Daylilies forum: Buying seeds

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 1, 2014 1:31 PM CST
I have seen a few posts by ATP members that buy seeds, I never have. I get the impression that some of the seeds are pretty expensive. My question is, if daylilies don't come true from seed do you have any idea of what the seedlings will look like?
Fred posted some pictures of sibling seedlings, a world of difference in them, I suppose a grower would go through hundreds if not thousands of seedlings weeding out the "dogs" trying to find that one special plant. So what are the odds of buying a handful of seed and getting a winner of a daylily. I see people are often disappointed with the results of the seeds they bought, but even with the most expensive daylily seed, couldn't they just turn out to be plain Jane daylilies? Every daylily I look up says "does not come true from seed" . I do understand you would at least expect the seeds to germinate, what should your expectations be beyond that?
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Jun 1, 2014 1:39 PM CST
The answer to your first question is no, you have no idea what the seedling will look like. It could be amazing or it could make dog poo look elegant. I have no idea what the odds are for or against getting a nice plant from a handful of seeds. It would depend on the parents for sure but yes even expensive seeds can yield plain daylilies.

Buying seeds can be a way to get genetics that you otherwise wouldn't be able to or it can just be a fun hobby.

As far as expectations, I would expect at least some germination (though there are likely crosses that do not result in viable seed) and I would expect that the seeds I am buying are from an honestly and correctly labeled cross.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Jun 1, 2014 2:38 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! James, that cracked me up! My first couple of seedlings made dog poo look elegant! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!

James is correct about everything. It's a good way to get the genetics of certain plants, even if the seedlings turn out to be dogs. They still have the genes though, so it's a good way to go if you can't afford the expensive parent, or don't want to spend the money on the expensive parent.

I've never bought seeds, and can't imagine I ever will. I prefer to make my own and hope for the best. I also can't imagine selling seeds, since I am positive that all of the good ones will end up growing somewhere else!
Natalie
Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Jun 1, 2014 4:32 PM CST
I have over 150 seedlings growing from seeds gotten from a variety of sources.

My thinking was that seeds from variety of sources would give me lots of stuff with which to play.

My thinking may change...
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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tink3472
Jun 1, 2014 5:32 PM CST
In the beginning I bought seeds from the auction because I didn't have much to work with as far as plants. It was a way for me to get some of the genes from parents that I couldn't afford otherwise. I was still buying daylilies in the $25 range back then so anything more than that I would buy some seed crosses with it as a parent. Of course I was hoping to get lots of beauties but you just never know what you may get.

If I was going to buy seed I would only do so on the lily auction as I do not trust buying seed or daylilies on ebay. There are some reputable sellers on ebay that are well known on the lily auction and elsewhere in the daylily world that I would maybe buy from but as a general rule I just don't buy daylily stuff from there. The reason is that I have heard wayyyyyy too many tales of buying newer daylilies and then 2-3 years later (these were more northern gardens) when they bloomed the daylilies were all ditchlilies. Of course the seller was no where to be found by then. Shoot there is someone who sells daylily "roots" and swears they will grow into a plant (whole other discussion there) Blinking

Anyway, some people expect 100% or close to germination rate from these seeds and as James said some just don't produce viable seeds at all and there is no way the seller can know this unless they have had the plant for awhile and planted lots of seeds from them and never got any germination from them. Some seed sellers do guarantee their seeds will germinate or your money back but I would never ask for my money back for seeds unless they arrived mushy or moldy.

Seeds come in all shapes and sizes and some dry up and shrivel up to almost nothing and others stay plump and round. Some buyers don't realize this and assume the really shriveled up ones are no good and they all should be plump and round; it just doesn't happen this way.

Some sellers will not guarantee the seeds to germinate because of all the different things people do to the seeds to get them to germinate like scratching the surface with sandpaper, soaking in peroxide water, germinating them in paper towel or such, the rock method, soaking in growth promoting products, etc. There was an experiment done by someone and it was published in one of the AHS journals on some of the various ways (sand, coffee filter, vermiculite and other stuff)and the different germination rates each produced.

