Sunday, January 30, 2011

January Planting

Our 2008 order from Van Bourgondien included Iris ensata "Freckled Geisha". The next year the robust plant sent up one flower stalk. and the blooms were incredibly beautiful. This past summer several flowering stalks presented themselves and the original flower can be seen at blog post, Japanese Iris . One seed pod was left on the plant to develop mature seed. When the seed pod looked like it was nearing opening day, it was cut off and placed in the basement to finish drying. Some of the seeds were fall planted in a sunken pot in the garden. Others were placed in a plastic bag and placed in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

January 1 is a day for football and resolutions for many. I prefer to plant something. Thirty gallons of my finest potting soil is in a can in the basement. Twelve ensata seeds went into the ground on New Year's Day. Five have sprouted to date. Their new home near the window of our bedroom is a chilly 64 degrees. Sprouts have appeared several days apart and I expect to see more.

Today I planted a second pot exactly as I planted the first. Twelve seeds were sown in two concentric circles. Plastic wrap will remain in place until the first sprout approaches its surface. Extra time in the refrigerator may improve the germination rate. A second variable beyond my control will keep this experiment unscientific. Stronger sunlight will warm the bedroom more in February and that difference could improve germination.

One final note is necessary. My plant is not "Freckled Geisha". No pictures similar to my plant have been found so I do not know if it is even a named variety. In any event I will have new seedlings to increase the planting of this beautiful plant. Division is scheduled for the original plant this spring. From everything that I have heard this will be an adventure.

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