I[m in zone 5B and collect iris seeds, dry them over the winter inside and then put them out in the Spring...just dig a hole and put the whole pod in...that gives about 4-6 seeds in each hole...I haven't had any failures yet...I do the same with glad seeds, daylilly seeds, lilly seeds etc...
I am also trying hosta seeds around the trees this year...I didn't even dry them, just pulled them off the hosta, dug holes with a screwdriver around the tree and put about 3-5 seed in each hole...I'll know next spring if it worked...
That is what I love about gardening, just experiment, try it...if it works great...if it doesn't save enough seeds to try something else...I guess I'd say, don't be timid or afraid to plant seeds and fail...I guess that is how you learn.
by the way, those iris photos are beautiful...if you have leftover seeds you can always give them away or sell them...let me know how everything works.
I have successfully grown irises from seeds from my own crosses. I have 187 cultivars to cross with. All started back in 2009 when I discovered for the first time pods on my iris plants, a gift from bees. If bees can do it, I figured so can I.
HERE IS HOW
Store seeds in the fridge until you are ready. I start my seeds 3 weeks prior to winter weather---between October and November in my zone since I have many cultivars. However, they can be started anytime you can provide cold or freezing temperature, including using the fridge. Begin the process by soaking the seeds over night in a container filled with hand hot water. Allow to cool. The seeds need to remain in cold water for at least 3 weeks. Change the water out daily using a strainer to catch the seeds (to prevent losses). No nicking is necessary. This soaking and rinsing treatment is to remove the seed germination inhibitor present in the seed or seed coat. Outdoors, the fall rains and melting snow in winter do the same thing over a 3 to 4 month period.
If you have only a few cultivars the method below is a quicker way to remove the inhibiting factor. It cuts the soaking time in half since each time you flush, the inhibiting factor becomes less.
Buy nylon knee highs---cheap in Walmart. Put the seeds in the knee high so that they'll end up in the foot then take the knee high and a tag and use a mideum binder paper clip to attach the tag to the open end, or tie a knot.
Remove the top from the toilet tank. Drop the knee high into an area of the tank where it won't interfere with the moving parts in the tank. Be sure to leave the open (or knotted )end outside the tank. The foot part or closed part is put in the tank. The tank top and the binder clip, or knot, will prevent the sock from sinking into the tank and get flushed.
I use plastic shoe boxes with lids---inexpensive from Walmart---to sow seeds in. Drill or burn drainage holes at the bottom. After soaking, sow the seeds in pre-moistened potting soil 1/2" deep. I cover the containers and leave them out all winter long on North side of my house. An unheated shed or garage works also. Iris seeds require 12 weeks of less than 40 degrees temperature that fluctuate to break dormancy. They will sprout during spring when temperature reaches 55 to 70 degrees.
If you live in a climate without cold winters, the fridge can be used. It will just take a bit longer to break dormancy.
Iris seeds can be stored in ziplock bags and placed in the crisper in the fridge. They will remain viable for years.
1] Containers full of seeds in November.
2] Sprouted in April after brought in to room temp.
3] Iris seedlings planted out in May 30, 2012
4] Seedling bloomed this season (2013) at 14 months.
5] Here is one of my keepers with contrasting colors.
Blomma, Thank you so much for the info. I plan to try your method for my some of my seeds. I have too many for the toilet method.
Kantsklan< I would be happy to share some seeds. Some of the pods have some yellow on them but have not yet turned brown. They started mid June so should be any day now. I could send you some if I had your address.
You are welcome. I can't use the toilet method either for the same reason you mentioned. Otherwise the idea would be great and cut the soaking time in half.
Wait to pick the pods when light tan color and start at the top to split. Mine never turn brown. If picked too early, they may not germinate.
1] pod ready for harvest. By end of August mine are all harvested. Note that the color is not brown but a light tan.
2] The seeds change color after 1 week of drying. They also become hard.
3] Iris seedling 2 weeks old potted in 6-packs. Sprouted in April
Kantzklan. No need to send an envelope. I'll send you some seeds when they are ready. Still in intact pods.
The seeds are crosses between reds, yellows, and orange. I'll include the parents when I send them. Hopefully
in the next week or two. I check them every day for color change.
Glad to help. Yes, you need to dry them for at least 1 week to prevent rot. You will see the change in color and hardness between seeds that are haravested (which are tan) compared to dried seeds that are dark brown and hard.
