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How to Start a Wild Iris From Seeds

iris image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com

Starting wild iris from seed is a simple task, but it requires patience. Wild iris seed is sown in September and must spend the winter underground before it germinates in spring. Once wild iris germinates, it must grow for two to four seasons before the plant is mature enough to flower. When the wild iris does flower, however, it will produce three to four flowers per stalk for most of the month of June.

Loosen the soil to a depth of 6 inches with a hand or rototiller. As you turn the soil, remove any rocks, plants or other debris from the planting area.

Spread 1 inch of aged compost over the soil.

  • Starting wild iris from seed is a simple task, but it requires patience.
  • Once wild iris germinates, it must grow for two to four seasons before the plant is mature enough to flower.

Till the soil again to a depth of 6 inches.

Rake the soil smooth.

Scatter the wild iris seed over the planting area so that there is roughly 1 inch between each seed.

Cover the seed with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of garden soil.

Water the seed bed with a gentle spray of water until the top 3 to 4 inches of the soil are moist.

Water the seedbed whenever the top 3 to 4 inches of the soil dry out. Stop watering once the ground freezes. Continue watering once the ground thaws in spring. The wild iris seeds will germinate within two to three weeks after the ground thaws.

  • Till the soil again to a depth of 6 inches.
  • Water the seed bed with a gentle spray of water until the top 3 to 4 inches of the soil are moist.

Plant Iris Seeds

The genus Iris includes over 200 species of plants widely grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 10. Gather iris seeds after the pods have dried out and turned brown. Drain the seeds on a piece of paper towel for 20 minutes before sowing. Sow the iris seeds in 6-inch pots filled with a moistened combination of three parts sterilized compost, two parts peat and one part perlite. Place the pots outdoors under light shade. Watch for germination two to three months after sowing the iris seeds. Grow the iris seedlings under sheltered conditions until late spring, at least six weeks after the last spring frost.

  • The genus Iris includes over 200 species of plants widely grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 10.
  • Grow the iris seedlings under sheltered conditions until late spring, at least six weeks after the last spring frost.

Tip

Wild iris prefers moist soil and full sun.

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