Wow we got it

Louisville, KY

Good to see this forum up and running. I plan to use it often

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Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

I can`t believe it! A hybridizers forum. :)


Tuscaloosa, AL(Zone 7b)

I don't hybridize anything, but I am fascinated by the subject. I'll be a very frequent lurker here, you can bet.


Saint James, MO(Zone 6b)

Way to go on getting this one! Maybe the others will come to fruition one day as well!!! :oP

Many HUGS to Princess Kathy!!!

Warren, OH(Zone 5b)

I can't wait to learn how to do this, I read and read, but it's the experience and tips I am looking forward to. I too will be lurking and reading.

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Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

Oh WOW!! Thank you Terry, thank you Dave! :-)

It's here!! I plan to use this often too!! Can't wait until everyone joins us.


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Lebanon, OR


Surprised to see your seedlings in those containers. I plant mine in one gallon pots...

Germination has gone well to date. Out of 174 crosses, all but 26 have shown some germination.

Working on learning new webpage designer for next year. Changes will be coming.

Got all my Blyth babies for this year (ordered) in the ground.

My seedlings from prior years all looking well as well as the ones planted last May.

Been doing alot of research and reading and dreaming of the crosses I want to do this year.


Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

Hi D,
I plant my seedlings in one gallon pots, small window boxes (as pictured above), and larger window boxes. Many of mine have come up this spring too, but not all (yet).

I do that too! LOL I have a few rebloomers blooming right now, and I crossed those yesterday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for those seedpods! :-)


Scranton, PA(Zone 5b)


I hope to absorb as much as my brain can handle. Thank you DG for creating this forum, and a preThank You to any, and all that I can learn from!!!

Thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU :-)


Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

How wonderful! Looking forward to sharing with other daylily dabbers here : )

Kylertown, PA(Zone 5b)

Well, this is a nice surprise!

Robertsdale, AL(Zone 8b)

This should prove to be another great forum! Looking forward to the continuing education. I play mostly with Japanese Morning Glories and a few Cannas.....and maybe Sweet Peas....! - Arlan

South Hamilton, MA

With our different climate & smaller iris size--our seedlings are planted in the small flats used for plants from garden centers. There is a wide trench in our area to protect the roots from freezing dug outside and the boxes are covered with wire to keep the seeds from being eaten. We started that when the cat we had decided it was the best bathroom he ever saw & we do have chipmunks. Our regular pine needle mulch is on top and christmas tree boughs added when it is taken down. So our cold is natural, some people use extra refridgerators for their cold. We would probably have more germination using that method, but possibly more loss when set out in the garden The soil is naturally different in the area planted with new seedlings, and I dip them in rootone when transplanted. Then it is up to the weather, getting rid of weeds which compete and the heritage. Seedlings must be strong to do well in the climate. It can be 2-3 yrs. before we see flowers here/ rick Tasco at Superstition in CA says that their plants can be set out in March & intial bloom by Oct. So each must learn the ways of the home climate.

Tuscaloosa, AL(Zone 7b)


I don't have the patience for crossings that take two or three years before you get the flowers. I admire those who do, however. But I love both morning glories and cannas. I can't wait to see what you have done with them.


There is a fellow here in town who hybridizes irises. He told me he doesn't get flowers on the crosses until they are 2-3 years old. I think we need to find out how it is done in CA. LOL.


South Hamilton, MA

I'm afraid the climate does it.

Millersburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Wow -nice, hope some daylily peole join in.

Tuscaloosa, AL(Zone 7b)

Well, rats! Too bad it's not because of a magic, secret potion. LOL.


Robertsdale, AL(Zone 8b)


The beauty of working with Japanese Morning Glories is that they are annuals and you get some immediate feedback as they bloom so quckly. The challenge is that advancements and accomplishments must be preserved through seed strains as opposed to being preserved through clones as in irises or cannas for example. Creating and refining reliable seed strains can only be accomplished through multiple generations of aggressive selection. It is fun, but initally requires growing and evaluating many plants individually....and selecting few. It is a numbers game! ....but your odds can be improved with meaningful knowledge and accurate records.


Lebanon, OR

Here in Oregon I set my seedlings out in May hopefully the beginning. I do not have bloom that year, but the following year about 75% bloom...

I too have wire over the pots to protect them from Chickens, birds, and cats..:) oh what we do to protect our babies


Tuscaloosa, AL(Zone 7b)


There would be my problem -- evaluating many plants individually, I can do that -- selecting a few -- I have to throw my babies away! Yep, no doubt that would be my downfall. Well, I can grow them, cross them, and watch the rest of you pick out ones to keep while I keep all of mine. LOL.


