[Editor's note: I'm not exactly a master gardener, but after reading this post, I think I want to be. Who knew crossbreeding flowers could be so easy and fun? - Kathy ]
Want New Varieties of Daylilies?
Propagating daylilies is simple and fun. It's just a matter of taking the pollen from one plant (from the stamen) and place it on the pistil of another plant. I use a Q-tip for this, but I've also just broken off a stamen, carried it to another plant, and rubbed the pollen on the pistil. I have propagated dozens of daylilies and find it very easy to do.
Don't remove the flower from the plant you just crossed. Let it fall off naturally. It will be a few days before you'll see a seed pod. Then, when the pod is fully developed, which will take between 6-8 weeks, it will turn brown. It will start to split and inside you'll see glossy black seeds.
At this point, the seeds can be scattered by the wind, or you could accidentally brush against it and spill them. Take care to gather them before either of these two "accidents" take place so you don't run the chance of losing them.
After you've collected the seeds, put them in a moist plastic bag and put that in the fridge for around four weeks.
After four weeks, you can then plant them outside in the spring, or plant them in a sunny window inside. It's how you might start tomato seeds or any other seeds.
Once you've planted your seedlings in the garden, or transferred those you started in the house, expect to wait 2-3 years to get a bloom. The first time you do this, it will seem forever to see your first bloom. But if you propagate every year, you'll always have a new group of plants to look forward to.
Developing and growing your own daylilies is exciting. I've been doing it for many years. One fun thing is that since you have developed a brand-new daylily, you get to name it.
Some of My Own Varieties of Daylilies
Daylily with a Green Throat
Daylily with Pink Ruffled Edge
I Call This One Bronze
The following photographs are dayliles I bought for two reasons: First, I thought they were different and would give me exciting new varieties to use in my hybridizing. Secondly, I thought they were striking.
This is a daylily I bought at a local greenhouse. The owner was from Holland and liked to crossbreed his plants. I bought this many years ago and although the bloom is small, I have yet to see a daylily that's as pure a white as this is. It's called "Dad's Best White".
Not all of my crosses are pretty. Some have white streaks. Others have white blotches. But it's a fun thing to do and I'm always excited when I see a bud forming on one of my creations.
e-mail me at LaraOct7@aol.com
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