Don't wait for color change or you may loose them. Check to see if there is a slit in the pod however tiny. They can go from no stil to a slit over night. When the pod begins to open, then pick it so you don't loose any seeds.
If you worr about loosing seeds, or need to be away a few days, here is a nifty idea I came across and used.
Buy some cheap kneehigh nylons. Then cut in half. The second half tie a knot. Each sock need one closed end and one open end however it is done. Thread the sock over the pod and tie it closed under the pod using a thin wire that you thread around the open end. Works like a charm. If the pod opens before you get to it, the seeds will fall and remain in the sock.
The reason you use nylons is that they dry fast should it rain and air will flow around the pod.
Blomma. Thanks again. I had already done the nylon ties as I was away for a long week-end and worried that I would lose the seeds. I knocked a pod down trying to get the nylons on. It is sitting in the house with it's stem in water. The top has turned yellow, but no slits so far.
kantzklan wrote:Murkov2. I'd love some seeds. I only have white, dk purple and lavender , So any other colors would be appreciated.
Hi, it doesn't matter what colors you have for each seed growing in the same pod will be different due to genes from generations of crossing. That is what is so facinating and keeps me crossing them every year.
Katzklan. Iris genetics are complicated and I couldn't even begin to explain their inheritance in a easy to
understand way here. But, since my crosses were between maroon and yellow and maroon and orange the
chances of getting a seed producing a plant having one of those colors are likely but not certain. I researched
back generations of the parents and other colors such as white and purple are in their backgrounds as well.
As Blomma said each seed in the same pod can produce a different colored plant and you will not know what you will be getting until it actually grows and blooms. That said..do you still want some of these seeds? You
could get more lavender, purple or white. The best way to get the colors you want are to get plants of a known color. The rhizomes of each plant are always the same color as the plant they came from. I like the idea of not knowing what you going to get with the seeds. I love surprises.
Below are photos of a few seedlings I will keep. They are not from the same seed pod. They are from hand pollinated seeds from the crosses given below.
1] High Esteem x Tanzanian Tangerine
2] Ziggy x Samurai Warrior
3] Ziggy x Triple Whammy
4] Electric Shock x Everything Plus
5] Megabucks x Samurai Warrior
As the seedlings bloomed, I took photos. That photo record gives me an idea what crosses I want to make next year. Since this year was their maiden bloom will see how they will perform in 2014. Some I may name and register.
7 months until bloom time LOL?? That is ok. I need the time out as a breather. I have 30 new iris seedlings planted last May. Will do some more this fall. Also have 100 Daylilies planted in May and starting a few more. Or rather, restart some that didn't sprout. I never do all the seeds at once---just incase...
Sold quite a few iris seedlings this past summer, and will do likewise in 2014 to gain room. I do keep some that are unusual for my hybridization program, like those I uploaded above..
I collected some seed from mine this summer, not sure if I'll be starting this winter tho. Am still planting perenns I grew from seed last winter...Yikes!!! LOL, still have many trays yet to get in the ground... And I'm still prepping ground for all the potted Iris from trading and dividing this season (knew I shouldn't have dug that one garden up...but have been sharing many with the neighbors, but I won't share the new ones yet...)
Some of the seed I collected will be sent to a gal in South Africa, since plants can't be shipped, hope she gets some good ones!!! Some of the seed I collected from Iris setosa got molded, darn, 'spose they should be thrown away???
Hello its me again. My iris are still blooming in PA. They are either happy or confused. I am a lazy gardener and use the adage "what does Mother Nature do." And try not to get too involved in her work.
That is why I plant entire pods, maybe let them dry maybe not...when they fall by accident from the plant they bloom!
Really it pays to be naive, if Mother Nature didn't want you to plant her seeds, why did she put them on the plant to begin with?
Since we were born naked does that mean we shouldn't wear clothes? Or, when we get sick, we shouldn't go to the doctor. Etc. etc...I guess I shouldn't hand-pollinate either. I should just leave it for the bees to do?
Why even bother planting the pods. By doing that you are "getting too involved in her work". Just let them be where they fall.
So how many iris seedlings have your pods produced by being naïve? I have 150+ seedlings by helping Mother Nature do her job. She paid me back in beautiful seedlings. See them in my post above.