Robertsdale, AL(Zone 8b)


You can keep all the seed if you just don't need to grow it all! I tend to collect and log all my seed I may discover later that it may contain valuable genetic material. You may find, like many of the gardeners growing these plants in areas where they produce abundant seed, that your collection of saved seed seems to multiply exponentially...then you have to make some decisions as to what to grow and what not to grow, thereby exercising some level of selection!

That is the beauty of this hobby....enjoyment is had at all levels of participation!!


Aschaffenburg, Germany


We must get into this topic of miniature morning glories one of these days..I have read quite a few of your threads...

I have had a mini blue silk last year as a spontaneous mutation with just one seed to save, so I am hoping for a new generation this year...

I am also interested in the nice hard-surface leafed MGs such as Murasaki Jishi as they seem to be spider mite resistant...the mites prefer jummy soft leaves...

I am not to much into funny-shaped dragon-type leaves and have sowed a couple of minibar rose to see what I get...


Ewing, VA

Greetings to everyone....

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Robertstown, Australia(Zone 10a)

Hi mariava, Your Itty Bitty Baby Hippies are lovely - now the wait begins!

Ciao, KK.

Sydney, Australia

Watching with great interest on this thread ...can someone tell me if having three cot and four cot leaves on plants that are only supposed to have two means that they are "strange" ?

Ewing, VA

Thank you KK! My 'waiting' started in 2005...the day I planted my very first hippeastrum bulb. :-)

Hippeastrum breeding has very limited information available. I am so looking forward in learning from others in this forum and hopefully someday create a 'true' yellow flowered hippeastrum.

Hello Margie!

Gardiner, ME(Zone 5a)

This is great to have,always willing to learn something new.

Newport News, VA(Zone 7b)

Hi, I am a newbie hosta hybridizer. Here is one of my open pollinated seedlings from last year. This was taken last weekend.


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Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I'm glad to see this forum, and I'll add it to my favorites.

I'm planning to cross a hybrid with an open-pollinated tomato this season, then spend several generations selecting for some qualities I've got in mind to produce a new stable open-pollinated tomato variety.

Does anyone here work with veggies?

Lindsay, OK(Zone 7a)

That does look wonderful there Laura - good start on hostas.

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)


"The beauty of working with Japanese Morning Glories is that they are annuals and you get some immediate feedback as they bloom so quickly."

That's one of the reasons why I breed zinnias as a hobby. They bloom from seed in less than two months.

"The challenge is that advancements and accomplishments must be preserved through seed strains as opposed to being preserved through clones as in irises or cannas for example."

Until this last year I accepted that as a limitation in my zinnia breeding, because no one talks about propagating zinnias from cuttings and all the books list them as grown from seed. Last Fall, as a killing frost became more imminent, I decided to take cuttings from some of my better breeders. I used the conventional cutting propagation methods that are used for roses. I used a cutting mix of Premier ProMix BX and Perlite, half and half. I sterilized the cuttings with Physan 20 to prevent bacterial rot. I tried several rooting hormones, including Hormex, Rootone, and Dip 'n Grow.

I kept the cuttings under fluorescent lights and under 7-inch high humidity domes until they rooted enough to become self-sufficient without the domes. I got close to 100% rooting success. Roots formed within a week to 10 days and I re-potted the cuttings after a couple of weeks. All of the hormones worked, with the Hormex #1 being a little weak, but the Hormex #3 and even the Hormex #8 (which I feared might be too strong) worked fine, as did the Rootone and the Dip 'n Grow.

As an experiment, you might want to try rooting cuttings from some of your morning glories. If you developed a successful technique, it could be a big aid in your breeding. If you got a really exceptional hybrid morning glory (like, for instance, a yellow one), you could multiply it by cuttings to get a big population of plants, which you could use to get an extra heavy seed yield. You could also experiment with carrying the cuttings over the Winter in pots under fluorescent lights. You could even take cuttings from the cutting plants to further multiply your inventory of plants for a big plant-out the next year. I consider propagation from cuttings an important new tool in my zinnia breeding hobby.


Robertsdale, AL(Zone 8b)

MM, very interesting thoughts.

I have read that some species of Ipomoea do readily root from cuttings, especially Ipomoea indica. Japanese Moring Glories are Ipomoea nil, and some may have had success rooting some varieties as well. Those with that experience may chime in!

I may have been limiting myself, but I have always been motivated to get to the next generation of selection, either the first major selection from F2 plants or refining selections from subsequent generations. Getting segregation from which to select has typically not been an issue for me. Now, I will admit that my efforts to date have been probably more basic, in that I have been working to combine known, well documented genes into the more common varieties if JMGs.

