Irises forum: Starting Iris seeds....

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Oregon's high desert (Zone 6a)
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LynnDel
Sep 19, 2018 11:52 AM CST
I figured out a way to remember to change the water on soaking seeds, since I don't wear hosiery often enough to have any to hang in the toilet tank. I put my daily pills next to the seeds -- so now I can't forget! By the way, does it matter what kind of lighting shines on the soaking seeds? Do they need to be dark? Mine happen to be on the kitchen counter close to a fluorescent light that is under the cabinet. It's off most of the time, but not all the time.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Sep 19, 2018 1:05 PM CST
Light is not a necessary thing to make seeds germinate. A plant only uses light once it has leaves.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias
hampartsum
Sep 19, 2018 3:03 PM CST
Actually many seeds require light for germination. It is not because of photosynthetic reasons though. Apparently light acts as a seed dormancy dis-inhibitor, once the seed has been soaked in water and it starts swelling. Most wildflower seeds should not be covered when sown.i.e: Iris missouriensis requires light for germination plus 12 weeks of chill. While Iris macrosiphon and I. bracteata need their seeds covered and 8 weeks of chill. (I'm taking this from data provided by Alplains
http://www.alplains.com/)
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
Sep 20, 2018 3:43 AM CST
That's interesting, Arturo.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Oregon's high desert (Zone 6a)
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LynnDel
Sep 20, 2018 11:33 AM CST
At least it sounds like my seeds won't be hurt by the light shining on them periodically...
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Sep 27, 2018 9:51 AM CST
Although I have done some crossing this year, next year I want to collect pollen for the following year.

Yes, I will grow out my seedlings (if they get to that stage) and do what I can to keep them alive.

But....I don't want a huge bunch of seedlings without purpose. Already, I may have too many, but I am not sure really. This year was my very first attempt at it.

I want to take time to evaluate the irises that I have. Form, branching, good growth, bloom size and shape...and now that I have placed similars together, I can see better how they do. If they are in the same bed, some will surely be stronger than others in many respects.

I want to select the best. But before I do that, I want them to have a chance to grow well. I realize that many take a while even for their first bloom, so I will have to learn patience. In the mean time.... I want to collect pollen from some of them that do bloom.

What is the very best way to do this? To freeze it? And how do I know when it is ready to freeze???
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Sep 27, 2018 6:56 PM CST
I bookmarked this old post from Gabe
https://garden.org/thread/view...
I have never tried it.
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Sep 27, 2018 9:12 PM CST
Totally_Amazing said:I bookmarked this old post from Gabe
https://garden.org/thread/view...
I have never tried it.


Robin ~ Thank you. I wonder what is enough or not too much though.

I guess I'll find out. Confused

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Oct 13, 2018 1:58 PM CST
It is getting close to the time to plant my iris seeds. I was going to put them all under lights, but maybe I will put some outside and see how they do. I would like to compare the growth and hardiness and if there is a great difference or not.

Liz, do you just plant all of yours outside? (Especially since you have so many...) Confused
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Liz
East Dover, VT (Zone 5a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Organic Gardener Peonies Vegetable Grower Annuals Composter
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Dachsylady86
Oct 13, 2018 4:27 PM CST
I plant them in 1 gallon pots (per cross) and keep them inside by a sunny window until spring. I water the plants in my shower once a week, without soap of course Big Grin
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Oct 13, 2018 5:10 PM CST
Liz ~ Thank You!

Well, I don't have any sunny windows, so they will have to go under lights. I still might try a few outdoors just to see the difference.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Liz
East Dover, VT (Zone 5a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Organic Gardener Peonies Vegetable Grower Annuals Composter
Dragonflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Farmer Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Dachsylady86
Oct 13, 2018 8:19 PM CST
If the outside ones do ok, maybe they will be more cold hardy?
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Oct 13, 2018 9:03 PM CST
I don't know. I'm new at this, so it's all an experiment for me. It is most likely that cold-hardiness is genetic. But sometimes (I have read) that genetics can be altered by environmental influences. I do not know if it would be true in the case of cold-hardiness.

They will take longer to grow in their first season if they are left outside. It would be chancy if we had another warm early winter, then a cold snap after a spring warmup like last year. The weather was too variable for steady growth. Many of my irises just stopped growing and the leaves were half in and out...and pineappling. I don't think that would be good on seedlings...
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
Image
evelyninthegarden
Oct 14, 2018 6:10 PM CST
janwax said:Today I rinsed the last of 4 groups of crossed seeds, put them in small freezer bags that were a third full of damp vermiculite, wrote on the bags the crosses and date, included the original tag, rolled the bags up like a burrito and " filed" them in the vegetable drawer of the fridge, I'll start checking them in mid October. Glad that's done!


Jan ~ Did you take your seeds out yet? ( I haven't yet.)

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Oct 15, 2018 3:43 PM CST
I checked the fridge and no roots showing on the seeds a week ago, Evelyn. I'll take another look.
let the mystery be
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Oct 15, 2018 4:36 PM CST
No roots showing yet. It's much harder to check for roots with the seeds in damp vermiculite. The stuff clings to the seeds.
I planted half the seeds of four packets in one gallon pots each group. ..and labeled them. But by then my left shoulder, its joint due to be replaced on Oct 31...with titanium...was hurting, so I'll finish with the seeds later on in the week.
Back to the fridge with the rest.
let the mystery be
[Last edited by janwax - Oct 15, 2018 4:37 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1837587 (16)
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
Image
evelyninthegarden
Oct 15, 2018 10:28 PM CST
Jan ~ I didn't see anything yet, either. Maybe I'll take them out in a couple of weeks and just put them in pots.

You are right, it is hard to find the seeds in the vermiculite. I think I will try paper towels or (undyed) napkins next time.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
janwax
Oct 16, 2018 1:01 PM CST
I may return to damp paper towels, too, Evelyn.

I only planted some of the seeds. I'll wait for a few more weeks too.
let the mystery be
[Last edited by janwax - Oct 16, 2018 1:05 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1838116 (18)
Russia (Zone 6b)
Irises
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Serjio
Oct 17, 2018 5:03 AM CST
Hello dears! Thank you for sharing your experience, it is very important. This year I also tried to make crosses for the first time. In end from 340 crosses I have formed 85 pods. About 10-15 of them were not identified because some were signed with a ballpoint pen and the paste burned out in the sun. This for me lesson. In July, I collected seeds, dried at home on plates for 5-7 days, then placed them in homemade paper envelopes, envelopes in ZIP-bags , and put them in the refrigerator. 4 days ago, I took out the seeds, sewed them into separate pockets of gauze. each cell has a separate cross with a tag. All these seeds were immersed in water, which I change 2-3 times a day. Now, after reading the forum, I'm thinking. Where to put irises for a cold two-month period-vermiculite or paper towels?.. Maybe we should split it in half.
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
Image
evelyninthegarden
Oct 17, 2018 10:01 AM CST
Sergio ~ Let us know what you do, and the results. We are all learning together.

Isn't this fun? Hurray!
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)

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