Irises forum→Green seed pods on iris

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Hampton, VA
Jun 8, 2020 2:16 PM CST
I'm new, very new to gardening and I was told to take off any seed pods from my irises to keep them healthy. Without looking into it or anything I did, but now I'm wondering if I should have let them mature first and tried to grow them next year. Is there any way to save them once they've been detached from the parent plant?

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jun 8, 2020 3:52 PM CST

You have to let the seed pods ripen on the plant. They will turn brown and split when its time to harvest. Iris grown from seed will take 2 - 3 years to bloom and won't look like their parents if you have several colors in your garden.

I've never heard leaving the pods weakens the plant. All plants put all their energy into seed production but a healthy plant won't have problems.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Hampton, VA
Jun 8, 2020 6:21 PM CST
Thanks for the information!
So there is nothing I can do with the seed pods already taken off the parent plant?
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
Jun 9, 2020 6:40 PM CST
My guess is probably nothing you can do. The seeds need to develop on the plant. But you can plan for next year!

Although leaving the pods doesn't weaken the plant, it is good to remove them if you are not trying to save the seed because if the seed develops and falls to the ground, they may germinate and eventually the new iris plants will be competing with the original plants---and they may be inferior blooms. The new ones may even crowd out the originals.
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
Jun 9, 2020 8:20 PM CST
Do you have a picture of the seed pod? If it was brown and ready to crack open then the seeds may be ok. If it was green and immature then there's probably nothing you can do.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jun 9, 2020 8:42 PM CST


How long ago were the plants flowering? I've gotten germination with seeds from a pod that broke off only three weeks after pollination. Not guaranteed, but then again, the seeds from mature pods aren't guaranteed to germinate either. Worth a try.
Hampton, VA
Jun 10, 2020 5:43 AM CST
Thank you everyone! The seed pods are still green and not even close to opening. But I will definitely watch for them next year and see what I can do.
Hampton, VA
Jun 10, 2020 3:17 PM CST
Thank you everyone! The seed pods are still green and not even close to opening. But I will definitely watch for them next year and see what I can do.
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jun 10, 2020 8:00 PM CST
Welcome! to the iris forum blackthumbk
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
Jun 11, 2020 5:39 AM CST
you evidently have busy bees in your garden. Welcome to the forum.
Hampton, VA
Jun 11, 2020 7:36 AM CST
Thanks everyone!

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