Harvesting Seed Pods

Tomah, WI(Zone 4a)

How long does it normally take before you are able to harvet the seeds from the pods after the pod has formed?
Thanks,
Bobbi

South Hamilton, MA

About a month? Wait until the pod starts ot turn brown & crack open at the top. Green pods mean green seeds & no luck with them at that stage & they are immature.

Tomah, WI(Zone 4a)

Ok thanks for the info. How long is the standard drying time for the seeds?

South Hamilton, MA

I dry them on small paper plates so no mold. Write the cross on the plate, when dry, put them in envelopes ready to plant in late Oct, or early Nov. Smaller batches dry more quickly. Have a safe place to put the plates while drying as pets & children can dump them. All the times on both steps depend on the season. No set time, they do it as they feel like it. :)

Tomah, WI(Zone 4a)

Are the seeds soaked over night or put on a damp paper towel to germinate?
Thanks,
Bobbi

South Hamilton, MA

Some people soak them for a couple weeks, changing the water. We do not as irises do need a session of cold so thatant them in a flat & leave them outside for the winter. They then germinate in May. Your climate would produce the cold as well. the people who soak do a refrigeration process which we are not willing to bother with. There is no quick way to germinate iris seeds.

Vail, AZ

I beg to differ. I have had great success using the refridgeration method. I soak them for a few weeks, then plant them in small containers and put them where they won't be too warm. They usually germinate in a month or two. According to Barry Blyth, you should set them out at the beginning of bloom season, whenever that is for you. I made the mistake of puting mine out a month early and we had a hard freeze and I lost most of them.

South Hamilton, MA

That is difficult. Frankly refireration is a lot of trouble, don't have an extra fridge & the outside bit has worked for us. Then you have Rick Tasco in CA telling about germination in March. & bloom by Oct. Not in this climate, we have to learn to be patient.

Pleasant Grove, UT

I use the refrigeration method..without going into detail my seed was planted and started to germinate in January. I grew them on under lights and in two sunny windows until mid-May when I lined them out. Now 7 weeks later they are growing vigorously, many over a foot tall, and when I was weeding yesterday I found some are beginning to send up increase. I'm certain I will have lots of bloom next spring. I enjoy the extra effort and will be glad to have bloom a year sooner.

Thumbnail by Paul2063
Kylertown, PA(Zone 5b)

My SDB seed pods don't usually start to crack open until mid to late August from a May pollination. Other irises may be faster or slower at ripening seed.

I have used the refrigeration method, but to be honest, for me, it's just easier to throw all the seeds in a 10 or 12 inch azalea pot in October and put them outside and let the weather take care of things!

Lots of ways to do things-- find what works best for you!

South Hamilton, MA

Right we do the ;outdoor method as well. Don't turn a hobby into a pain.

No SDB takes this yr & DH is collecting his I. pumila pods. quite a few seeds there. MTB & BB pods still quite green, including both ours & the bees.

This message was edited Jul 7, 2011 9:25 AM

Pleasant Grove, UT

Different strokes for different folks......I use the refrigerator method and here are my newly weeded seedlings. They are not quite 7 months old now. For me the extra effort is a pleasure and I should have a very high percentage of bloom in one year instead of two to three . I'm impatient. Why wait 2 years? Note the size of the 2 gallon watering can in comparison to the seedlings..

Thumbnail by Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

Another thing I enjoy about my method is that with bloom the year after planting I have new potential parents to choose from to cross with each other or the newer things I purchase each year. Stir up the genes!

Thumbnail by Paul2063
South Hamilton, MA

I hope that all our chatter has been helpful. We don't work with TBs, although my border crosses might take the same amount of time. I didn't have very many takes this yr & only got up to 'cross H'. I use the alphbet after the year in numbering. I know the A & B crosses didn't take which sends me along to the MTB & BB work. There are bee pods all over the place most of which will go the British Iris society & SIGNA.

Tomah, WI(Zone 4a)

Everything has been very helpful and insightful as to the many different methods that everyone uses. It is interesting to read about everyone's experiences.

South Hamilton, MA

glad that we helped perhaps you can try them all, ha ha.

Pleasant Grove, UT

It rained every day during median season so I didn't even try any crosses. The up side of the cool rainey weather was that the blooms lasted several days. Weather was better during TB season so I made some crosses....10 pods. Over half of the seedlings pictured above have at least one median parent. I'm anticipating seeing them bloom. Did not get a single bee pod. Lucy...do you think the bees were successful on the days your crosses failed?

South Hamilton, MA

Perhaps although a lot of the bee pods are on MTB (diploids) which are know for such. the flowers are small enough for the bees to reach everything. On some of the newer TBs the flowers are large enough so that an entering bee doesn't brush against the necessary parts. I also rmember looking at 'Sneezy' and the petals covered the stigmatic lep & a bee would have to work pretty hard to get to the pollen as well. then the time has to be right per flower. Currier McEwen used to collect pollen befor the flower was really open to keep insects out. He would then tie the flower closed again using a leaf.

Pleasant Grove, UT

That makes sense.

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