HYB: Germination Philosophies
I fear that many may never try to grow irises from seeds because they
simply do not want to go through all the fuss. So from time to time I do like
to interject the concept that it is not necessary for the lion's share of
climates and newbie hybridizers.
What I'm concerned with is the amount of information that does not seem
horticulturally sound. There is more to this than just getting the things to
germinate; you also want to produce a strong viable plant, right from the
Even though most of the seeds we are speaking of here are --I assume-- the
issue of modern hybrid bearded irises, complex entities genetically-- or
so we are always told-- there is more involved than some discoverable
formula. Adequate attention must also be given to the emerging plant's need for a
suitable growing environment; for space to develop; for fresh air passing
over it; for laving by rain; for periods of darkness; and for the light of
the sun. You can simulate some of this, sure, but only so well, and for
only so long.
Bluntly, I think some of what one hears is unnecessary, and quite likely
to prove counterproductive in both the short and the long run. Indeed, I
suspect some of the success stories are testaments less to the cunning of the
germinator, than to the vitality of the seeds. Clearly, some seeds can
overcome almost any amount of abuse, and still germinate.
Enthusiastic beginners often want to fuss and elaborate, yes, but, if I
may, I suggest a reasonable way to proceed is to try the simple way first.
Then, if problems arise, do a little research and devise some appropriate
site-specific means of solving them. Such problems could be anything from mice
to no germination --which can be genetic, of course.
I like to sow my seeds on 100% organic medium in deep pots and leave them
outside over the winter. I like pots because I can put them on the deck and
keep an eye on them. I had a site-specific mouse problem. I sow on
Thanksgiving Day, and I expect action about the same time everything else in the
garden is up and moving in the spring.
As an aside, let me say I think the definition of germination shared here
by Anita is written the way it is to subsume both the epigeal and the
Richmond VA USA Zone 7
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