Daylilies forum: daylily seeds doing NOTHING

Page 1 of 5 • 1 2 3 4 5
Views: 2454, Replies: 80 » Jump to the end
Name: christy
tn (Zone 7a)
christyh
Apr 4, 2015 10:20 AM CST
Everyone says its easy to grow daylily seeds, but I plant in trays and stick on windowsill for light and nothing happens! What's wrong?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Apr 4, 2015 12:02 PM CST
christyh said:Everyone says its easy to grow daylily seeds, but I plant in trays and stick on windowsill for light and nothing happens! What's wrong?


How long have they been on the windowsill? If it's longer than two or three weeks then it's possible the seeds are dormant, although usually at least some would have germinated by then. Another possibility is that they are not viable (something wrong with them). If it's simply seed dormancy, then they will germinate more quickly if they are damp chilled (stratified) in the fridge or outdoors. If not stratified they can take weeks or months to germinate but, as I mentioned, usually at least some will germinate within a couple of weeks or so. They do not need light to germinate, is it possible they are getting too hot or too dried out?



Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
Image
Zencat
Apr 4, 2015 12:38 PM CST
We need a little more info. How old are the seeds? Have they been stratified? Are they being kept moist? How long has it been since planting? On which side of the house is the window?
Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
Hostas Lilies Hybridizer Keeps Sheep Pollen collector Irises
Hummingbirder Region: United States of America Daylilies Region: Oklahoma Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
kidfishing
Apr 4, 2015 1:36 PM CST
Are you using covered trays?
I have been growing hundreds of daylily seeds for years and have spoken to many others who start daylily seeds and there are as many ways as there are people.
Moisture and temperature are the two components to make any good seeds sprout.
Kidfishing
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
Image
Natalie
Apr 4, 2015 6:15 PM CST
@Zencat Celia!!!! Remember me? We swapped Elderberry bushes a few years ago, in person, in the Kmart parking lot! I was nhuntley on DG. I've been wondering how you have been!
Natalie
Name: christy
tn (Zone 7a)
christyh
Apr 8, 2015 2:23 PM CST
OK, I put in fridge for four weeks. I planted in covered trays. I moistened like I read to do, watering from bottom. In window. Maybe not warm enough? I read about heat matt's. The seeds I collected last summer.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Apr 8, 2015 2:27 PM CST
When you put them in the fridge for four weeks were they dry?
Name: christy
tn (Zone 7a)
christyh
Apr 8, 2015 2:53 PM CST
Yes, they were dry
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Apr 8, 2015 3:12 PM CST
Daylily seeds can have seed dormancy, which means that unless the dormancy is broken they may take weeks to germinate. You can break seed dormancy by stratifying the seeds in the fridge, but for that to work they need to have taken up some moisture. Chilling of dry seeds isn't effective. It's not a given that the seeds will be dormant, but it's a possibility especially if germination is slow and erratic.

Having said that, usually there are a few seeds that are not dormant and will germinate fairly quickly, like in one to three weeks. If absolutely none have germinated then the problem may have been with the storage before they were started, or the current conditions unless by some chance 100% of them were dormant.

I don't think it's likely that they are not warm enough, they don't need very high temperatures to germinate although earlier studies showed that the range of temperature for germination is wider if the seeds have been stratified. Do you have a rough idea of the temperature on the windowsill?

I would look at how they were stored before starting, and the type and condition of the medium they are planted in now. Are they in a commercial seed starting mix?



Name: christy
tn (Zone 7a)
christyh
Apr 8, 2015 4:24 PM CST
Yes. Commercial seed mix. So, dry seeds are not correct? Should I have soaked them first?
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
Image
Natalie
Apr 8, 2015 7:05 PM CST
Having moist potting soil is going to help, but I always add some water to them in the fridge when working on germination. I also add some peroxide, but that is just how I do it. I have seeds in the fridge that have been in there for close to 3 years now, and they haven't germinated, because they are stored dry. I've taken some of these seeds and put some moisture in with them, and they germinated. So, the seeds aren't bad. They just need moisture to get going.
Natalie
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Apr 9, 2015 6:10 AM CST
christyh said:Yes. Commercial seed mix. So, dry seeds are not correct? Should I have soaked them first?


Correct. For the chilling to break seed dormancy effectively the seeds need to have been re-hydrated to some extent. You can do this by various methods, soaking them for a day and then putting them on kitchen paper towels in a container in the fridge; just putting them in a baggie or container with a damp kitchen paper towel (or the pads some are using) and letting the seeds extract the moisture from the towel while in the fridge; or, my preferred method, putting the dry seeds into damp vermiculite, or damp sand, or damp perlite in either a baggie or other container in the fridge.

