Why do irises form seeds and how to plant?
Thanks to Orlando Vasquez for this great question! This year, his irises formed seed pods for the first time. What prompted that? And how can he sow his iris seeds?
It could be that your irises or just now maturing to the stage where they’re beginning to put resources into producing the next generation. If you’ve fertilized, it could also be that the plants finally have the nutrition required to reproduce.
But on the opposite end of the spectrum, it could be a lack of soil nutrients. Many plants only make a move to spend a portion of their valuable resources on producing seeds when times are bad.
If climactic and other external factors indicate a dire situation for the mother plant, perhaps the next generation can survive, remaining dormant until the situation improves.
Sowing the seeds is fairly easy. Simply leave the seed pods on the plants until they’ve dried completely, or as close as possible, then cut the flower stalks and open the pods to expose the seeds.
Let the seeds dry further for at least a couple of weeks, then sow in very shallow, seed-starting containers with a light potting soil mixture, covering them about twice as deep as their size.
Water enough to keep the media moist but not soggy, and place in a warm area of the house or patio. They won’t need sun until they germinate, and wait until they get a few inches tall to transplant them to slightly larger containers or into the garden.