About Wild Blue Iris: The word "iris" comes from Greek, meaning "rainbow." The mythical Iris of Greek legend personified the rainbow, acting as the messenger from heaven to earth. This flower also appears in ancient Egyptian sculpture and tradition, as a symbol of life and power. Native Americans and early settlers found a practical use for this plant, using the valuable fibers from the leaves to make ropes, nets, and string.
Wild Blue Iris Germination: To help soften the hard seed coat, soak the seeds overnight in warm water before planting. To germinate, these seeds need a period of several months of cold followed by warmth. To accomplish this naturally, direct sow the seeds in fall; they will begin to germinate in the late spring and early summer. Alternatively, the seed can be store in moist sand in the refrigerator for 60-90 days then planted 1/2" deep in peat pots. For best results, use slightly acidic soil and keep the soil moist but not wet until germination. These seeds germinate rather slowly, often taking several months to sprout. Keep in mind that germination will continue through the first several years, as the seeds gradually come out of dormancy. The seedlings can be planted outdoors in late spring or early summer or when there is no chance of frost, or when they have reached a height of 4-6".
Growing Wild Blue Iris Seeds: Seedlings will need frequent watering until they become established, though mature plants are rather drought tolerant and do not require moist soil. These native plants flourish with little attention, and eventually form natural colonies that last for decades. When fully grown, the plants can easily be divided in late fall. Blooming usually begins in the second year after planting.
Harvesting Wild Blue Iris: These blossoms do not perform well as cut flowers, and are best enjoyed outdoors.
Saving Wild Blue Iris Seeds: Very soon after blooming, this plant will produce large green pods that quickly turn brown and drop their seed. Gather the pods as soon as the seeds inside have turned brown; spread the pods out to dry completely, then separate the seeds from the husks. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Wild Blue Iris Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Rocky Mountain Iris, Wild Blue Iris, Blue Flag, Flag Lily, Water Flag, Dragon Flower Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring-Early Summer Height: 12-24 inches Spacing: 8-12 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-8b Seeds Per Oz: 1,650 Produces a plant with stiff sword-shaped leaves and 2-3" pale purple blossoms with darker purple veins.