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Thread: Hybridizing Daylilies....

  1. #1
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    Hybridizing Daylilies....

    I've gotta admit that I have never seriously tried this. Sure, I have hand pollinated and grown many, but I have truly never tried to protect the mother daylilies stigma from being open pollinated by the bees....

    But this year, I think I will try. I am not going to try with expensive daylilies, because quite frankly, I don't have any, but among those that I do have, these are among my favorites...



    This one has more of a mahogany, almost purple hue that doesn't show up well with my camera.



    And this one I have dubbed pixie because the bloom stalk so so very small. The flower is mediam sized and a very pretty pink. I will be moving these more toward the front of the border because they are somewhat lost due to their short stature.



    and this particular one will be used for pollen.



    I truly like the lemon yellow color, and the bloom is huge, the foliage dense, but the stalks are rather tall.... I may try to hand pollinate it, but the stigma on this one is not as large as some of the others...

    And then there is the one that is used to demonstrate Daylily by Seed on the main pages of Landspro. It is a good seed producer. Not all of them are...

    I prefer the medium stemmed ones, but I truly must admit that the pixie size is adorable, so I will try them all!

    I think that if I can get good at this, I might even try a few of the more expensive varieties....

    What a fun time of the year when there are so many daylilies in bloom!

    For those of you are more experienced (not hard to be) at hybridizing daylilies, are there any special tips?
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
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    Ann,

    I have a couple of tips for you!

    1. Cross Diploid to Diploid or Tetraploid to Tetraploid!

    2. Do your dabbing early inthe mornings! (And don't be stingy with the pollen!)

    I have somewhere around 30 two year old seedling that should bloom for the first time this summer, hopefully a few will be keepers! Three of thse plants will be blooming for the second time as they got rather anxious and produced their first flowers last year. I'm hoping to see some improvements in them this year, especially the red Tet seedling.

    Another important tip is to just have fun!

    Rebecca

  3. #3
    Beautiful pictures, Ann!
    I am brand new to this forum (was soooo excited to find you!) and don't really know where to introduce myself, but I had to comment on this topic! I am a landscaper and had the blessed fortune to work for someone for 5 years whose family had collected daylilies from around the world for two generations! (you can imagine how exciting this was for me!) Being a hoticultural NUT, I was anxious to begin the project of dividing these massive clumps of untended exotic beauties and starting a new bed that would be used to enhance other exiisting beds.
    But more to the point, I tried my hand at propagation from seed and cross pollinating and had some beautiful results! As has been mentioned before, it IS very important to breed species to same species, but the fun was in seeing what if any differences you could produce by sterile (hand pollinating instead of those funny little bees doing the work) different cutivars to different cultivars!
    One of the things I did was to remove ALL but one flowering stem (as they grew on) so that the plant would focus all its energy on the pollinating procedure I was about to do. This also made for larger blooms and larger seeds to save as well!
    I could write a book about the exact methods I used, but it may be easier to just answer any questions anyone might have to save space on this message forum..lol.
    Sincerely,
    Becki

  4. #4
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    Becki,

    It really isn't necessary to remove all the additional flower scapes from daylilies. Most of your long term hybridizers do many crosses on the same plant, using either the same cross pollen or from other cultivars they wish to add to their gene pool. The main thing to keep in mind is to not over-load the plant with pods, as this can cause the plant to decline and not produce as many blooms the following year. Bigger seeds do not necessairly mean bigger or better plants; all of that is determined by the genetic code within the germplasm of each plant. What makes the changes is the recombination of the genetic material donadted by each parent and each seed can carry a different combination of genetic information. The more seeds produced, the greater the diversity in the offspring and the greater the chances of producing something really outstanding.

    The idea, of course, is to combine all the positive traits of each parent into one offspring. This often requires the use of sibling crosses for several generations. This also brings out any hidden or recessive traits, be they good or bad. You continue breeding the best to the best, fixing the desireable traits which can then be passed on to other lines of breeding.

    It's amazing what you can learn by reading!


    Rebecca

    http://www.mariettagardens.com/index.htm

  5. #5
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    Welcome to Landspro!

    Welcome to Landspro, AllGreenThumbs!

    We are so very excited to have you as a member.

    I have so many questions, I am not sure where to begin... There is plenty of space on Landspro, and I am trying to keep as many threads as I can. To me, it is frustrating to go back to look for information, and it has 'rolled off the end'.

    I also find that it is frustrating to answer the same questions again and again because my previous responses expired. Unfortunately, that means some searches for specific items will result in many threads to choose from, but that's a tradeoff, I suppose.

    I received my Master Gardener Certificate in 2001. Unfortunately, I have not been able to be as active in the past 6 months while I was returning to college, but hope to be able to be more active as soon as I do some catching up around here.

