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Seed starting?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Any one willing to share a good seed starting resource or ideas? I've started them plenty but a memory thing and the need for more is with me.

Snellville, GA(Zone 7b)

I've never started dayliliies from seed but would like to hear from those who have and what I need to know about it. Can any variety be seeded? Do the seeds need to be stratified? Scarified? How long to wait? What seed medium is best? How long does it take from germination until planting in ground?

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

Well I hope someone else chimes in because my method is very simple. I keep them in the fridge until I am ready to plant them and then I just plant them outside in pots and let them go. I do not do all the presoaking in peroxide water that a lot of others do. Some people soak and wait for germination before planting. I don't. Mine usually take about 2 weeks to start sprouting.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

hemlady; Well it's an "oldie but goody" I've heard of that method(LOL) At least it is a reply, thank you.Any and all help is appreciated!!.

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

You are welcome!!!

(Michele) Cantonment, FL(Zone 8b)

I'm with hemlady, I just plant outside in seed trays and let them go. Mine aren't always put in the fridge either, I do plant straight from the pod as well.

I don't do the stratifying and such because I get faster germination just planting them than if I soaked them or stratified them in the fridge for 3-6 weeks. By the time the 6 weeks in the fridge are up 99% of mine will be ready to plant in the ground. Most of mine are sticking their heads out in 3-5 days and have their 3rd leaf in 7-14 days

There are quite a few on here that do the soaking, stratifying, and such so I'm sure they'll chime in.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

The most important thing when hybridizing from seed is to make sure you have a mature pod some get in a hurry and destroy the viability by picking a pod early, a pod will take between 30-50 days best way to check the pod is with a gentle squeeze at the top of the pod, or let the pod crack on its own...this will require close attention so as not loss the seed...

I store in the fridge 2-3 weeks before pre soak then either pre sprout, or direct plant.

I will try to post some planting methods later...

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I took the seeds after waiting about that, believe it was longer though,I have one sprouting today about five days after dampening them with the towel and baggie method.
Seeds are from a slightly ruffled peach.Some I pollinated from the same, only the one showing germination is crossed from a red throat yellow and a scented type yellow.
The scented produced very little pollen and I understand they are sterile.As that is what I have read anyway.

Great pic's and good info and I can use!

Snellville, GA(Zone 7b)

Wow...thanks for all the information. I wasn't sure if they had to be chilled or not and when the seeds are ready for planting is more appreciated data. I agree I would rather spend time waiting on them to emerge from the soil rather than spending time in the frig and another 2-3 weeks germinating.

Now another question: I see on one of my daylilies (only have 2 yellow ones) that on the bloom stem, about half way down it looks like another plant is starting to grow. I had thought of cutting it above and below the start and planting it. Has anyone ever seen this? (Sorry no pic..trying to master one thing at a time here)

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

This from the AHS site


A leafy shoot from a node or bract found on scapes of many cultivars. Proliferations may be rooted to form a plant (clone) identical to the mother plant. Small roots often form and occasionally a flower is produced while the proliferation is still on the scape. In the image below the upper proliferation has formed at the bract.

I usually either cut the scape about and 1/2" below the crown of the prolif and put in water until water roots well form then plant or cut and stick in the soil beside the parent

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Hi All:
Here is how I have started DL seeds since 2009. This year I have 144 seedlings growing from Oct 2011 sprouting. They are in a plant nursery.

It is fascinating that each seed growing in the same pod will produce a brand new and different variety never seen due to many generations of genes that were bred into the parent plants. On the other hand, some seedlings may have a few similar traits from their parents, just like humans.

I became interested in hybridizing both Daylilies and Irises a few years ago. After doing research and learning the mechanics of hybridizing, I did my first crosses summer of 2009. Not all developed into a pod. Either the pollen or the flower was not ready, the day was too hot for crosses to take, etc. After many trials and errors, I discovered that the only time of the day conditions were right for pollination to produce seeds in my zone was early in the morning before I went to work and before the temperature was too high. It was a learning experience that resulted in 12 pods.

