Irises forum→Seedling Feedback Please!

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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Aug 27, 2020 6:53 AM CST

Plants SuperMod

My first Iris seedling has opened! I had intended to wait until it was in full bloom to post photos, but given its behaviour I decided to post straight away and get comments before I decide what to do with it.

X

I raised six seedlings from this cross. The 6th I composted when I moved the seedlings into the garden bed, as it was the runt by far and woefully lacking in vigour compared to the other five. The first three are the most vigorous, with 3+ increases each and it is the largest of these that has flowered now.

It has inherited the (very) early genes, vigour and stalk strength from 'Saffron Drift', which is probably a week or so behind it. The shape favours 'Hell's Fire' with a little more ruffling.

The problem is that this happened in the winds today:
Thumb of 2020-08-27/Australis/f1f8d8 Thumb of 2020-08-27/Australis/23ac6d

Not acceptable. 'Hell's Fire' might have blown over, but its pedicels wouldn't have bent like this, whilst the worst 'Saffron Drift' stalk only leaned at about 30°. My seedling's stalk stayed perfectly upright and straight (which is what I was hoping for with the cross), but the pedicels are almost floppy.

Thumb of 2020-08-27/Australis/aa225c Thumb of 2020-08-27/Australis/f3f5a5

As I have little experience with seedlings, I am not sure if this is a once-off problem or whether this is genetic. At the moment I am inclined to compost it, but thought I would post here first and get some feedback.

What does everyone think?
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
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The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer Tomato Heads
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Paul2032
Aug 27, 2020 7:01 AM CST
It is pretty but low bud count. I would keep it in my own garden and enjoy it.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Aug 27, 2020 11:35 AM CST
It is so hard to throw out one's own unique iris babies.

The big hybridizers realize that only a tiny fraction of a percent of them are worth keeping and introducing. A lot of people don't realize how the big hybridizers must grow many acres of seedlings in order to find just a dozen or so worthy of introducing each year.

I don't do crosses, because I don't have the acres needed to do it right, and I would have a hard time composting my less than perfect iris babies. I'd soon find them taking up too much space in my precious quarter acre, where I want to grow proven, wonderful iris to beautify my little quarter acre of this world.

-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Aug 27, 2020 11:37 AM CST
P.S. But I'm sure glad that the big hybridizers do the number of crosses to find the few good ones!
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer Tomato Heads
Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Houseplants Tender Perennials
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Paul2032
Aug 27, 2020 12:15 PM CST
I grew a large number of seedlings a number of years ago. All have been discarded. I wish I had a few back in my landscape. I'm to old to start again.
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Have I bored you to death?






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Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Polymerous
Aug 27, 2020 2:24 PM CST
I am not going to comment on your seedling, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder (besides, an iris expert I am NOT).

However, I WILL echo that you will be growing tons of irises before you find a true keeper, unless you are extraordinarily talented (or lucky). I have been hybridizing daylilies for maybe 3 decades now (primarily in search of polymerous daylilies, originally diploid but now tetraploid), and I still have not registered any, although I have some seedlings that I like and still have hanging around. (They would not be considered cutting edge in the daylily world, but they have their virtues and I like them.) Every batch of seedlings yields some obviously awful seedlings, many that are "nice" - good enough for a large garden if you aren't picky, but nothing cutting edge - and a very few that I keep around for another year or few to evaluate. (Needless to say, most of those that I keep around for another year or few eventually get tossed.)

Currently the oldest seedlings in the garden are a diploid polymerous daylily (too short but I am working with it), a fairly sun resistant (everything is relative) red tetraploid, and a spidery (but not a true spider) lavender tetraploid with white midribs. There are some newer seedlings that I am also holding onto. Eventually I might register the red tet just for myself since it seems I am going to keep it forever, but most daylily people would not give it a second glance.

All of this is to say that if you are going to do this for more than just fun, be prepared to be in it for the long haul (and good luck!).
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Polymerous
Aug 27, 2020 4:59 PM CST
I forgot to mention.... the oldest daylily seedlings that I still have are from seeds harvested prior to 2005, so those seedlings are going on 15 years old. The red one (which I might register since I'll probably keep it forever) :

Thumb of 2020-08-27/Polymerous/2fb653

Unless you are trying to make a living from it, hybridizing is, I think, more about the journey than the results, though if you get a great result, that's fantastic!

An area gentleman who recently celebrated his 100th birthday had this sage advice to give:

1. Always have someone to love.
2. Always have something to do.
3. Always have something to look forward to.

I consider hybridizing (daylilies, and now irises) as fulfilling 2 and 3 on that list. So long as you keep hybridizing, there will always be new crosses to make, and new seedlings to look forward to!


Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
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lovemyhouse
Aug 27, 2020 5:09 PM CST
I do like the bloom. I think it should have another year and bloom cycle to see if the bud count and structure change. I have only (intentionally) hybridized a few plants and those are all Daylilies, but at least half of them were vastly improved in the second and third years. Thumbs up
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Aug 27, 2020 6:49 PM CST

Plants SuperMod

Thanks all for the comments and feedback. I'm mainly just doing this for myself (I certainly don't have the space to grow hundreds or thousands of seedlings with the aim of introducing something), but I do want to select the best out of the seedlings I grow.

My biggest concern with this seedling is that the weak pedicels are genetic and so this would be an instant fail for me (I'd be disappointed, but I don't have space to waste on something that bends over when it's a breezy day). If it's worth giving it another year to see if it's better on the second, blooming, though, I am willing to do that.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Aug 27, 2020 7:01 PM CST
Hurray! That's a nice looking flower Joshua. It's a pity about the bending.

There were 100km/h strong winds last night and I would expect some stems to fall over but I can't remember if it causes stems to bend like that. My Circus Stripes stalks bend worse than that. I also have one of its parents Winner's Circle. I went through my photos and noticed that Winner's Circle occasionally bends too but not as often as Circus Stripes which I think happens all the time.
Thumb of 2020-08-28/Totally_Amazing/a14596
Thumb of 2020-08-28/Totally_Amazing/801ee9

What makes you say that your seedling inherited its stalk strength from Saffron Drift? Does it bend too?
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Australis
Aug 27, 2020 7:05 PM CST

Plants SuperMod

The pedicels actually started bending on Wednesday, but the 90-degree bend occurred yesterday (well before the wild weather last night).

I don't know where the weak pedicels come from, as neither parent exhibits this trait. The main bloom stalk itself, though, must come from 'Saffron Drift', as SD has been my only Iris that has withstood the winter/spring weather and not had the fan/bloom stalk lean over at a significant angle. The fact that the seedling's bloom stalk has stayed completely upright (even overnight) was the trait I was hoping to capture; it's just a pity about the weak pedicels.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
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lovemyhouse
Aug 27, 2020 7:16 PM CST
Distilled down, the question to answer is: Do you like the bloom enough to let it ride for another bloom cycle to see what happens? If yes, keep it for awhile. If no, get out the shovel. Big Grin
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Aug 27, 2020 7:30 PM CST
I agree
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Aug 27, 2020 7:32 PM CST
Totally_Amazing said: :
Thumb of 2020-08-28/Totally_Amazing/801ee9




I've seen some curvy stalks on iris, but never this severe! Blinking
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Aug 27, 2020 7:36 PM CST
Joshua, Thanks for sharing pictures of your seedling. How odd that the first one had such weak stems. Good luck with future crosses!
[Last edited by lauriemorningglory - Nov 27, 2020 3:25 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2337291 (15)
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Australis
Aug 27, 2020 7:40 PM CST

Plants SuperMod

Thanks Debra and Laurie.

What I think I'll do is wait and see. If any of the others from this cross bloom this year and are better overall, then I'll get rid of #1; otherwise I'll see what it does next year. I don't have any more seedlings started at the moment, as none of the crosses I tried last year worked. I am hoping to try a few more this year, though.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Aug 28, 2020 3:38 AM CST
I have been told that about all you can tell from the first year bloom is the color. My limited experience had born this out to some extent. Some improve a lot the next year, others don't change much.

@Paul2032 I still have the two seedlings you sent me, the blue one and the Pink one if you want to have some back, let me know. Smiling
Thumb of 2020-08-28/tveguy3/68c9a5 Thumb of 2020-08-28/tveguy3/4af203
These are a couple offspring of the pink one. Pod Parent was Illusionist.

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Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,"
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Australis
Aug 28, 2020 4:56 AM CST

Plants SuperMod

Thanks Tom, that is useful to know.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Australis
Aug 28, 2020 8:36 PM CST

Plants SuperMod

Well, it clearly heard me discussing its future, as over the last 24 hours it has straightened up (despite it being windy again today)!!!

Thumb of 2020-08-29/Australis/a0fd18 Thumb of 2020-08-29/Australis/257e4a

It gets a reprieve until next year...

Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
Image
lauriemorningglory
Aug 28, 2020 8:45 PM CST
Hilarious! That will teach it! No lying down on the job!

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