Of course we would love to all get drop dead gorgeous introduction worthy blooms from these seeds but it does not always work this way. You can get as many keepers from 100 seeds as you can 1000, it just depends on what you are looking for. And you can get as many dogs from 1000 seeds as you can 100 seeds. I have gotten more plain non-eyed blooms (usually cream or yellow) than I want to count from 2 eyed parents or more solid pinks and purples from 2 eyed orange parents or more non-toothy blooms from toothy parents. With so much genetics in the background it is going to happen.

Here is a photo of a plain yellow bloom from 2 eyed parents. If I would have bought seeds and been new to buying seeds and got this I would swear there was no way this was the correct cross

Parents are DRAGONFLY DAWN x CASPER'S REVENGE
Thumb of 2014-06-01/tink3472/64a9d0 Thumb of 2014-06-01/tink3472/a77b3e

seedling from those 2
Thumb of 2014-06-01/tink3472/35edb3






[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Alex
Warren, VT- Green Mtns. (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Ideas: Level 1 Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Dahlias Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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ARoseblush
Jun 1, 2014 5:58 PM CST
I buy seeds because I want the genetics. I have about 100+ seedlings that should bloom this summer. Great hybridizers like John Benz, Gossard, Polston etc. intros are expensive and sometimes only can be had by buying the collections. Buying the seeds is a way I can get the genetics of a particular plant I love and can cross breed with one of my plants. I agree with James, it could be 'dog poo' , plain Jane, or box-office smash. Definitely, a crap shoot. Stay tuned, I will post some of these seedlings this summer, and you can fill in your own descriptive narrative! nodding I love the mystery!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 1, 2014 6:08 PM CST
But it is a pretty yellow!
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jun 1, 2014 6:15 PM CST
I agree It really is pretty! But I would have never expected that to be one of the seedlings from those two parents! That is a great example of not knowing what you will end up with.

Since the yellow seedling has fantastic genes from its two parents, you may get something really fancy from its seeds, so I still think it is worth buying seeds, just for the genetics.
Natalie
Name: Alex
Warren, VT- Green Mtns. (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Ideas: Level 1 Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Dahlias Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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ARoseblush
Jun 1, 2014 6:23 PM CST
Michele.....that is unbelievable. OMG, what a shocker from that cross. Total disbelief. Not even remotely close. Pretty yellow flower, tho, but not exactly what you expected by a long shot. Maybe DD had a premarital fling with a honeybee just before you pollinated. Big Grin Big Grin
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 1, 2014 6:24 PM CST
Am I correct in understanding that the big time daylily breeders will have thousands of seedlings in a year? If so the odds to me look pretty slim for a hundred plants, of course the one time ticket buyer sometimes wins the lottery. Shrug!
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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tink3472
Jun 1, 2014 6:26 PM CST
Seedfork said:But it is a pretty yellow!


I like it and will keep it another year to see what it does as it does set pods and I like the bloom.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Jun 1, 2014 6:27 PM CST
Yes, thousands upon thousands. But what they compost would also make most of us extremely happy.
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Jun 1, 2014 6:28 PM CST
tink3472 said:

I like it and will keep it another year to see what it does as it does set pods and I like the bloom.


It has a nice edge going on it. Toothy but more like a hacksaw with those fine teeth as opposed to the pollen parent.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jun 1, 2014 6:37 PM CST
JWWC said:Yes, thousands upon thousands. But what they compost would also make most of us extremely happy.

I would LOVE to go on a raid of one of those compost piles!
Natalie
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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tink3472
Jun 1, 2014 6:41 PM CST
Seedfork said:Am I correct in understanding that the big time daylily breeders will have thousands of seedlings in a year? If so the odds to me look pretty slim for a hundred plants, of course the one time ticket buyer sometimes wins the lottery. Shrug!


Yes they have thousands of seedlings (Floyd Cove 70,000, Nicole 14,000, Trimmer used to do 10,000 or more but cut way back some time ago). I have read that some hybridizers (not the big ones) who used to do 5000-10,000 cut back to 500 or so and still got as many keepers as they did with the larger number. When you cut back to a small number you are more selective on what you use/cross and can still get as many keepers.