As I progress, I am certain that the more subtle combinations of multiple factors will become more important to I learn to first recognize them and understand their value. At that point, your propogation methodologies could really have value, particularly if you discover unique valuable characteristics in a plant, but for instance do not have that perfect mate for it growing at the moment, but suspect that it is somewhere in an identified seed lot you have! Synchronizing blooms, which may be a challenge sometimes, could also be an application with Ipomea breeding programs.

Growing space is always an issue with me, so I have been more vigilant in trying to plan to have the right plants growing, rather than more plants! Because of this space issue, it forces me to stay focused on current projects and not stray too far from plan.

Thanks for stretching my thinking! That is one of the values of this forum! - Arlan

Gardiner, ME(Zone 5a)

could you please some pictures of your own zinnia's ?

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)


There are a number of pictures of my zinnia hybrids in my message threads in the Annuals forum. The original "My Zany Zinnia Hybrids" became long and slow to load for some people, so I continued the thread in separate extensions. Here are the links:

My Zany Zinnia Hybrids:
Zany Zinnia Hybrids - Part 2:
Zany Zinnia Hybrids - Part 3 - Indoors for the Winter:

Since a thrips epidemic wiped out my indoor zinnias a couple of months ago, I have started new generations from seed recently. The thrips caught me completely by surprise. Next time I will be prepared for them with systemic insecticides such as imidacloprid.

Thrips were never a problem for me outside, and they were so small I couldn't see what was killing my indoor plants until it was too late. But, thanks to my fluorescent lights in plant stands and techniques for propagating zinnias by cuttings, I can now carry out my zinnia breeding hobby year-round here in Maine, which is a source of much enjoyment for me.


Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)


I think there is a good chance that you could root Ipomea nil with the aid of Physan 20.

Bacterial rot is the reason my first tentative zinnia cutting experiments always failed. They acted exactly like zinnia cut flowers in a vase, in that the bacteria quickly attacked the stems and created a rotten stinking mess just like unprotected cut flowers do in a vase of untreated water.

The zinnia cuttings consist of soft tissue that, unprotected, is a haven for bacteria. I dip the entire cuttings in Physan 20 solution and swish them around, which washes off any aphids, dirt, or other little bugs that may be present. Don't leave the cuttings submerged in a bucket of Physan 20 for an extended period of time, because they can "drown". I learned that the hard way, by leaving some cuttings submerged overnight. They were all dead the next morning. Leaves have to "breathe".

Incidentally, I think that washing the cuttings in Physan removed any thrips that were present, because the cutting plants thrived for several months before the above-mentioned thrips outbreak occurred. I am pretty sure I brought the thrips indoors in zinnia seedheads that I harvested and set on shelves near where my cutting plants were growing. In the future I will know to "quarantine" the zinnia seedheads that I bring in from my zinnia patch.

I hesitate to treat the seedheads themselves with Physan 20, because it might trigger premature germination of the seeds. If I did treat the seedheads with Physan 20, I would need to quickly tear them apart, spread the seeds out on paper towels and dry them before a germination response occurred.

If you made interspecific crosses with morning glories, such as I. nil x I. indica and the resulting hybrids didn't produce viable seed, you could grow them from cuttings until you could figure out a way to defeat the sterility (colchicine, back crossing, etc.)

There is a possibility that by using the techniques of zygotic embryo culture you could even grow intergeneric hybrids, like the orchid breeders do. A lot of commercial orchid varieties are interspecific hybrids and even intergeneric hybrids. There is information on zygotic embryo culture in several tissue culture books. I can provide instructions for using Amazon's Search Inside feature to read samples of these references if you wish to pursue that approach. Obviously, neither of us is ready to spend $370 for a book. I have the "In Vitro Plant Breeding" book, but it is just introductory.

I think you might get some really interesting results by making some adventuresome morning glory crosses. The dwarf morning glories in Convolvulus (Convolvulacea) have three and even four colors in their blooms, including red, yellow, blue, and white. In vitro zygotic embryo culture could open up some exciting possibilities in morning glory breeding, by enabling the production of interspecific and intergeneric hybrids that otherwise would not grow from seeds.

And, although I am not a fan of plant patents, I think that asexual propagation methods could make the results eligible for plant patenting.


South Hamilton, MA

Do zinnia breeders keep records of what colors produce different colors? That's not the way to describe it, but to carotines produce likes colors & the anthrocyanins do the same?