Leave them in the fridge for around four weeks and then take them out to room temperature to germinate, either still in the baggie/container or plant them in your starting medium.

Alternatively, before refrigerating you could plant them as you ordinarily would in damp medium of some kind, enclose that with a lid or baggie, and put the whole thing in the fridge. Then all you have to do is take them out after a month and set them somewhere at room temperature to germinate.

The purpose of damp chilling is to make them "think" they've been through a winter (fridge) and that it's now spring (room temperature) and therefore safe to germinate. If they're too dry through the fridge "winter" they can't respond to the cold temperature.

This damp chilling is called stratification, and once removed to room temperature the seeds should all germinate more or less together, usually within a few days. By a month after removal from the fridge they can be quite well grown.

Here are a couple of pics. The first one shows the test seedlings that were stratified in different types of media for comparison. They were one month in the fridge in the dampened media and this picture is taken a month after they came out to room temp. They were in the fridge in the little food containers. Once they started germinating at room temp I removed the lids. Left to right damp sand, damp perlite, damp vermiculite, damp coffee filter.

Thumb of 2015-04-09/sooby/910c2e

On the same day that I planted the above, I also set up two control experiments. The group on the left were planted in damp vermiculite at room temperature, never refrigerated. The ones on the right were refrigerated dry on a coffee filter for one month, then removed to room temperature and moistened. This picture was taken eight weeks after the start of the experiment. As you can see, far fewer seeds have germinated and they're way behind the damp chilled ones in growth.

Thumb of 2015-04-09/sooby/dcfcbb

I should add that the top ones are very crowded because this was just a numbers experiment and germination of the stratified seeds was in the 97% range. If being grown on to keep they would need to be separated and replanted, or have been sown more thinly. It's very easy to separate them if they're started in these types of medium. No fertilizer was used during the experiment and no seeds germinated while still in the fridge.

[Last edited by sooby - Apr 9, 2015 6:17 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #825529 (12)
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
Image
Hazelcrestmikeb
Apr 9, 2015 6:38 AM CST
Sue the two in the middle seem to be doing the best. Some has also soaked seeds overnight starting out with lukewarm water and a few drops of peroxide before putting them in the fridge wrapped in moist paper towel. They usually start germinating in the fridge. After a couple to a few weeks they are then taken out and the ones with roots showing are planted and the others are left out on a table to finish germinating as they are kept moist during this time. The Perlite method seem like a easier way of doing it if you have the fridge space.
robinseeds.com
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
Image
Natalie
Apr 9, 2015 9:55 AM CST
When they are put in the fridge with moisture, you need to check them periodically. I've had them germinate in a week plenty of times. If you see any growth, you need to take them out and pot them up. I would never leave them in there for a month without checking!
Natalie
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Apr 9, 2015 11:39 AM CST
Natalie, maybe the ones that germinate in a week were not dormant in the first place. I also suspect they are less likely to germinate in a fridge if the temperature is close to but not below 0C (32F), which is the optimum for stratification. As far as I recall your fridge is at 38F?
Name: Hilary Picton
Dousland, Devon UK (Zone 9a)
Image
Halfprice
Apr 9, 2015 11:51 AM CST
I have soaked my seeds (purchased from LA) in a weak hydrogen peroxide solution after keeping them in the fridge till the weather is right. I have always had a very high percentage of germination. I have not yet tried seeds from my own plants - this year maybe I will have a go!
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
Image
Natalie
Apr 9, 2015 12:59 PM CST
Sue, those seeds were in the fridge, dry, for a couple of years. As soon as I added the water/peroxide mix, some germinated in a week. I don't know what that means as far as them being dormant, but it was quick germination. I almost never have them take a month to germinate, and the fridge isn't always a constant temp. It is just my experience, and I'd never put them in there for a month with moisture without checking them every few days.
Natalie
Name: christy
tn (Zone 7a)
christyh
Apr 9, 2015 3:15 PM CST
Yes. Commercial seed mix. So, dry seeds are not correct? Should I have soaked them first?
Name: christy
tn (Zone 7a)
christyh
Apr 9, 2015 3:25 PM CST
Thank you all. I will try what you are saying. I haven't tried putting them in the fridge wet because I read one post that said it didn't matter that hers came up after being in moist soil. But as I said, mine are doing nothing. Also, I'm now getting furry mold on my dirt!!!! Great. I can grow mold and not plants! Lol
Name: christy
tn (Zone 7a)
christyh
Apr 9, 2015 3:28 PM CST
Also, does it matter how long your seeds are out on counter when collected? Must they be refrigerated immediately? Can they set out months?

Page 1 of 5 • 1 2 3 4 5

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Daylilies forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by sunnyvalley and is called "Hair-raising"