Lilies forum: Seed viability and growing from seed question

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Sep 9, 2014 8:32 PM CST
I got seeds on 'Delicate Joy' Asiatic lily, pod split open and got tons of brown seeds. But near light they all look empty, except one that's swollen and not clear inside (middle seed, orangish tint) I only got one viable seed? Do I plant the seed right away in soil now?

Thumb of 2014-09-10/keithp2012/6fc6e8

Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 9, 2014 10:40 PM CST
Yes, the clear seeds are chaff (empty seed). With a good light behind, typical viable lily seeds have visible endosperm and embryos, similar to this:

Thumb of 2014-09-10/Leftwood/586867 Thumb of 2014-09-10/Leftwood/be783f
The embryos are the lines in the center parts of the seeds.

Many of us make it a practice to plant the chaff anyway, however. Sometimes the embryo hides or is infinitesimally small, and it is missed. With my ten years of lily seed planting experience, I do discard most of the chaff material, but anything that may have the slightest possibility of being viable, I plant. Using a light box or a flashlight app on your phone is a great way to employ the backlighting needed to determine possible viability of lily seed.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Sep 9, 2014 11:40 PM CST
Thanks, I'll plant them all and see what happens, I have more lily seeds on the way to keep checking too!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 10, 2014 7:16 AM CST
Forgot to add that you can plant the seed right away, but it is doubtful you will have better success than later. We usually let the seed dry, and store until conditions are more amenable to growing the seedlings on. If you plant now, then you have committed yourself to growing under lights for the winter. Often, people plant lily seed in late winter to get a jump on spring (and ultimately, larger plants at the year's end), or you can be lazy like me, and plant later so seedlings can be grown in pots directly outside.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Sep 10, 2014 9:25 AM CST
Leftwood said:Forgot to add that you can plant the seed right away, but it is doubtful you will have better success than later. We usually let the seed dry, and store until conditions are more amenable to growing the seedlings on. If you plant now, then you have committed yourself to growing under lights for the winter. Often, people plant lily seed in late winter to get a jump on spring (and ultimately, larger plants at the year's end), or you can be lazy like me, and plant later so seedlings can be grown in pots directly outside.


I thought it will grow and produce a tiny bulb before the cold hits and go dormant? And some lily seeds I heard don't sprout until they experience cold then warmth which means they have to be outside in pots.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 10, 2014 10:11 AM CST
In my opinion, you're gambling (and a bad gamble at that) whether the tiny seedling would grow a bulb large and mature enough by summer's end to survive the winter outdoors.

Your Asiatic lilies do not have that type of growth process that requires a cold period to sprout. The seeds you are alluding to have delayed germination or hypogeal seed growth. These include many of the martagon types, Caucasian, oriental, some Mediterranean lilies, but very few asiatics (and not yours). Normal germination time for your lily would likely be one to three weeks.
Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Joebass
Sep 10, 2014 10:58 AM CST
Keith, I agree with Rick on this one. Being that your seed is very likely an asiatic immediate epigeal seed, I think you have a few choices for best options.
1. Freeze the seed and plant outside in late winter/early spring.
2. Sow seeds now but then you will need a light setup and a place that will stay warm enough for the winter.
3. Freeze seeds and start under lights in January or February indoors.

I've been using option 3 for my immediate epigeal seeds and it gives the seeds a head start on natural germination in spring to build up a little more bulblet size before planting out in the fall.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Sep 10, 2014 1:41 PM CST
Joebass said:Keith, I agree with Rick on this one. Being that your seed is very likely an asiatic immediate epigeal seed, I think you have a few choices for best options.
1. Freeze the seed and plant outside in late winter/early spring.
2. Sow seeds now but then you will need a light setup and a place that will stay warm enough for the winter.
3. Freeze seeds and start under lights in January or February indoors.

I've been using option 3 for my immediate epigeal seeds and it gives the seeds a head start on natural germination in spring to build up a little more bulblet size before planting out in the fall.


Ok so freezing and putting outside late winter sounds better. Do I just put seeds in a plastic bag and freeze them?

What about my other lily seeds? I have tiger lily, asiatic, Easter lily, and oriental, but some are hybrid seeds I cross pollinated. Do I plant same as seed parent? In new to this it many hybrid crosses took so I need to learn about this quickly!
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Sep 10, 2014 1:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Joebass
Sep 10, 2014 8:18 PM CST
For storing the seeds you can put them in paper or plastic. Coin envelopes work well for storing seeds. I put mine in coin envelopes and then plastic by category. Keith check out some of the sticky threads at the top of this forum. They will tell you a lot that you need to know.
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Australia Lilies Seed Starter Bulbs
Plant and/or Seed Trader Hellebores Birds Seller of Garden Stuff Garden Art Cat Lover
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gwhizz
Sep 11, 2014 2:46 AM CST
Blinking Looking in here dudes!! Whistling NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE LILY SEED....Luke!-use the 'Schwartz'.. Confused .. Man Ive got some meanass seedlings brewing here.. I think ,if there were 3 of me , we could get on top of it.. but theres only one ... Blinking
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Nov 12, 2014 6:38 PM CST
gwhizz said: Blinking Looking in here dudes!! Whistling NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE LILY SEED....Luke!-use the 'Schwartz'.. Confused .. Man Ive got some meanass seedlings brewing here.. I think ,if there were 3 of me , we could get on top of it.. but theres only one ... Blinking


Did you ever have any variegated seedlings pop up, those would be the force lol

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