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)


So far I have been keeping records of my maternal lines, and allowing somewhat unspecified variety in the male parents. The researchers at universities are doing a more careful job by recording both the male and female descriptions. I am proceeding in more of a "by guess and by golly" mode. But even the university researchers are still learning things about zinnia colors.

You are right, in that a variety of colored organic compounds participate in making up zinnia colors. Quoting from Dennis Stimart and Thomas Boyle in the Zinnia chapter on page 349 of Flower Breeding and Genetics, edited by Neil O. Anderson:

"Ligule color in Z. violacea is controlled by two major genes (Boyle and Stimart, 1988). Presence of the anthocyanidins pelargonidin and cyanidin is controlled by a single dominant gene (An1). Carotenoid expression is conditioned by a recessive gene (ca) governing its presence and other genes controlling the distribution of carotenoids in ligules [petals]. Thus, white ligules are devoid of anthocyanidins (an1 an1) and carotenoids (Ca_). Pollard (1939) identified seven additional genes affecting ligule color in Z. violacea; additional research is needed to elucidate the effects of these genes on pigment biosynthesis."

There is a lot to be learned about the genetics of zinnia color. Me, I am just kind of "winging it".


South Hamilton, MA

The dominent & recessive are intersting as in bearded iris it works the other way. the iris genes really surprised me as in cocker spaniels which we used to raise black was the dominent color. It goes to show that each time you start messing with a group of plants, be sure & find out about their heritage.

South Hamilton, MA

MM---We have been away for a weekend and I reread this thread since we returned. Not only are colors interesting, but size of plants. I have seen zinnias of different sizes at garden centers & wonder about their heritage. It is interesting that there are different terms for the forms while iris terms seem to emphasize different terms for color, amoena for white standards & colored falls, variegata for yellow standards & red falls for instance. DH and I work with the smaller irises, but the color terms are the same. Where do garden centers get their zinnia plants? Not from individual hybridizers of course. Are the seed companies doing their own work or buying from hybridizers? I will have to look at annual flats this spring & try to see if all produce about the same colors or New? colors are coming out.

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)


"Where do garden centers get their zinnia plants?"

It varies, but some "big box" garden centers like Home Depot and Loews have contracts with commercial plant growers who bring plants in. Sometimes the arrangement is very similar to selling on consignment, in that the garden center doesn't pay for plants until they are sold. That's one of the reason why some of them are careless about watering the plants, because if they die, it is the plant grower who suffers. Some garden centers purchase their plants outright from the growers.

The growers buy their seeds from seed companies who cater to growers. Some seed companies have two divisions, one that sells retail to the public, and another that sells seeds "wholesale" to growers only. In many cases the growers have access to a wider variety of seeds than the home gardener. Parks, Johnny's, and Stokes have separate retail and commercial divisions. Ball owns Burpee and Burpee sells retail while Ball sells to plant growers.

"Are the seed companies doing their own work or buying from hybridizers?"

Seed companies used to grow their own seeds or subcontract their seed production. Burpee used to do quite a bit of original research, hybridization and breeding. Nowadays the seed companies mostly buy their seeds from various wholesale seed producers. There are many companies who specialize in research, hybridizing, and seed production, and they offer their products to seed companies who "trial" them and select products that they will offer in their catalogs. A lot of the seeds come from companies in Europe, South America, and Asia. In many cases the country of origin is listed on the seed packet.

"I will have to look at annual flats this spring & try to see if all produce about the same colors or New? colors are coming out."

Some of the zinnia mixtures have an incredible range of colors, with dozens of different shades of the basic colors and subtly differing pastels almost like the paint chips in the home stores or paint stores. Most of the zinnia colors have been around in one form or another for many decades. Some of the more popular zinnia strains are available in separate colors.

You get a wider selection of colors, flower forms, and plant habits in seed catalogs, simply because the growers are very "bottom line" orientated, and grow only those varieties that they think they can make a profit on. The growers supply separate colors for people who wish to plant landscaping beds with uniform colors within the individual beds, and for that reason the seed companies that sell to growers tend to offer more separate colors than the seed catalogs do to the retail market. Growers also tend to prefer shorter more compact plant habits that will stay tidy in their market paks and flats.

As an amateur zinnia breeder I can produce zinnias that wouldn't be feasible for the commercial seed growers to produce, simply because hand pollination isn't feasible for them and it is easy for me. And I don't have to worry about a "bottom line", because it is just a hobby for me.


P.S. This message thread has become essentially inactive because the Hybridizers thread that it requested has been granted. The new Hybridizers thread itself is a little slow at the moment, after the "new" wore off.

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