    I suppose that before I get very deep into hybridizing, I should buy a really good daily book. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Then, I could ask better questions and understand the answers better as well....

    Thanks, and again, welcome to Landspro!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
    Ann,
    Thank you for the welcome! I am excited to be here and have spent most of the afternoon reading past topics and subjects here ! It is quite addicting when it is raining outside..lol.
    I love to share gardening info and love even more to learn new methods of doing old traditions with fellow gardeners!
    Even though I no longer have the growing space I used to, you know how it is, you will cram some little something in every available nook and cranny you can find..lol. I do have an extensive library of gardening books on a variety of topics and would be more than happy to share what I know, learn what I can and throw in my own experience both good and bad for anyone to learn from..lol.
    Thanks again for the warm welcome!
    Becki

  7. #7
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    I will show my ignorance. Can one of you tell me the meaning of the words diploid and tetraploid?
    Thanks.
    tennessee sue

  8. #8
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    Sue,

    Straight from the AHS's Daylily Dictionary:

    DIPLOID (or DIP):

    A plant having two complete sets of the basic set of chromosomes. A diploid daylily has 22 chromosomes. One set of 11 comes from the egg cell, one set from the sperm cell in the pollen.

    TETRAPLOID (or TET):

    Having four sets of chromosomes in each cell of the plant (in daylilies, 44 chromosomes altogether.) That is twice the number found in the sex cells (sperm and egg)

    I'm including a link so you can really bone-up on aylily jargon!

    http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/dictionary.html


    Now you'll know what all of us "Hem-Heads" are talking about!


    Rebecca
    Last edited by Rebecca; 05-19-2003 at 12:29 AM.

  9. #9
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    So, how do you know if you have one or the other or both?
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  10. #10
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    Gee Ann, that was my next question! How do you tell which you have?
    tennessee sue

  11. #11
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    FUN!

    Well, I know that I have numerous varieties, most from bare root plants purchased here and there over the years, and some collected varieties that I brought home from my sisters ranch.

    Some, I have had for many years. Some I grew from seedlings, and some I bought as packages of 'hybrid' daylilies. Quite frankly, SOME of those are the prettiest ones I have.

    Unfortunately, I do not have any of the 'prized' varieties. Honestly, I would love to, but I need to get that teaching job first!

    But I am hooked, and I would also like to know more....
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  12. #12
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    Ladies, and any Gents also reading!

    You can't tell by looking, although Tetraploids tend to be bigger all the way around, heavier blooms, thicker texture, ets. If you know the registered names of the daylilies you have you can look them up through Tinker's Daylily Databases http://www.tinkersgardens.com/Daylil...lydatabase.asp , once there, you'll click on Database Search, when that page is up select 'Cultivar', the 'GO' and the search page comes up. Type in the name of the plant, then hit your 'enter' key. If it's in Don's database it will show up at the bottom of the page. (You have to scroll down to get to it.)

    Generally speaking, Dips and Tets aren't compatable, so if you were to cross one to the other, it shouldn't set seeds. Another, slightly technical way of finding out is to look at the pollen under a microscope. You will have to prepare a slide with two pollen samples side by side, so you can compare the two. Tet pollen is considerably larger than Dip pollen. I know, I hear ya! "But what if you don't have one that you know to be one or the other?" Do a selfing, which is pollinating the flower with it's own pollen (even if it mens taking the pollen from a different flower on the same plant.) Tet seeda are about the size of a green pea - fresh, not canned! and Dip seeds are smaller, about the same size as, say, wild morning glory seeds.

    If you do know the names of your plants, I will try to find out what their ploidy is for you.

    Hope y'all find this helpfull and not too terribly confusing!


    Rebecca

  13. #13
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    Thanks Rebecca. Maybe someday I will try breeding and I will let you tell me what I have. Just kidding. It is complicated isn't it?
    I recently bought a daylily that is supposed to be blue. Have you ever seen it? I doubt it will be really blue, more likely some shade of purple. I am a sucker for anything that is supposed to be blue. I'll let you know when it blooms.
    tennessee sue

  14. #14
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    So, am I, Sue....

    Blue is by far my favorite color!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  15. #15
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    Sue, Ann and All,

    Let me guess, you bought 'BLUEBERRY SUNDAE' because of the photo of it in their catalog! If so, you've been had! There are no, zip, nada, zero truely BLUE daylilies. There are a few that have a bluish cast in the eyezone area, and that's about it.
    This is what it really looks like:


    A couple of the Florida hybridizers are getting close to blue daylilies, but they aren't quite there yet and what they are offering is very expensive!

    Sorry to be the beared of bad news,


    Rebecca

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