Monday, April 13, 2020

Planting Iris Seeds

By Hooker T. Nichols

Planting iris seeds in our warm Texas climate occurs this time of the year for me.  Usually we have very mild winters in North Texas.  I have found that if I plant the seeds either in the ground or in one-gallon black plastic pots and the seeds germinate before mid-January and we have a cold snap where the temperatures dip into the single digits, they baby iris will die from the extreme cold.

Hooker getting ready to plant his iris seeds.
The seeds have been air-dried after ripening on the iris stalks.  Next, I place the seeds in the miniature plastic bead bags and freeze them until I plant (typically now).  The soil in the pots is comprised of landscape mix topped off with a good potting mix (such as Miracle Grow).  The seeds are planted 1 inch deep.  The soil is kept moist.  The seeds start germinating around mid-March.  When the baby irises reach 3 inches in height and the danger of freezes is past, they are transplanted into the garden with spacing being approximately 4-5 inches apart.  I get 50 to 75% bloom the following spring.  This is a tried and true method for me.

Who knows what will come from the seeds?

1 comment:

  1. I am in northern CA, and hybridized irises for the first time in fall of 2018, got some great blooms this spring. Many of my seeds did not germinate, I didn't freeze them...should I do that this year? I kept my pots of seeds inside(in good light) about half of final results had grown to about 2 in by late winter. This year I will leave the pots outside. Any advice is appreciated.


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