Daylilies forum: Colored wires etc. for hybridizing

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Name: Catherine
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Cat
Jun 25, 2014 3:59 PM CST
Okay, Thanks! I'll ask one more. What are the colored wires used for?
Cat
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Name: Juli
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daylily
Jun 25, 2014 9:23 PM CST



I am not sure where they buy them, but I think they are a type of telephone wire. There are different colors and patterns of colors on the wires. Cut in short lengths of perhaps, they are threaded around the base of the flower that has been pollenated, and lightly twisted, to mark what pollen was used. The people I know that use wires will designate a certain wire pattern/color to use for a certain pollen for the entire year.

For example, a bright orange wire with pink and green tiny stripe might designate pollen from J.T.Davis, but a red wire with a white wide stripe might be for Ruby Spider.

The wires stay on the scapes really well, and when you get used to using them, I understand that they are fast to put on.

I am "old fashioned" and have always used little white paper tags to write my crosses on, then thread the strings from the tags around the bottom of the flower, and the tag hangs below the flower. The downside of the tags is that some insects will eat the ink off, or if you don't get it on heavy enough it will fade. Sometimes the tags get wet from rain or dew and tear where the tags attach to the string and will come off.

A few years back, the remnants of a hurricane hit Ohio. The winds were so strong and sustained that many people's tags just ripped right off the strings and who knows where they went. The people who used the wires were laughing all the way to the seed bank - because all their wires were still there and they knew what all their pods were, while those who used tags had lots of pods with strings on them, but no tags telling what the crosses were.

An advantage to the wires is that they almost disappear under the flowers for photos and such - and the paper tags are quite distracting. So if you don't want white paper tags in your photos, the wires are a nice idea.

I do believe the wires can be used year after year. The paper tags can be used more than one year, but many people use new ones each year.
Name: Kim W
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kimkats
Jun 25, 2014 9:41 PM CST
I use the wire bread ties. I save them up from different brands and from different grocery store's produce twisties, and from trash bag ties too.They are free and you can use them from one season to the next. I use them just like Juli describes using the wires. I'm small-time so it works for me. When I run out of colors I just twist 2 different colors together and voila, a new color. My family has gotten real good at saving the different colors for me. It is surprising how many colors are out there.

If you enlarge this pic from last year, you can see a green tie in the lower left around a baby pod, look closely and you can see a white tie, and 2 blue ties as well.
Thumb of 2014-06-26/kimkats/2e7723

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Name: Catherine
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Cat
Jun 25, 2014 9:54 PM CST
I do have the white tags on a string that I have been using on the few crosses I have made already. I may try the wires. Any idea where you can get them?
Cat
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Name: Juli
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daylily
Jun 25, 2014 10:06 PM CST
I would start a new thread and ask about them. Few people will see the question here. But if you start a new thread, many people will see it. There used to be a man who sold supplies for hybridizing, but I don't think he does that anymore. I imagine they come up on the Lily Auction from time to time also.
Name: Catherine
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Cat
Jun 25, 2014 10:09 PM CST
Good idea Juli, Thanks!! I may check Ebay also.
Cat
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Polymerous
Jun 26, 2014 12:13 AM CST
Having experienced the ugliness, the hassle, and the snails-eating-the-ink off problems with paper tags, what I use for crosses are paper clips. If you shop around (including on eBay) you can get lots of different colors.

I have basic colors: red, orange-red, orange, pink (I've learned that the sun can fade color so I use these shades all for the same pollen parent, or else make sure that the pollen parents are not used on the same pod parents so there can be no confusion, if that makes sense), 3 shades of green, 2 shades of blue, 2 shades of purple, white, yellow, 6 striped combos, 4 metallic colors... If I am using more pollen parents than that, then I start doing combos (striped red/white + lime = X, striped red/white + blue =Y and so on).
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
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Hemlady
Jun 26, 2014 5:12 AM CST
Polymerous, I do the same thing as you. I get as many different colors as possible. In the north the colors that fade are red and pink. I don't have any trouble with the rest fading so every season I usually replace all of my red and pink. Shoplet.com is a good source for clips as is staples. Last year Staples had a lot of new colors including a vibrant orange, lime green and purple. I always check there every year.
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fiwit
Jun 26, 2014 5:48 AM CST
Cat said:I do have the white tags on a string that I have been using on the few crosses I have made already. I may try the wires. Any idea where you can get them?


I did a search for "colored wire" - this is what you can find on amazon with that search

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acolo...


Or if you had an old phone cable or computer cable, you could strip the rubber casing from it and have either 4 or 8 strands of colored wire.
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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 26, 2014 6:54 AM CST
Okay, Great Help and Ideas! Thanks Everyone!! Paper clips seem like they would be pretty easy to use. Never thought about them.
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Juli
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daylily
Jun 26, 2014 7:16 AM CST
Cat... I went ahead and split this conversation off into its own thread. To much good info here to be buried in the other thread.
Thumbs up

Now I have a question...

