The Q&A Archives: Cross Pollintating Day Lillies

Question: I have cross pollinated two different day lillies and now have a seed pod. How long do I leave the seed pod on the plant before removing, do I plant the seeds outdoors or indoors, if indoors do I keep the plants indoors until next spring or transplant outdoors this fall? (I live in southern Ohio, zone 6.)

Answer: Let the seeds mature on the plant and pick the pod when it is about to open on its own. Make sure the seeds are very dry before storage. Store them cool and dry; inside a closed jar in the refrigerator works well. Before planting, the seeds will need to be cold stratified for a month or so, meaning set them in a container of dampened soilless potting mix or milled sphagnum peat moss (such as a closed plastic bag or jar) again in the refrigerator. Check weekly for sprouts and then, as they begin to germinate, plant the seeds in small pots and care for them as you would any other type of seedling. They may sprout over a long period, so be patient. This is usually started in late winter so that the transplants can be set into the garden in the spring and grow on for the season before being exposed to the heaving and thawing and cold effects of winter. I think you could also pregerminate them and plant them directly in the ground and get good results, too, although the plants would be a little smaller at the end of the first year. I hope you get some pretty ones!

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