Starting iris seeds

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

I have never harvested iris seeds before,so I need a lot of input about the process. How long do they need to stay on the plant? Also do they need to be refrigerated or can I plant them right into a pot?
These are bee pods on a couple of my favs and I would like to try iris from seeds.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Teresa

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Kylertown, PA(Zone 5b)

Teresa,

I don't know how everyone else does it, but I plant all the seeds that I have from a particular cross in a five or six inch azalea pot in the fall and let them sit outside on my walkway so they can do the "freeze/thaw" thing all winter. The seeds won't germinate without it.

They will sprout in the Spring, and when the seedlings are a decent size, I move them into rows in my garden. But if it's a cross that I think has potential, I will often keep the pot with any ungerminated seeds for another year or two as they will continue to germinate.

Gilbertsville, KY(Zone 7a)

I have written an article on seed starting that appears in the current issue of Tall Talk Magazine--a publication of the Tall Bearded Iris Society. Web site is : http://www.tbisonline.com/
Dennis

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

Thank you, Dennis
I will check it out.

Statesville, NC

Hey BlueGrass,

The seed pod needs to stay on the plant until the pod turns dry and starts to crack open on its own at the top or sides. You can help it the rest of the way and collect the seeds:) The seeds are pea-sized, and are a very dark brownish-black. Sometimes, however, you will go to help it along and collect the seeds, just to find that the seed pod is really a 'balloon' and doesn't have any seeds inside at all:(

IndaShade is right, leave them outside in a pot for the fall/winter. This will help it shed any chemical inhibitors that keep it from sprouting at the wrong time. I don't know if squirrels like to eat iris seeds (I would think not, since so many parts of the iris are poisonous, at least to us), but just in case they do, you may want to put your seed's home somewhere protected, or get some food that squirrels like, so they won't be tempted to eat the seeds. Hope this helps, and good luck!

Vail, AZ

I just heard a lecture by Barry Blyth. He cuts the stalk off at the base once it ha finished growing and then sticks al his seed stocks in the grown in one place so he can keep track of them all. By the way, he said he has ove 14,000 seedlings this year. Obviously, he knows what he's doing.

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

I don't understand. He pokes the cut off bloom stem from the plant? After they have been pollinated, or after the pods have formed?

Vail, AZ

After the pods have finished maturing, before they dry out and split. That way he doesn't have to venture throughout his whole garden to check if they're ready.

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

You could also just stick them in a can or something if you didn't have zillions of them, right? Of course they have labels on them.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)





This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:29 AM

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McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

Why to you have to soak them if they will be in the winter weather? Couldn't you just plant in pots sunk into the ground and left open?

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:30 AM

Kylertown, PA(Zone 5b)

Caitlin, that's what I do. I use old black nursery pots or azalea pots filled with potting soil. I just mix the seeds into the potting soil, water to start, and put them out on the walkway for the winter. They get all the rain and sometimes are covered with snow.

Pleasant Grove, UT

blomma...great picture of your seedlings. Looks just like mine except yours are weed free. I need to get off the computer and get outside and weed them.

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McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

blomma, just out of curiosity, why do you close your containers? Of course, who am I to argue with success? I vaguely remember some of my seed sowing efforts in closed containers outdoors and how they turned into "stew". I need something that can hold its own until I remember to look at them!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:30 AM

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:31 AM

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Pleasant Grove, UT

blomma...Fun to see your seedlings. My seedlings are just 6-7 months old. They germinated in the house in Jan and Feb 2011. Lined them out May 2011. I'm weeding today but just took a break for lunch so looked at the computer. I'll take a picture of the weeded bed.

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

is the seed pod the football shaped thing I'm seeing on my iris? I've never seen one on the plants before....does this happen often? Thank you, Deb

Pleasant Grove, UT

Yes..

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:32 AM

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Pleasant Grove, UT

blomma...wow...81 pods. Are you going to try to raise them all?

South Hamilton, MA

Lots of room? I made 8 crosses this yr. & 5 were successful. Keeping an eye on the pods. DH has harvested several pods of pumila seeds.

Pleasant Grove, UT

I have 10 TB crosses this year which is fine. I did 40 last year and have limited room.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:33 AM

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McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

I like the 3rd one best of all. If you faithfully deadhead blooms, you won't see bee pods. I have been letting the last blooms stay on the plant to collect a few bee pods.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:31 AM

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:33 AM

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South Hamilton, MA

Looking good. I have slowly been harvesting pods, but then the plants which I cross bloom earlier than the tall bearded irises.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:34 AM

South Hamilton, MA

Especially if they are tall bearded, they take a couple of yrs to bloom.

Pleasant Grove, UT

Lucy...I am hoping to have my TB seedlings bloom in one year. I gave them an early start, planted in well prepared soil, and water every few days...we will see. These seedlings mid-July. I'll take a new picture tomorrow. Each time I water I can almost see them grow.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:35 AM

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Pleasant Grove, UT

Gay Parasol is still very pretty. Dream Lover, Beaus Arts, and GP were some of my first iris in the70's.

Pleasant Grove, UT

My iris seedlings Aug 8th ..I think they will bloom next spring. Seed planted indoors Jan 2011 so they are just over 7 months old.

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Pleasant Grove, UT

Another view...

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South Hamilton, MA

That's a lot of work, Paul. good for you, but we feel inside planting etc. is just too much for us. I hope you see your flowers next spring.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)



This message was edited Mar 4, 2015 12:37 AM

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Pleasant Grove, UT

My seedlings are growing and many have increase coming. We probably still have two or more months of good weather and I will continue to water for at least 6 weeks and then let them begin to go dormant and look forward to spring. Hope I have seedling pictures to post 2012.

Twin Falls, ID(Zone 5b)

Hello Blomma,

I noticed in your pods photo that you cut the fans back on your plants. Is this a common practice and if so why? Steve

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