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Early single-stem, or column-type stock in a highly uniform series for one-cut harvest. Aptly named for strong, straight, rigid stems. Iron performed well in our spring, early summer, and fall trials. Selectable for doubles and 55% double without selection. Compared to Katz, Iron is slightly later to flower, and has somewhat shorter and thicker stems. Tightly spaced florets on the flower spike make for compact 1 1/2–2", pale lavender-blue blooms with a full appearance. NOTE: This variety produces one flowering stem per plant. Pinching is not advisable as it will terminate flowering.
• Edible Flowers: The peppery, clove-like flavor of the flowers lends itself well to use as a garnish on salads, desserts, and drinks.
Ht. 24-28". Avg. 3,100 seeds/oz. Packet: 50 seeds.
DAYS TO GERMINATION: 7-14 days at 65-75°F (18-24°C).
SOWING: Transplant — Sow 2 seeds/cell, 1/4" deep in 128-cell plug trays 5-6 weeks before last frost. Cover seeds lightly with vermiculite to help retain moisture. Transplant to cell packs or larger containers 14-21 days after sowing. Direct seed — Sow seed after last frost.
SELECTION: Chilling seedlings causes visual differences that allow you to select for double-flowered plants by observing color, size, and shape of the cotyledon. After germination, while the seedlings are still in the cotyledon stage, expose the seedlings to temperatures of 40-45°F/4-7°C for 3-4 days. Select lighter green seedlings with an oval shape; these will produce double flowers. Discard very small seedlings, ones that are darker green in color, and those with rounder shaped cotyledons; these will produce single flowers. See our Stock Production Guide #8227 for more information on selection.
LIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun.
SOIL REQUIREMENTS: Well-drained, moderately rich soil.
PLANT HEIGHT: Varies. Trellis, such as Hortonova, used as horizontal support, is necessary when the temperatures are consistently above 60°F (16°C) or where it rains frequently.
PLANT SPACING: 6".
HARDINESS ZONES: Annual.
HARVEST: Fresh: Harvest when 1/3 to 1/2 the florets on stem are open.
STEM LENGTH: 10-24".
VASE LIFE: 5-10 days. 36-41°F (2-5°C) ideal storage temperature.
USES: Excellent cut flower. Edible flower. Beds, borders, and containers.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Matthiola incana