Even some of the bigger hybridizers buy seed on the auction. I have seen Nicole, Bonibrae, Stamile to name a few buy seed from the auction. Jamie Gossard bought 5 seeds on the auction from Bob Faulkner several years ago (for more than $200) and he got 2 introductions from them. I only do about 500-800 for myself and Kim does about the same and I have plenty of possible intros. No I'll never be able to have 15-30 intros per year like some put out but that ok with me.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 1, 2014 7:11 PM CST
I feel sure that if you grew 70,000 seedlings you would have a wide array of specific goals for the plants, if you cut down to 500 those goals would also be narrowed way down, and I feel the standards you had for judging the plants for introduction would also be greatly reduced, so maybe you would be able to get the same number of intros from a much smaller number of plants.
You did provide a very rough figure for a ratio of success, if you grow 500-800 seedlings and you will never be able to get 15-30 intros, that gives a very rough ratio of about 3 out of 100 , just to get an idea of a success ratio. That is really much better than I would have thought.
Of course that is not saying that there would not be a lot of very pretty daylilies in that 500-800, just that there would only a few that met the specifics your were looking for.Still three out of a hundred I would think is pretty good.

[Last edited by Seedfork - Jun 1, 2014 7:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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chalyse
Jun 1, 2014 8:02 PM CST
Getting a plain yellow from eyed parents seems pretty normal to me Shrug! Here are some of the ancestor plants behind the two eyed parents of the yellow seedling:

The eyed pollen parent, Casper's Revenge, was created from pollen off of Fantastic Fringe (so Fantastic Fringe is like a grandparent to the seedling):



Like its namesake, Casper's ghostly unseen genetic instructions can pop up in a second generation, or many generations, later ... in my family, that's just like some of us getting Great-Granpas buck teeth, Great-Aunt Mirtha's large ears, or Cousin Eddie's adorable dimples. Big Grin I'm all ears!

On the other side of the yellow seedling's family (eyed Dragonfly Dawn) there are lots and lots of yellows, and not that many have full-blown teeth:




So, buying seed can be a gamble, especially when they are from cultivars that seemingly have no parents Rolling on the floor laughing And, I agree about ebay ... way too easy for nomadic sellers to offload ditch lilies and leave town years before they would ever flower. If an LA seed seller is known, has a stable land presence, and has some history of dependence on the community ... and if the seeds actually have a parentage to research so that you can see the range of blooms you might expect, then as long as the seeds are not in the end as expensive as buying a look-alike parent or grandparent fan ... it may be fruitful to pursue. And, sometimes it's just f-u-n to gamble and watch the parade of sweet seedlings that result! But, if buying newer seeds is like dinner with Michael Douglas and gets priced so high that they are for bragging rights only, I'd much rather have soup and crackers with Kirk, (buy the parent cultivar for a song), instead!

For me, the cost of seeds I'd be interested in have always met or exceeded the cost of full-grown look-alike relatives that have a track record of throwing offspring with the attributes I'd look for, so I just buy the inexpensive relatives, but hope does spring eternal on the LA, and there can be a lot of joy in just getting seeds from a particular cross. And, for those who are hybridizing on a very large scale, its also a way of mixing up the genetic pool and pulling out whatever may inject some new vigor or characteristic into their program. Thumbs up
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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[Last edited by chalyse - Jun 1, 2014 11:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Dorothy Spackman
Highland, UT
I must remember--Do not buy more fl
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dspack
Jun 1, 2014 10:58 PM CST
I do buy some seed on the LA (I tried getting some on Ebay once--they were sent in a plain envelope and I ended up with seed dust; absolutely nothing in there that you would guess was once a seed). But the only reason is because I love surprises-good or bad. It's just fun to see what comes up. If it is something good, I keep it, something not so good but not dog poo, I can usually give them away--really bad go to compost. Or I feed it to our horse. This is one of my keepers.
Thumb of 2014-06-02/dspack/fbe84a

Dorothy Spackman
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jun 1, 2014 11:12 PM CST
Very nice Dorothy!
Natalie
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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chalyse
Jun 1, 2014 11:22 PM CST
I agree gorgeous! Lovey dubby
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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