An Alameda Garden: Propagation Month, Day 15: Stratifying Siberian Iris

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Propagation Month, Day 15: Stratifying Siberian Iris

I'm really loving the irises that are in bloom in my garden right now and it's just making me crave more. I gathered some Siberian iris seed last autumn and I probably should have stratified them then, but I'm finally getting around to it now.

I mixed the oh so tiny seeds with moist vermiculite and sealed them in a plastic container. They'll stay in the refrigerator now for at least six weeks, then I'll sow them in flats by just spreading the vermiculite mix onto some moist potting medium.

Everything I've read says that iris seeds can be very slow to germinate and even then, the germination rate is not terribly high. I've also read that it can take anywhere from two to four years for plants to go from germination to bloom. That may seem like a long time to wait, but for something that looks as great as this Tiger Eye Dutch Iris, I think it might be worth it.

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  1. I am surfing the web on how to propagate iris (Bearded/German and Siberian/Japanese) and saw this post. Just wondering out loud here: Wouldn't it be easier for you to divide the rhizome than to start from seeds?

  2. Hi Jen,

    Yes, it is easier and quicker to divide iris than to start them from seed. The advantage of starting the seeds is that even with a low germination rate, you can potentially get more plants.

    Thanks for visiting!



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