I choosed parents that already exhibit qualities I would like to see in my seedlings, such as vigor, number of blooms per plant, hardiness, and ofcourse, attractive form and color. Others were crossed just because....


BEGIN BY SOAKING SEEDS OVER NIGHT IN HAND HOT WATER. This will plump up and soften the seedcoat.

I use a damp kitchen paper towel, cut in half and moistened. Squeeze out the excess water. Fold it in half. Place the seeds in a corner and fold one end over the seeds. Place this package in a small ziplock bag and zip it, leaving a small opening to blow air into the bag to fill like a balloon. Once filled, zip it closed. Place in fridge crisper for 3 weeks to stratify the seeds. After 2 weeks, check to see if any have begun to sprout, which often they do. After 3 weeks, move to room temp to germinate.

Sprouting time depends on variety. At this point, check the seeds several times during the week, starting after the 3rd day. As soon as seeds have formed a radical (tiny roots forming) with a tweezer grasp the seed casing of those and transfer to seed flat or pot. Make a hole with a pencil and guide the root into the hole. Plant at so the seed is 1/4" below the surface, 1" or more, apart. Be sure to place roots downwards in the hole. If the roots have grown into the paper towel, just tear around the roots and plant it. Do not try to remove the roots from the paper. The paper will eventually rot.

Until the sprouted seeds have broken through the soil, they do not need light. However, once they do, grow them in a sunny window, under light, or place the flat outside in a protected area if weather is warm.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, pot them in a 3" pot. I use the 3" foam cups made for coffee. A screwdriver will easily punch drainage holes. The cups are cheap to buy at Walmart, or if used, save them from work. Plant outside when all danger of frost is past in your zone. The earlier Daylilies and Irises are sown, the longer the growing time, which will produce earlier flowers. In the colder region of the country, it can take up to 2-1/2 years, average 2 years for a seedling to blooms. I had several bloom this year from Oct 2010 sowing.

1] The tiny roots as it emerged from seedcoat. Ready to be potted.
2] Growing under lights over winter.
3] 144 seedlings growing in my plant nursery planted May 29, 2012
4 & 5] Two of my seedlings with first blooms this season from 2010 sowing.

Edited to add that you can also see my iris seedlings on the right in photo 3. They were planted in the same month as the Daylilies.

This message was edited Aug 8, 2012 4:20 PM

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Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Lyle I am also in Phoenix....after you get a good root structure on your seedlings what do you transfer them to? And for how long and when do you move them? Any advice is appreciated. Also what time of the year do you do this?

Sue G

Snellville, GA(Zone 7b)

Lyle...that is exactly what I have. Thanks for sharing. I'll give it a try.

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

Would it be possible to plant seeds now that have been in the fridge since last year? Ino pots, in the garden.
I would cover the area with a hoop form that would protect the seedlings now and through the winter. Or is it too late to start them? Will they still sprout if I wait till next spring? As you can tell from this message, I am a procrastinator...

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Sue - A good rule of thumb is to have at least three leaves on your seedling before moving it, or transplanting it. In our southwest climate I never dig or try to transplant daylilies until October..
Here is a site that may be helpful….

Ricke – Good luck with the prolifs..
Caitlinsgarden – I am not sure even a hoop house without heat would be adequate for your seedlings, since you are just starting them..The only method that might work is a garage, with some heat generated from the house or keeping them over winter in the house under gro – lites , or wait until spring and plant in the garden this would insure your seedlings would establish…before winter

I have used a lot of growing methods and whatever works for the person planting the seeds is the best method....

I have used the dish tub from Wally World (with holes drilled in the bottom) and get about 75 seedlings per well but a little difficult separating the young roots..

I have used gallon pots with about 7-8 seedlings per pot - again young roots have to be un tangled

I now use #38 deep trays...under gro lites - easy to pop the young seedling out and transplant - very little root disturbance.

harden off outside - important to introduce seedlings you have grown inside to the outside elements slowly...

