Bearded Iris have been a highlight for me this spring. This year a number of plants that I grew from seed have flowered for the first time. A friend of mine – Lloyd – has been collecting bearded iris for a large part of his life> Lloyd is now 80 and he generously hand crossed some of his favourite varieties for me in 2016. As you can imagine I was pretty excited to see the results. Fast forward 3 years to 2019 and the very first of those plants have flowered. Growing bearded iris from seed is certainly a lesson in patience as it takes 3-4 years for them to display their first flowers. The wait has definitely been worth it though! I have found myself delighted in each new bud that has opened and find myself wandering the iris patch almost daily looking for which buds have coloured up. I’ve also enjoyed seeing again flowers that have been in my collection for a while now.
Did you know that in most parts of Australia bearded iris will not set seed without being hand pollinated? In Tasmania they have bumble bees which are large enough to pollinate bearded iris however the rest of the states do not have any insects or beetles large enough to pollinate them properly. If you want to grow them from seed to breed a new variety you will need to hand cross these beauties!
Enjoy some of these lovely ones!