When using paper clips, do you straighten them first? Or, somehow get them around the base of the flower in their original shape?
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 26, 2014 7:19 AM CST
Thanks Juli! Saw that. Great question I was wondering how exactly they put the paper clips on.
Cat
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Name: Michele
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tink3472
Jun 26, 2014 7:26 AM CST
daylily said:Cat... I went ahead and split this conversation off into its own thread. To much good info here to be buried in the other thread.
Thumbs up

Now I have a question...

When using paper clips, do you straighten them first? Or, somehow get them around the base of the flower in their original shape?


I just bend the hook part out just a tad and it fits around the base of the bloom pretty well. If the base is too big then I may have to straighten it out but you leave the rounded (hook) alone so it just hooks on the base. I think it's hemlady that uses small paper clips for dips and large paper clips for tets. The large paper lips will fit nicely around the bigger base.
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Name: Char
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Char
Jun 26, 2014 7:32 AM CST

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You can also hang the colored paperclips on your individual plant markers (I know someone who does this) to remind you of traits that may not be on the label and save time referring to notes. For instance if you use both dip and tet parents you could place a purple clip on a plants marker for dip, if a plant is an evergreen and you want to make sure to only cross with dormants use a green clip or when using only one pollen parent on a clump, etc. If you use a different pollen parent for whatever reason on a clipped clump (say that 10 times fast!) use the clip for that particular pollen parent on that bloom. Then all unclipped pods would be the chosen parent on the marker (saves on paper clips). I use the paper tags and attach a tag with the main chosen pollen parent to the scape. Any other pollen parents used on that clump get an individual tag on the bloom.

Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 26, 2014 7:39 AM CST
Thanks Michele! You just decide which color is for what pollen? So if I am using pollen from Metallic Montage today (for example) I use a (say) blue paper clip on any flower I pollinate? How do you keep track of what paper clip color goes to what pollen? Seems like a lot more work but if tags fade or come off, you will not know the cross. Blinking I think I am rambling at this point, lol. I need a cup of tea! Smiling
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
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Hemlady
Jun 26, 2014 7:48 AM CST
That's correct Cat. I keep a journal and assign the plant I am going to use a paper clip color. Like Michele said I use small clips for dips and large clips for tets. I try and bend the hook as tight as I can around the flower so that they don't come off in a wind storm or migrate to the bottom of the scape.
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Name: Michele
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tink3472
Jun 26, 2014 8:28 AM CST
Here's a couple of photos, not too great since I took with my phone but you get the idea



Thumb of 2014-06-26/tink3472/3de512
Thumb of 2014-06-26/tink3472/7857ac

It's easy to keep up with. I either have it in my notes in my phone (always on me) and in a notebook. I only use so many pollens so it's not like I have 100 different pollens to go look up.
I also write the color on the pollen container for quick reference. For the centrifuge tubes you can put tape on side and write color or put a color dot to lid (with paint markers)


Thumb of 2014-06-26/tink3472/70f3a0

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[Last edited by tink3472 - Jun 26, 2014 8:32 AM (+)]
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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 26, 2014 9:14 AM CST
Okay, I see now. That makes sense. I will probably go with that to keep from loosing tags.
Cat
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Name: Tina
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chalyse
Jun 26, 2014 9:21 AM CST
The photos are a great help in understanding how wires are used. I can see how well it would work for large-scale commercial hybridizers when only one pollen parent is being used on a section of the nursery with one cultivar in it.

After trying many different systems that hybridizers use, I now track crosses with a really simple method that is easy and inexpensive for smaller-scale work, so that I don't need a system or lots of combinations to identify crosses. To keep track of individually chosen crosses for each bloom, a sharpie-type pen with retractable fine-point has never faded, run, fallen off, or been eaten even with thee months of high temps, daily watering with strong shower-setting, high winds, or the endless march of snails and other critters. The retractable tip makes it easy to carry without it drying out or staining clothes.

The marker is used to record an abbreviation of the pod and pollen parents names on 1/4-inch green or blue painter's or masking tape (chosen to blend with the greenery and easily go on and off the plant, while staying securely fastened meanwhile, so painter's tape works best). Using the first three or four letters of each word in the registered name, or just initials for longer names, has been enough to ID each of them without confusion, at least with my few 200 cultivars. The tape is torn off the roll and either threaded between buds and secured on the short stem just below the flower to be pollinated, or attached to the scape just below the bud if the flowers are crowded.

When buds ripen one-by-one for picking, the tape comes with them, transferred directly onto the pod. It is then re-used again to identify whatever container they are put in for drying and later storing in the refrigerator. The cost for a summer of hybridizing is about $5 total for pen and tape, and both are sold at craft and online stores.

Mixed cultivars garden, Single scape, and Many seed pod crosses
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[Last edited by chalyse - Jun 28, 2014 1:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 26, 2014 9:43 AM CST
That's a Great Idea Tina!! Easy and cheep!
Cat
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