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Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Lyle you are a gem - thanks!

(Michele) Cantonment, FL(Zone 8b)

I use the 72 cell seed trays for mine and I start mine outside. They will go into the ground or beds by Sept 15th. Since I am hybridizing at a fellow hybridizers place and have all my daylilies there I don't have the areas I did at my old place for my seedlings so I had to make a shelf to hold the seed trays. I used cinder blocks and 2x4s. I put tin on top to keep the seeds from being washed out when we have our daily storms. Last year it rained for 10 days straight and a lot of my seeds got washed out of the trays because I didn't have them covered.

I put sand on top after planting the seeds to help keep the fungus gnats from laying their eggs, we get them bad around here. The seedlings are a lot bigger now, the photo was taken about a month ago.

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Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Is that like playground sand. It looks heavier than just sand out of the back yard. I dont have gnats as long as I leave them out in the sun, this last month tho, Ive had to start giving them some artificial light as all this afternoon rain is slowing things down. Gnats are now a problem. I too have to get these in the ground by the middle of sept., or else I might as well have waited to plant in the spring.

Snellville, GA(Zone 7b)

Lyle...great database on cubits. the way, what do you do with all those seedlings??? :)

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I thought I would come back here a minute and say thank you for all info, this is a great forum!
Have four more from my peach ruffle pollination cross that germinated last night,also three of them growing in a pot from a week ago.All in all not a bad attempt after three years of absence.
I would plant them in the ground only Chipmunks dig where I dig! and I have concluded that is a lost cause of resistance.Things make the Borg from star trek seem like Babysitters!
Oh, well thanks again to everyone for the help and the info.I love this forum tooo sweeeet!!!!

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Lyle (or anyone who knows but I'm asking Lyle since he is in Phoenix also) if I'm going to transplant the seedlings from their growlight environment and gradually introduce them to the outside in the fall, when do I plant the seeds? Thanks.

Sue G

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Sue - Your seedlings should have already been up and ready to put outside................Keep in mind that the end of December is our coldest time, and possible frost, your seedlings will need at least 21 days to establish...

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Sorry Lyle, I meant if you are going to START seedlings when should you start them so they are up and ready to put outside by now. I haven't started yet

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Sue, I usually start my seeds a couple of weeks after harvest, and that is around June 20th...........


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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Since I am in zone 4, I don't start seeds until October through January. When the are up, I place them in my light stand until May. They are planted in ground May 30 after hardening off.

#1] daylilies in plant stand under light
#2] hardening off outside with morning sun.
#3]healthy roots when grown in a 3" pot ready for planting outside.
#4] the rest of 156 seedlings on a shelf in my office.
#5] /before I had the stand shown in #2, I hardened them off in a clear plastic bin.

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Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

Your stand looks just like mine. I got mine from ebay about 3 or 4 years ago and only paid $20 for it.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Well my equipment and technique is not as good as what is mostly talked about here ,but thank you all for some great info and council, My seeds are starting to grow(the hybridized that I have trouble with) and I am getting a little better due to the info here, thanks again!!!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)


Mine I bought by mailorder (no Internet back then) in 1985 so it is old but still useful. Below is a full photo of it with daylilies during winter 2012. It has bottom shelves also but I never use them.

Glad we were of some help to you.

This message was edited Oct 26, 2012 10:45 PM

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Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

Thants a nice looking stand blomma.

This message was edited Oct 28, 2012 6:22 AM

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Thank hemlady, I am thinking of getting a more modern one with more shelves. Mine is A-shaped which I don't care for. I had to double up on the lights fixture because one does not give out enough light for 2 shelves side by side eventhough they are Growlux flourescent bulbs.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Last day in 2012 and my DL seeds have been soaked overnight and are now in moist plaper towels and plastic bags in the fridge. I will remove them in another week for them to sprout in room temp. I didn't sow as many as I did last year. I concentrated on those I lost last year. I never use up all my seeds of one kind just incase I need to redo them. I also sowed some of my own crosses.

