I seem to have had a lag time in receiving emails right before Christmas,
so now realize most of what I suggested was redundant. Even so, I hope it
Hopefully this one isn't a repeat of other's posts too. So, at the
risk of being a potential copy-cat - -
The same principals apply for soft grafting as for any other type of
grafting. You need clean fresh cuts that fit together tightly, and you
have to keep them together and the cut surfaces from drying until they mesh
together properly. It is best to have direct contact between vascular
tissue of both the graft and the stock - they don't have to match up
exactly. [Not sure how important vascular contact even is with a fleshy
I would guess that you could cut a wedge at the root end of the seedling
and insert it tightly into a matching or slightly deeper hole in the mature
tuber, sort of like plugging a watermelon, and that it might work.
However, I would assume that to find a similar sized bud or
baby-sized rhizome on the side of the tuber, cut it off and match the
seedling to the resulting cut, would give a better chance of lining up
matching tissues. The problem with this might be holding it in place
till the graft takes. A flat cut would be the most difficult to hold in
place, matched wedge cuts, V's, etc. might help. I would guess that the
larger the seedlings, the easier, but I would also guess that the older the
seedlings get the weaker they will be, and perhaps less likely to survive the
process. With actively growing tissue, it shouldn't take more than a few
days for the graft to be complete.
It is often best if the stock is closely related to the seedling, but one
cultivar might work better than another, even if they are siblings.
However, I would think anything in the subgenus Iris would be close enough for
grafting to any other. It is even possible that anything in the Iridaceae
would work (maybe even in other related families), opening up some interesting
possibilities. I would pick a strong, fast, healthy-growing plant as a
Just for comparison, any Cactus can usually be grafted with any other
(there are exceptions), but more interestingly, they can also often be grafted
with Portulacaceae, Didieriaceae, Aizoaceae, and probably other related
families. So, I can't help wondering about the possibilities for Iris
grafting. Just think if you could graft one on top of a Dracaena or
Cordyline - the possibilities for propagation would open up quite a lot, and you
could end up with some pretty interesting novelties too.
Normally when grafting, you would cut off any new growth on the host
and let the roots support the graft, but in this case you need the chlorophyll
from the host. Even so, you may have to limit the increase of the green
host, so that it doesn't overwhelm the graft.
You've probably seen those grafted Cacti where the plant on top is brightly
colored but with no green, and is grafted onto a green stem? (Lots of
people mistake them for some freaky sort of flowers). This is the same
principal, but you don't have the benefit of any bearded Iris that has a
photosynthetic perennial stem. Unless, perhaps, you can get a rhizome
exposed to light to produce enough chlorophyll to do the job of the
All is guesses here, but logically it shouldn't be too difficult.
By the way, with stem succulents. a stretched nylon hose is a good tool for
holding it all together, not sure how that might work for an Iris graft (might
have to cut the leaves back?).
Hope you get some to survive! The results could be very