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How to Propagate Iris From Seed

Updated March 23, 2017

For all its beauty and seeming fragility, the iris is a surprisingly tough plant and easy to grow. It is the ideal plant for flower gardens as it blooms after spring flowers but before the summer flowers. Aside from the familiar purple, irises bloom in white, red, yellow and pink. Although the easiest way to propagate irises is by dividing the rhizome clump, they can be grown from seed. Plant the iris seeds in the fall or winter.

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  1. Soak the iris seeds in a shallow bowl of tap water for 48 hours, changing the water after 24 hours.

  2. Fill a 1-gallon container, to within 2 inches of the rim, with equal parts of seed starting mix and potting soil. Add a 1-inch layer of the seed starting mix to the top of the soil. Water the soil until the excess water drains from the bottom of the pot.

  3. Push the iris seeds 1/2 inch into the soil. You can plant 20 to 25 iris seeds in a 1-gallon container, according to iris specialist Margie Valenzuela of the Tucson Area Iris Society.

  4. Place the pot outdoors, or in an area that remains under 4.44 degrees Celsius, to chill over the winter.

  5. Keep the soil moist by spraying it with water from a bottle. The seeds will germinate in the spring.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shallow bowl or cup
  • 1-gallon planting container
  • Potting soil
  • Seed starting mix
  • Spray bottle

About the Author

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.

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