Hazel Crest, IL(Zone 5a)

Blomma, that's a good idea of not using "up all my seeds of one kind just in case.......". Good luck with them this season.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

All kinds of seeds in the fridge , I was surprised after looking through at how many yet to plant, I hate wasting seeds but always seem to as to a few anyway , I really should control myself.
Couple of days in the 40's for next week I might try planting a few more then.
With about 20 inches of snow well below freezing temps for this week not much one can do, 19 and falling like a brick, 8 or 9 in the morning ,,wrong thread I know but it fits the summation.
The last I saw some of the seeds outside had really large roots sprouted others were still quiet .
I am looking forward to warmer times and blooms , one of my older clumps I moved particularly, A big NOID yellow ruffle I gave more room and better conditions.
As for using up one particular variety of seed all the time , Because of storage problems(or lack there of as to space) I have to use up my Daylily seeds as they do not keep well.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Mike, it has prevented loss of some cultivars already so glad I had not used up all my seeds.

juhur7, most seeds, including DL seeds will remain viable for some years as long as kept dry and cool. I store my seeds in the crisper in my fridge.

I have sprouted Hibiscus seeds purchased in 2004 and several years old and they did fine. Plants would be in trouble if seeds didn't last more than a year, or so. Nature devise it so that they will only sprout when conditions are right for them to survive.

This message was edited Jan 2, 2013 12:22 AM

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Since I am up and pacing around for a few minutes just thought to add that the seeds do not keep as well for me as they might, and besides I get complained at for hogging fridge space..
I agree if seeds did not keep as well as they do plants would be in trouble , us too , that has a lot to do food besides the pretty, I would imagine if some seeds did not keep well the economy of many nations would suffer more than they do ,as it is ..
Hibiscus, peas, beans, all kinds of seeds do and have well for me though..

The information here helps, and is enjoyable, but I still tend to go my own way ,it's a long time trait....

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

My Daylily seeds are up and growing. Didn't plants as many as previous years due to lack of garden space. I still have 182 DL seedlings from last year and 144 iris seedlings in the nursery. Have to cull some before I can sow too many more.

Did buy some additional seeds from LA and DL plants due in May.

Saginaw, MI

Never tried to plant daylily seeds till last year! Tried these two pots last fall (kept in basement for the winter) and am hoping they make it to go to the great outdoors once it gets nice enough!! Now that I see "hey, I CAN do this" I am checking different possibilities to acquire more daylily seeds to try. These were given to me as "mixed" and "noid" seeds.

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Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

I see a lot of methods of planting seeds, but not much about the time involved in from seed to seedling, some will spend up to 3 years to get a bloom and then the process of evaluation could take another 2 - 3 years.

When I go to my evaluation beds one of the first things I’m looking for is scape height, bloom size in relation to scape height, and then foliage. Bud count is important but that usually comes at rebloom or second season..

Hybridizing is a lot of fun, also rewarding, but the time involved will test most.

Evaluation bed

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Saginaw, MI

Very pretty Lyle!! Really like the ones with the ruffled edges!! No hybridizing for me!! Just happy if they grow for me!! Never was one to even do seeds, but due to recent loss of employment learning to do things on an even stricter budget and "start from scratch" or "seeds" in this case!!!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

That is a lot of seedlings. Hope they do ok for you. Is it possible for you to divide and pot them up singly. I use the 3" foam coffee cups cheap at Walmart and easy to punch drainage holes in. You can trim them back. I do that with mine so they don't touch the flourescent lights.

Yep, I know the work that is involved without a reward for 2 or 3 years but worth every second. I have been at it since 2009 so my reward has come and more will come this year. I do seeds every year. That way I have new seedlilngs blooming every year.

Had to cull last year and sold those to create more garden room. They were nothing special and too much like some already registered.

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