The Q&A Archives: Growing Cypella From Seeds

Question: I bought a Cypella coelestis plant (South American Iris relative) and it has done very well here in the North Carolina piedmont. It has formed large numbers of seed and I would like to propagate for friends. What conditions are required for seed sprouting? Nothing? Cold stratification? Scarification? I would appreciate learning how to propagate this attractive plant from seed.

Answer: Your seeds will need a period of cold prior to planting and can take as long as 18 months to germinate. Plant the seeds in moistened seed starting mix, preferably in individual pots. Cover the pots with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Then take them out of the refrigerator but leave the plastic on to help maintain a moist environment. Keep the containers at 60F to 70F degrees and wait. The seeds will germinate in 30 to 545 days. As each seed sprouts remove the plastic and keep the soil moist. If you begin treatment in March you can set the pots outdoors in a protected area over the spring, summer and fall months. Bring them indoors in the fall and take them out again in the spring. By the second summer you should have new plants. Good luck with your project!

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