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Re: HYB: dry vs fresh seed germination
  • Subject: Re: HYB: dry vs fresh seed germination
  • From: Bill Chaney <billchaney@ymail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2013 12:06:45 -0800 (PST)

I am glad this subject has come up.   Thank you Linda for sharing your
experience.  I have heard that Ben Hager never dried his seeds and planted
them fresh, and often did not even allow the pods to start to split, but
harvested them still green.  I cannot confirm this is true, but I would love
to hear if anyone else has heard this.

If you think about what happens in
nature, drying seems like the way a plant insures their seed will not try to
germinate at the wrong time.  But drying is also likely the process that
produces the germination inhibitors that we later have to leach away.

What we
need to do is to split the seeds from several large pods into two groups and
let one half from each pod dry, and plant (or stratify) the other half without
letting them dry, then compare the rates for each half by pod.  Maybe next
year I will give this a try.

It is possible that the dried seeds will simply
take longer to germinate, but will eventually germinate at the same rate as
the fresh seeds.  I do worry about the fresh seeds rotting, but moisture
control will be key.

I would love to hear from others about their


On Monday, November 4, 2013 11:21 AM, Betty Wilkerson
<autmirislvr@aol.com> wrote:
I only made 21 crosses.  Very low.  Fourteen
took.  Very high percentage.
What kept the crosses attempted so low?  Not
sure.  Indications of rain.

Linda, the trial I tried didn't work.  Don't
know what I did wrong, but I put
the pot out with the others.  If it doesn't
sprout any, then I guess I goofed
up by not drying the seed.

Betty Wilkerson
Zone 6 KY

-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Mann
To: iris <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Mon, Nov 4, 2013 11:09 am
Subject: [iris] HYB: dry vs fresh seed germination

This is not a study with
controls, just some anecdotal data.  So, for
what it's worth....

This year, I
had seeds from 20 different crosses.  I put them all in the
fridge at about
the same time.  Seeds from 7 of the crosses were fresh
(not dried); the other
13 were dried for various lengths of time before
going into the fridge.   None
were pre-soaked.

I took them out of the fridge and potted them up a few weeks
watering every day.  First sprouts visible above ground the last few

Of the 7 crosses refrigerated without drying, all but one has sprouts

Of the 13 crosses refrigerated after drying, one has sprouts up.

the dried seeds have sprouted faster if they'd been soaked first?
Are there genetic differences between the fresh crosses and the dried

Is it all random? Possibly.

Other notes - some crosses had more
than one pod; not all seeds from all
crosses looked viable - overall a bad
year for successful crosses here.
  Four of the 13 dried crosses had less than
20 seeds.

Linda Mann east TN USA zone 7b
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