Irises forum: Seed disaster

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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Jul 15, 2017 10:08 PM CST
ARRRGGGH...

I was cleaning off a table (or part of it), and decided to put the iris seeds that I have collected thus far, all into one bag.

Each cross was already in its small ziploc bag.. I was going to put them all into one bigger one.

At least half of the bags had FUNGUS of some kind (white mildew, SOMETHING) all over the seeds!

ACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK!

Not knowing what else to do, I dumped each bag into a little plastic food container, rinsed the seeds, and then set them to soak for a bit in an H2O2 solution (I had some previously diluted in a spray bottle, not sure if it was still good, will maybe have to re-do tomorrow with fresh H2O2).

I don't mind losing the 'Ida Red' cross so much (that was the worst looking of the bunch), but the others?

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH! Crying

This RARELY happens to me with daylily seeds! I have 3-4 ziploc bags of daylily seeds already, and no problem there!

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGH!

Any suggestions?

NO, I CAN'T start the seeds now! Nononononono.
Back again! 'Pure as Gold'!
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
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Moiris
Jul 15, 2017 11:13 PM CST
I had that happen the first year. I think I did not let them dry long enough. Now I always store the seeds in paper bags so they can breathe. Anyway, I rinsed them and let them dry and they were fine. I had a pretty good germination the following spring.

Hopefully yours will be ok too! Thumbs up
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Jul 15, 2017 11:53 PM CST
Thanks for that reassurance! Thank You!

I think I have some coin envelopes around here somewhere...
Back again! 'Pure as Gold'!
[Last edited by Polymerous - Jul 15, 2017 11:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography
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Totally_Amazing
Jul 16, 2017 3:28 AM CST
Crossing Fingers! I hope they come good Polymerous
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Jul 16, 2017 5:43 AM CST
I use paper bags or envelopes for my seeds, never plastic. I'm sure the seeds will be fine if they get to dry out after the treatment. Full sun or a sprinkle of cinnamon are usually effective precautions against fungi.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
[Last edited by IrisLilli - Jul 16, 2017 7:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
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janwax
Jul 16, 2017 2:22 PM CST
Cinnamon? I learned something new. Lilli!
"Garden as though you will live forever" -
William Kent, English landscape architect.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Jul 16, 2017 4:12 PM CST
I've always used ziplock bags for the daylily seeds, and have rarely had problems. Glare

I'll have to let these dry out for a few more days (what I really should do is soak them in a solution made with fresh H2O2, but I'm too beat to do that today).

I'll let the last 2 pods dry for several days...
Back again! 'Pure as Gold'!
WA (Zone 7b)
Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Rebekah
Jul 17, 2017 12:23 AM CST
That's actually a problem I've had with rose seeds but I just rinse themand put them in a new containor or change the media they're kept in. I know it's not exactly the same but some hybridizer even claim it can help with germination breaking down the outer shell....doesn't stop me from removing the mildew/fungus whatever it is....

Good luck with your seeds
[Last edited by Rebekah - Jul 17, 2017 7:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Feb 23, 2018 1:07 AM CST
Polymerous said:I've always used ziplock bags for the daylily seeds, and have rarely had problems. Glare
I'll have to let these dry out for a few more days (what I really should do is soak them in a solution made with fresh H2O2, but I'm too beat to do that today).
I'll let the last 2 pods dry for several days...


Marilyn ~ How did that work out?
The more one gardens, the more one learns; and the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows.
Vita Sackville-West
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Feb 23, 2018 2:19 AM CST
I believe I related that what I eventually did was to follow one of the procedures in that old book whose link you (or Jan, or someone) posted online. After several months of drying the seeds (after the first week or so I packed them away into unsealed coin envelopes, but kept them at room temperature), I did a stratification procedure. As I dimly recall, it involved soaking the seeds in a 50-50 bleach-water solution for a couple of hours, then soaking/rinsing with water over a couple of days, and then stratifying the drained seeds in the fridge. (Not all seeds were started; I still have some dry, untreated seeds.)

I planted the stratified seeds (no signs of roots or growth) outside (in one gallon pots) around 1-1-18. Of the 7 crosses, I now have at least one seedling up in 5 crosses (1 cross has 3 seedlings, another has 2 seedlings). This is out of at least 11 or so seeds per cross, so you can see that this is a low % yield.

The low germination is depressing, but I think I've read allusions elsewhere on this forum as to the very slow emergence of iris seedlings? I don't recall reading anything, though, as to typical overall % of seedlings from seeds.
Back again! 'Pure as Gold'!
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Feb 23, 2018 4:53 AM CST
Don't give up on them yet, Marilyn. Last year I had seedlings coming up most of the summer after treating the seeds very much like you did with yours. Crossing Fingers!
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Feb 23, 2018 11:34 AM CST
Lilli ~ That is encouraging! Crossing Fingers!
The more one gardens, the more one learns; and the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows.
Vita Sackville-West
Name: Liz
Concord, MA (Zone 6a)
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Dachsylady86
Feb 23, 2018 12:27 PM CST
I agree, don't give up. Some come up sooner than others. Last year I had my seeds growing in pots for 6 months, then planted them outside in a row. At the end of the summer I noticed that a new seed had germinated! Something I do when preparing my seeds is that I keep them at room temperature after harvesting, but then keep them in the cold fridge for at least a month before soaking and planting. Sometimes seeds need a season change (or simulation of a season change) to trigger them that it is time to emerge.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Polymerous
Feb 25, 2018 10:00 AM CST
Thanks for the encouragement, Lilli and Liz! Thumbs up I'm not sure that I want to wait six more months, but if it will give me something good...

Liz, I DID "mimic" seasons by stratifying in my fridge after the initial bleach soak and rinsing. The fridge is set at 35 F, and they were in there something like 5 weeks (which is good enough to stratify daylily seeds that need it). Iris seeds just seem to be tougher to germinate.
Back again! 'Pure as Gold'!
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Feb 25, 2018 12:41 PM CST
I'm wondering if the bleach solution (50/50) was to strong?
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Polymerous
Feb 25, 2018 7:25 PM CST
That's what I was wondering at that time, but that's what that old book said to use. Shrug!

One of the crosses now looks to have 4 seedlings emerging from the 7 seeds total that were planted, so... Shrug! The other crosses had 11-16 seeds planted, but so far only one of those has more than 1 seedling up.

I'm curious as to what the expected germination rate will be. For tetraploid daylilies it is generally < 100%, and my viable seedling % over all daylilies, both diploid and tetraploid, seems to run around 50%, or maybe just a little bit more.
Back again! 'Pure as Gold'!

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