Irises forum: Starting Iris seeds....

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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
Aug 20, 2018 6:26 PM CST
Yes, some here have emphasized that the seeds need a period of chill. After 6 weeks of taking up space in the refrigerator, I'm happy to pot them up! Some dry ones may go into the freezer, as an experiment.
let the mystery be
Name: Liz
East Dover, VT (Zone 5a)
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Dachsylady86
Aug 21, 2018 8:55 AM CST
I just picked the last of my seed pods, so exciting! There were so many in each pod too, maybe an average of 30-40. Last year's seedlings are still in pots. I'm hoping to get them in the ground in the next two weeks so they can settle in for winter.
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
Aug 21, 2018 10:06 AM CST
Would love to see what crosses you made and results, Liz.
let the mystery be
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
Aug 21, 2018 1:16 PM CST
janwax said:Would love to see what crosses you made and results, Liz.


I agree nodding

“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
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Aug 21, 2018 6:35 PM CST
evelyninthegarden said:Robin ~ About how long from harvesting the seeds did you plant them? Did you chill them?


This is what I did Evelyn but keep in mind that I am a novice and I didn't follow what the experts do....

I dried out my seeds for 4 days after harvesting (I usually dry them out for 3 days) and planted all of them except for 10 seeds I put aside for soaking. I soaked the remaining 10 seeds for 3 days and planted them a day later. I did not refrigerate any initially. After nearly 6 months when my potted seeds still hadn't germinated, I was concerned that none of my seeds would so I put 5 of my non-soaked seeds in the refrigerator in a damp paper towel in a plastic sealed bag just to try something different. Those 5 are still in the refrigerator. I probably should plant them soon. A couple of weeks after that, my first planted seedlings emerged.

Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Aug 21, 2018 7:03 PM CST
This thread has already been very helpful to me. I've been longing and wanting to try to create my own hybrid (and get into hybridization) for a long, long time. I tried on eight plants with I believe six different crosses from five different colours. (As in, I might have mixed a yellow and a lavender, but didn't do it more than once. There were only a couple I did more than once).

To my surprise, one took! Big Grin (Lavender x White/tan [noid]) You could bet I was watching that bad one practically every day! Whistling It seemed to be growing pretty quickly, but sadly, the pod was destroyed from weed-whacking and it did not look 'ready' enough to be harvestable. Crying
Same goes for what I believe was a bee-pod. There was a bee-pod iris (tan) that was growing some seeds, but I'm unsure what happened to it and it eventually ended up inside and trashed. Thumbs down

Longer story short, my attempts were unfortunately cut (bad puns!) short in June. It will not hold me back as I will reattempt next year. This time, with likely some ID'd irises, or noids too if they decide to bloom or not. I will have to refer to this thread once more because it is very insightful so far! Big Grin
The iris season has begun with Cat's Eye!
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
Aug 22, 2018 12:15 AM CST
Yes, Monty, this forum is a veritable University of Iris Diversity! Hurray!
let the mystery be
Name: Liz
East Dover, VT (Zone 5a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Organic Gardener Peonies Vegetable Grower Annuals Composter
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Dachsylady86
Aug 23, 2018 8:36 AM CST
Like others said, there are different methods for preparing and growing iris seeds. Here's my process:

Collect seed pods and dry out seeds for 2 days in bowls with labels so not to confuse which is which. Then they go into labeled tiny Manila envelopes. After everything is collected for the season, I put the envelopes into the fridge for 2 months. All seeds are then soaked over a period of 3 days with water changes once a day. Then they get planted into individual pots per cross and kept inside all winter on a plant rack in front of a window to get sun, watering once a week. The following late spring/early summer they are planted directly into the ground. Because of my move this year the seedlings are still in pots, but doing very well. It's a labor of love but very fun! Some crosses germinate better than others.
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
Aug 24, 2018 9:54 AM CST
Liz ~ Thank you so much for sharing your method. Thumbs up

“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
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
Aug 24, 2018 7:01 PM CST
Thanks Liz. I'm trying a few new things - damp vermiculite for their resting place - 6 weeks in the fridge in freezer bags.. I've also got a small pot of fresh seeds, not dried, not soaked, potted in a gallon of good quality potting soil - just to see if they sprout - if they actually require a period of chill, it may not get cold enough in CA. I've had moderately good results in the past with wrapping the seeds in damp paper towels, then foil before putting in the fridge, but it occurred to me that the chemicals in the paper-making process, bleaches and such, might have a negative effect on the seeds. Vermiculite is, I'm told, inert. We'll see!
let the mystery be
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
Aug 25, 2018 5:58 PM CST
My seeds have been drying in the shed since I emptied the pods on the 12th of August. They look quite dry, so I have started the process of soaking them.
Thumb of 2018-08-25/evelyninthegarden/666b78
I will change their water every day for a week.

I like the idea that Jan had, about putting them in with vermiculite. Maybe I'll do that and then refrigerate them for about 6 weeks.

Robin ~ I am also treating the tiny "seeds" from my bee pod, just to see if anything becomes alive. Probably not, but it won't hurt to try it anyway.

“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
[Last edited by evelyninthegarden - Sep 5, 2018 10:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Aug 25, 2018 6:21 PM CST
It will be interesting to see how those tiny seeds go.
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
Aug 25, 2018 6:24 PM CST
Probably nothing at all will happen, but, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained!" As least I will know if they are of value.

“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
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
Aug 25, 2018 7:10 PM CST
What are some of the crosses that you all had success with? I made over 100 crosses and ended up with only about 25% that were successful.
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
Aug 25, 2018 7:34 PM CST
I made 40 crosses, Liz, and ended up with 15 lrge pods averaging 25 to 30 seeds per pod.
Now the proof in the pudding will be seedlings!
let the mystery be
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
Aug 25, 2018 7:39 PM CST
That's pretty good odds Jan!
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
Aug 25, 2018 10:33 PM CST
I did 18 crosses and got 6 pods. Also there was one bee pod which had what appeared to be very tiny seeds. Most likely they are not viable, but they will be processed along with the rest of them.

I haven't run across information regarding tiny seeds. Has anyone here?

“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
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)
Image
Dachsylady86
Aug 25, 2018 10:41 PM CST
I've had success with germination of tiny seeds from a MDB cross. I think it depends what type of iris the tiny seeds come from. If it is from a TB then it's possible that the seeds are undeveloped. I always plant everything that comes out of the pod, large and small.
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
Aug 25, 2018 10:44 PM CST
Well, I guess that time will tell. Crossing Fingers!

“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
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
Aug 29, 2018 12:34 PM CST
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!

I sent off 6 or 8 dried seeds of 3 crosses to someone who requested them. Hope they're successful for her!
let the mystery be
[Last edited by janwax - Aug 29, 2018 12:39 PM (+)]
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