Trading and growing iris from seed.....

Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)July 30, 2008

hmmm....well, my seed trade list needs some serious updating as I will be packing 4 BEAPS to go out today. My list of available seeds will be considerable shorter....Thus my question.

If you were trading for iris seeds, just how many would you want to receive in a trade. I'm thinking that few folks would really want or need to have 25 iris plants once they grow and the rhizomes finally reach maturity. The iris plants couldn't be planted out like a hunk-0-seedlings like most plants can. Who would want 25 of the same iris plant? Who would have/give the room to 25 irises, that should in the end be spaced about 18" apart? Considering that, how many would 'you' want to receive? I'm thinking maybe 10 or 12 would be aplenty....maybe even get a yield of 3 or 4 plants. I don't want to exhaust my supply of fresh seed for trading.

Your thoughts please. I know the final decision is mine, and I can post on my list the quantity of the seeds in a trade, but was just wondering how many you would really like/need if you were to trade for some.

I kind of think of them like tomatoes...who needs 25 plants of the same variety...especially if one is a tomatoholic and determined to try as many of the approximately 10,000 varieties as possible in this lifetime.


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I received a pack of 25 yellow flag iris seeds back in the winter. I only used 5 of them and 4 sprouted. I saved the seeds in case they didn't germinate, but now think I'd like to have about 10 plants. I'm planning to start more and offer the remainder for trade.

I think that 12-15 seeds would be a good amount. That way they can have multiple plants while having some room for error in the germination process.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 1:11PM
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lindaruzicka(Z6 PA)

I think between 10-12 seeds would be good. I know they really spread once they get going. I received my sister's plants this year when she thinned out.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 1:54PM
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well, I, ummmm, not the person to ask about reasonable quantities,

I came upon three or four FULLly packed trades of Iris seeds earlier this year and decided to plant everysingle one of them in case none of them grew adn guess what, I ended up with a pot full of a gonkzillion iris seedlings and they're doing so well, Ive split them up into 6 other full pots of seedslings and they are just fluorishing and Im so happy they are all doing well, come fall I am going to plant them out EVERYWHERE in my gosh darn hard and be thrilled when they all flower all over the place.

IM PREtty sure they are all either purple white or yellow and if there ARE any other colors, well Id be all over those in a minute.

So my answer would be---- HUH? ONLY 24 seeds?


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 5:23PM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

I agree with Diana,12-15 should be plenty,especially if they are fresh seed. I didnt plant every Iris seed I had and still ended up with plenty. I am not complaining at all about the mass quantity I received from some folks,those leftover will be nice to share with someone else.I assume they had more than what they knew to do with.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 1:47PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Diana, Doris, did you start yours and when?

I traded some and the member and myself have read a lot of conflicting info about starting them. I do think I will store my seeds (collected 2008) in the fridge until ready for planting though.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 3:21PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

I'm a "no seed left behind" planter and grow out whatever I get unless it is a poison hazard for our livestock. (I donate those to Bakemom's WS newbie program).

I'd absolutely grow out every iris seed that came my way just so I could see what might pop up. They'd look great next to the 93 cannas, 2400 echinacea, and 40,000 other seeds to be sown this year.

But yes, a dozen iris seeds is a nice starter supply. Seed companies sell canna seeds 5 to a pack and plenty of other seeds at 10 or 15 to a pack.

I had a few things this year that I wanted to share but were in short supply (mainly some heirloom beans). Some of my trades ended up with 8 or a dozen bean seeds of a particular type just so that I could share them even if I didn't have many at hand.

I did always try include a couple of ample surprise packs of some other seeds just so the trade still felt abundant. It's important to me to feel like the other trader gets enough in the bubble mailer to have something to spread out on their desk and fuss happily over for a while.

I've got certain plants in the garden that are big seed producers, easy to harvest, and just kind of fun to grow (white marigolds and 4 o'clocks) so I try to save every seed off of them just to have them on hand to sweeten trades. I think they help balance out small quantity/short supply seeds or those exactly 25 seed envelopes from plants that have hard to harvest seed.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 8:23PM
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how did you start yours and when

I put all the seeds into an unused hanging basket bowl. I resd that the "dormancy factor" needed LOTS of water to wash away, so I gsve it a good soaking at least once and sometimes twice a day. I didnt count seeds, I dont think they all germinated and prolly some casualties occurred during the flood. I think I started them in May or June??? Didnt have them in time for the WSing thing but didnt want to wait until next year. They were nice size when I planted out, but nowhere near anything you could call a rhizome. Id be happy if they come back in the spring and thrilled to death if they bloom, but dont expect it. :)

I believe that bunnies dont eat them, so Id gladly plant every single one I have. I need stuff that actually GROWS, so sometimes "invasive" and "spreads alot" sounds like I might actually get a few flowers and the plants might last more than a year. Its been a rough start here in slugville.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 9:37PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

I have a large empty yard, so for me, I tend to want more plants than the average gardener. If I received 25 iris seed, I'd plant them all. I think I wintersowed about 100 daylily seeds, maybe more. But I am starting from nearly nothing. Next year, I'll be content with a dozen or less.

But Sue, you know, as long as you let people know what they're getting, they can't complain. :)

Tom - the unofficial resident know-it-all that knows nothing.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 2:16PM
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I agree that 10-12 seeds of Iris, or even dalily is good...although I am one with a lot of room, and had a lady give me over 100 Iris, and I planted them ALL, and It doesnt look like I have I think it depends on the person yard, on how many they would want.

I am always happy with 10 me enough to make sure I have a few plants, and can always get seeds the following season.

I just got a large bag of dalily seeds, and plan on planting them all...LOL ( I will say to myself later, why did you plant them ALL, but I have a large area to fill, and what better way...LOL)


PS Lynda, wow, I didnt realize you had sooo many plants.i cant wait to get WS this week, I have some of your wonderful seeds to grow !! and Angies, and Sue, and...and ..and...( YES, I am a seed aholic)

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 6:25PM
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Hi Sue! We havent talked since last spring! Here comes my two cents worth. Anyways I would guess between 12-15. Iris always has had a high germination rate for me. I like to collect iris and have about 25 varieties. (its not enough. I need more!) If you even have only a 50% germination rate thats still plenty of plants. I seem to have better success with siberian iris. I dont know why.Darla

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 3:17PM
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