How to Hybridize Iris

Sand Springs, OK(Zone 7a)

This is the best short and to the point one I have found and use it when I have a class to teach on this subject .By KEITH KEPPEL well seeing following post I goofed in posting

Thumbnail by tazzy
Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

Tazzy, that is so cool that you teach a class in hybridizing. I learned from a video I bought from Schreiners iris gardens (or it may have been Cooley's Iris gardens). On the internet there are various sites that give lessons too. Here are a couple:

Even HGTV had Ray Schreiner of Schreiners Iris Gardens show how it's done. On this link there is a video that shows you how step by step.,1785,HGTV_3602_3168194,00.html

And Larry Lauer of Lauer's Flowers has a dozen question and answer videos on hybridizing - - which is very informative.

It's amazing the information that is out there now.

Sand Springs, OK(Zone 7a)

Its fun when you know what your doing i spent a year rubbing beard together try to make a cross ,LOL I probably ruin the dignity of some iris .It sure helps to know what part is what ? I teach in gardens and in to adults and up till last year went to schools and taught third graders >Our club donated the iris and the teacher and student planted and grew them and we gave them some for home and they grew them and showed them in our Iris show Youth division .

Lenexa, KS(Zone 6a)

Tazzy - that's absolutely great what you do with the kiddos. What a terrific way to give them the love of gardening at an early age!

Moerkerke_Damme, Belgium(Zone 7b)

You started something, i know what i do in 2005!
Hybrydizing IRIS, i did that already with daylilies but now i'm completely lost ;-))
Are you too, Bren?

Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

Tazzy, that is so funny................ I did the very same thing my first year before I ordered the tape and learned the right way. LOL I'm glad i wasn't the only one that did this.

It is fun!!! It is fun looking and thinking which two irises you will cross that may give you something exceptionally unusal and beautiful! And just like ones own children - each will be different. No two the same - - there will always be something different with each one.

It's not too noticable in this photo, but always tag each cross immediately - so you know who the parents are. I tie my tags on with kitchen bread ties, or trash can ties.

This way if you come up with something exceptional and you want to redo the cross - you'll have that info. Also - if it is introduceable you will have the parentage that is asked for when you go to register it. (If this is something you want to do down the line)

Always list the Pod parent (mother parent) first. Then the Pollen parent (or the dad), like this:
Rustler x Joyful

Thumbnail by Margiempv
Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

John, In what ways do you feel lost? Were you able to view the links and the videos? Or did I misunderstand what you are saying?

What else I do - is I pick the pod just as it is beginning to dry and crack, so I don't lose the seeds all over the ground. (That is usually in about 8 weeks or so) Then I put that pod in a lunch bag so it can finish opening and all the seeds go into the bag. Once I harvest the seeds from the pod, I place them in an envelope until fall, with all the seeds from each different cross (Rustler x Joyful) written on the envelope. (An other envelope may read Liason x Mary Frances)

Then sometime between October and January I'll open the envelope and soak the seeds for 24 hours up to 2 weeks before I plant them in window boxes, or small pots. Here in the desert where I live, the seeds will ususally begin germinating anywhere from late february thru early April.

Thumbnail by Margiempv
Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

After the seeds are planted in the ground - - it takes about a year and a half to 2 years before the plant(s) is/are mature enough to produce it's first bloom. And is that ever exciting!!! It's like waiting for Christmas to open presents - - and it's finally opened!!

Sometimes, those of us who hybridize, are so eager to see to see what color it will open up to be -- we'll slowly peel back an end of the petal just to peek! LOL

Below is a photo of a seedling I like and am watching, but may never introduce it because the substance is not all that great on it. Sometimes the sun will bleach part of it. I know the desert sun is harsh, but GOOD substance is one of my criteria. I'd want it to hold up anywhere.

Vanity x (Chief Redskin or Chief Hemitite) #V2000-26

This message was edited Jan 8, 2005 3:43 PM

Thumbnail by Margiempv
Moerkerke_Damme, Belgium(Zone 7b)

Margie , lol... i am lost because of all the tempting knowledge you girls givin me!

Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

John................. I'm so glad you are "lost" in that way!! (big smiles)

Go for it!!! You'll love it!! I have a feeling you'll be great at it! Here is another seedling photo to tempt you. (more smiles) This is an apricot colored iris, with a brush of/or a wash of lavender over the top portion of the falls.

Vanity x (Chief Redskin or Chief Hemitite) #V2000-3014

This message was edited Jan 8, 2005 3:44 PM

Thumbnail by Margiempv
Moerkerke_Damme, Belgium(Zone 7b)

wow, that's also a cutie! Aswell a seedling, Margie?

Love the pic with the childbeds too, lol

I had this fall'English cottage' blooming but i lost somehow the pics on my computer :-(
Do you now that one, a very pastel tainted.

Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

Hi John,

Yes, that one above is a seedling too. I think I do remember seeing "English Cottage". If I remember correctly - - I liked it. Did your computer crash? Is that how you lost your pics? I hope they are still there somewhere.............. that would be terrible if you lost them all! Scary thought. I really should save mine on a disk or something in case something similar happens to my computer. Let me know if you were able to recover them.

Moerkerke_Damme, Belgium(Zone 7b)

Margie, i think they have been overwritten by something else during a back up. I always have a back up and probably i pasted a old back up onto one that was updated. Something like that can only happen to me!!! So i lost most pics of Aug. and Sept. Or it must have happend when i was selecting my images on quality, and i got rid of them.
Anyway i promis i make all new ones this season and i will be more carefull when i'm cleaning up on this computer.

Did buy a new iris today 'white Knight' ;-)

Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

John, where do you buy irises that are SELLING this time of year? In a couple of months most of the iris companies/growers here in the states will be open for business to sell their iris, but they are not selling irises right now. (None that I know of anyway.)

Moerkerke_Damme, Belgium(Zone 7b)

Margie, there are lots of gardencenters (i cannot call them nurseries, because they don't grow plants of them selves)that sell's all sorts of plants, but not bareroot!
All there plants are in pots(container) so you can buy plants the whole year throug.
Even here it's not a big sortiment, but what was left of the past season.
We have also nurseries but mostly they only grow roses or another trees and shrubs, perrenials, bulbs,etc.
These are specialized breeders that are worhty to call a nursery.
Like the one from who i sended you the link from(irises and daylilies) in the Netherlands

Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the information John. The nurseries and/or iris companies here in the states would probably do well - - to sell potted irises too this time of year. If they had photos attached to the pots - - it would almost be as good as if they were blooming (I would think).

When does it begin to get warm (spring - like) where you live? When do your irises begin to bloom?

Moerkerke_Damme, Belgium(Zone 7b)

They start on april: the ones i have at least. I planted last season new ones and i am full of excitement which will jump on the stage at first :)
Non of you will mis that, because i will post pics at ones. I start this week cleaning up our garden, but i still expect winter to come! The last years i came each time in jan. our feb.:-(, hope when it's comes it will be quick behind.

Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

I'm bumping this up for those of you who want to read up on more iris hybridizing comments from last year.

~ Margie

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)


Eau Claire, WI(Zone 4a)

That's it. Next year I'm crossing every iris I have with Immortality. I'll be thrilled if I can get it's early consistent reblooms in colors other than white. It'll sure be easy to identify which is which right up to seed harvest time. The only problem will be what to do about irises that bloom earlier than Immortality...

West Central, WI(Zone 4a)

You'll need to save the pollen from the earlier bloomers to use on Immortality. I've been hoping that Immortality would rebloom for me, but it doesn't look promising right now.

Eau Claire, WI(Zone 4a)

I planted it (along with five other reblooming irises) in Fall of 2004. Got very little bloom and no rebloom from any of them in 2005. Immortality and one other one rebloomed in september 2006. This year, Immortality started blooming again in EARLY August, despite my aggressively thinning them out in mid June. (Or maybe because of?)

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I am impressed that you two zone 4a irisarians get rebloom. I have had very little here in 5a. I put in Immortality and a couple of other rebloomers this year. Perhaps some year I will get rebloom.

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

I have a purple one blooming now..I can't think of the name, but will check tomorrown and let you know which one it is...and take a picture...

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