Iris Breeding

New Iris are created each year through Iris breeding programs. Anyone can hybridize Iris from seed. All that's needed is a little basic information on where the pollen is found and where to put it. Growing Iris from seed culture produces new varieties genetically.

To breed Iris, seeds must develop, from which you can grow new seedlings. Choose the two Iris which you would like to "cross". Using a pair of tweezers and a steady hand, remove the pollen-bearing anther from the center of one of the plants (this will be the "father").

Rub the pollen on top of the stigma of the other Iris (this will be the "mother"). Your chances of a successful pollination will be better if you put pollen on all other stigmas on the mother plant. Label your pollinated plant by attaching a tag to the bloom stalk bearing the names of the "father" and "mother" like this: "Conjuration" X "Blue Suede Shoes", for example.

If the pollination is successful, the ovary, which is located just below the blossom, will begin to swell after a week or so and develop into a seedpod.

Visit the next topic, "How to Grow Iris from Seed", to learn more on the next steps......