds which were given to be by a man who lived in Orlando, FL. I live in central PA. They have never reseeded but always survive our cold winter temperatures. There is a variety of colors.
Thanks for all your added comments. Experience is the best teacher with gardening!
Now, do these look like blackberry lily babies? They were passed to me a seeds of 'orange lily'. (And I see some chewed leaves; maybe I better trim those off)
OH, sorry that came out sideways, I thought I sent a cropped fixed version
perenniallyme, perhaps you "love" them too much. Mine grow with little or no attention. Instead of trying to start them in peat pots (or whatever) and then transplant them, get fresh seed in the Fall and scatter them in a sunny part of your garden and let them be. You only have to be careful and not mistake the seedlings for some form of grass growing and accidentally "weed" them out come Spring. If you want to move them to a different spot, just dig them up with a trowel full of soil attached when they are 2" to 3" tall. Otherwise, just let them be and they will happily multiply. That is the same advice I have given friends over the years, and they all have good stands of blackberry lilies. May the faeries in your garden smile on your efforts.
Thanks, but maybe "sunny" is a clue. My most sunny space gets only about 6 hours, which I'm not sure qualifies. Where they are is my 2nd most sunny, getting maybe 5 1/2 hours. But on the other hand, my irises do fine there. I'll see if I have any seeds left, and if I do, I'll try the sprinkle and leave alone method.