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Re: HYB: Seed Germination

  • Subject: Re: HYB: Seed Germination
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 09:38:39 -0500

Mary Lou, I didn't realize you were leaving your seeds in the fridge for more than a year also! Goodness, I feel like such a slouch!

<I routinely see sprouts after a year of chilling with some. Mary Lou>

Actually, that <may> not be true (with the usual caveat of "for all crosses"). For sure, it wasn't true with the two crosses of dried seeds Loic sent me this year. Germination hasn't been great, but all I did was wrap the dried seeds in dry paper towels, roll into a burritos, dunk the burritos into a pan of water, squeeze the excess out, repeat a couple of times (to give them a little rinse), then baggie each burrito, loosely closed, and put them in the fridge with the rest.

As for leaching, from what I read way back when, I don't think it matters whether or not the water soluble germination inhibitors are leached out <before> or <after> the chilling process. But just to be sure they've been rinsed, I try to remember to really soak (and let drain well) the seed pots after planting ungerminated chilled seeds. Simulated spring showers that bring May flowers. :-)

I also soak and squeeze replacement paper towels whenever they start to shred. Unlike Christian, I don't replace them when they are dirty, just when they get holes in them.

<.. if you dry them out you have to soak them... not just rinse them. ...It seems the critical thing is the leaching away part. Christian>

Amen! Your comment gave me a good laugh this AM. Definitely a community of the obsessed, and <great> to have a new participant.

<Good Lord,
who but the compulsively obsessed would think its fun to look through bags of hundereds of seeds nearly every day to see if any might have germinated! Glad
to be in good company! :)....>

Fresh TB seeds vary a <lot> in appearance from almost square, big fat things to weasley little immitation rat droppings, depending in part on how many seeds were in the pod (generally bigger if few seeds in a full sized pod), genetics?, weather during pod maturation? who knows what. I've had at least two pods of seeds germinate where my notes have said "seeds all bad" because they were so small, irregular, and shriveled. When refrigerated fresh, some stay plump, black and shiny, others go slimy (I haven't been paying as close attention to the slimy stage as Christian) almost immediately, some look like they dry in the damp baggie. If you are referring to the sequence I posted of potting up burrito'd seeds, those are the fat black shiny kind.

<the pictures look like my daylily seeds more than my iris seeds???..D S>

FYI - first year germination ranges from 30 to 100%. I haven't tried to keep up with number of germinants as well as I used to, other than the first big wave. Average % germination seems to be steadily increasing, seems to be closer to 50% now, compared to starting out at around 3% with "nature's" way outdoor planting.

Like Christian, if growing and blooming irises had been easy here, I would <never> have started trying to breed my own. Love the flower, love the challenge.
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.DiscoverET.org/etis>
Region 7, Kentucky-Tennessee <http://www.aisregion7.org>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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