Daylilies forum: Planting from seed

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Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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gargoyl52
Aug 9, 2015 6:49 AM CST
Ok so I'm probably not the first person who has wondered this...and I'm sorry if this is dumb but I wanted to ask. If I started some day lilly seeds this fall, gave them 3 months of growth, then their 3 months of cool period and planted them outside in the spring. Does that mean they will be on their 2nd year of growth as far as the plant is concerned?
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
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sooby
Aug 9, 2015 7:00 AM CST
Good question. From what point of view are you pondering this? If it is to do with flowering, then that is related to plant size so they may actually be behind in that respect compared to if they'd been kept growing and attained a bigger size. I don't remember hearing of anyone trying this before. How would you give them their cool period, and for what reason?
[Last edited by sooby - Aug 9, 2015 7:01 AM (+)]
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Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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gargoyl52
Aug 9, 2015 7:12 AM CST
Their cool period would be in a fridge. The reason would be to keep them on a seasonal schedule.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 9, 2015 7:21 AM CST
I don't think daylilies in general care what year of growth they are in. In the growing conditions hybridizers use in Florida they get bloom in nine months. Researchers at Michigan State University found that daylilies do not require a cold period to flower nor do they require specific day lengths (they could only test a small sample of the thousands of daylily cultivars so it is possible that there are some cultivars that are different).

I think that in general each daylily cultivar or seedling will bloom when it reaches a minimum size (depending on the environmental conditions it experiences). Plant size will depend on how well it is grown and for how long. Arisumi found that optimum temperatures for daylilies are between 75F - 85F. I expect that they are probably closer to the 75 degree end of that range. They need plenty of light for optimum growth and should be fertilized. Competition from weeds should be eliminated and clumps should not be allowed to get large as the fans probably compete with each other. As a rule of thumb Munson advised that daylilies should be divided each year (but his experience was with their growth rates in Florida and he probably had a one to eight increase ratio [or better] per year). He indicated to some of the hybridizers he mentored that daylilies would suffer if not divided frequently enough.
Maurice
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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gargoyl52
Aug 9, 2015 7:31 AM CST
Can you divide at any time of the year then or wait till fall? So maybe an experiment to grow a few seeds all winter is in order.
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
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sooby
Aug 9, 2015 8:07 AM CST
In Ontario I would divide in spring. It can be risky to plant late in the year. I don't think it is unusual to grow daylily seedlings through the winter, it keeps us northerners gardening through the snow. But it's only worthwhile if you can provide enough light to keep them growing well, as Maurice noted, otherwise you might just as well start them in spring. Some people find they don't have enough light, or they fertilize/water too much in relation to the amount of light and temperature, and the leaves get floppy. There's a temptation then to cut the leaves back but then you're cutting off the "food factory" for the plants and you haven't gained anything by the early start.
[Last edited by sooby - Aug 9, 2015 8:07 AM (+)]
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Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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gargoyl52
Aug 9, 2015 8:42 AM CST
So what kind of lighting is needed then? Just out of curiosity.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Aug 9, 2015 12:30 PM CST
Gar, I'm glad you asked this because this will be my first year planting seeds and I'm hoping to get my plants to a 'blooming size' faster, too. Thumbs up

Mind if I insert a few extra questions to your seed-starting thread? Whistling I hope you don't think I'm hijacking your thread, but your questions are good ones that parallel mine.

Here's a couple of questions I have to add:
* Do 'daylight' lamps (or 'natural' lamps) work as well for growing as lamps official sold as grow lamps? (My understanding is that as long as it's a blue-ish color of light, it will work as a grow light.)
* I plan to re-purpose K-cups to start my seedlings this fall (likely in October)--any idea how long I can expect to keep them in K-cups before they will need repotted? Or will K-cups last me until Spring planting time (late April/early May)? Does this vary wildly depending on cultivar, or do they mostly start growing at roughly the same pace?
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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gargoyl52
Aug 9, 2015 1:15 PM CST
No i don't consider your questions hijacking. K-cups cups I wouldn't think would last you that long. I would think you would risk stunting their growth leaving them in that long, but that's just my thinking. I'm just as new to this as you are so I could be wrong. The lighting.....with the price of T5 bulbs and fixtures being not too bad in price I would personally get the correct system, but again that's just me.
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
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sooby
Aug 9, 2015 1:31 PM CST
The lighting you can use will depend on whether the plants are close enough to a window to get natural light as well. Plants mostly, but not exclusively, use the blue and red wavelengths, so when the plant is near a window you can use cool-white and/or warm-white fluorescent tubes because the natural sunlight will provide more red light to balance the mainly blue from the fluorescents. You need for the lights to be bright enough, and close enough to the plants, for sufficient light intensity that the plants don't flop. You might want to check out these two articles if you're not familiar with growing plants indoors under lights:

http://www.uvm.edu/pss/ppp/articles/lighting.html
http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6515

DogsnDaylilies, the second of the above says "fluorescent tubes listed as white or daylight are less desirable for indoor plant growth". I haven't grown under lights for some time but used to start all our vegetable seedlings under them and always used cool-white as far as I recall, maybe combined with warm-white because that's what used to be recommended. I've never used "grow lamps" because I have always been able to place the plants near a window. Years ago it used to be said that grow lamps didn't have enough light intensity but I think they may have improved since then. Still for seedling growing where there is some natural light it would probably still be cheaper to go with cool-white - some people use a combination of cool-white and warm-white as mentioned above. I won't go into LEDs or any other alternatives because I've never tried them.

Re K-cups I, think they would be too small to keep daylily seedlings in for long but they'll likely tolerate it if you can keep up with the watering and fertilizing, daylilies are pretty tough. If you don't grow them under optimum conditions, though, you don't gain anything by starting them early other than something to do in winter Smiling Picnic drinking "glasses" from the supermarket are an inexpensive alternative.

I'll post a picture below of one of my experiments to show you how much root growth you might expect by one month after germination - these seedlings were started in plain sand, in a shallow container, and had not been fertilized so not optimum (it was for a germination experiment):

Thumb of 2015-08-09/sooby/c05fb2

Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 9, 2015 2:13 PM CST
I agree with Sue about dividing in spring in Ontario. Seedlings should be expected to grow at different rates, but how different and how variable I have never examined.

I don't think special lamps are required. I would use fluorescents or leds so that heat was not an issue.
Maurice
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Aug 9, 2015 6:52 PM CST
Sue - thank you for the information and picture-that helps! Smiling I was hoping to use K-cups more to repurpose the K-cups than anything else. Judging from your picture, it looks like the k-cups might work for the first 1-2 months and then I would need to repot them, which would be okay with me, I think. Plus, some might take forever to germinate and those could stay in the k-cup a little longer to conserve space until its needed. I might just have to experiment and see how it goes. I like your idea about the plastic cups, although I think I'll try to find something a little larger that isn't 'recyclable'...I'm trying hard to give 'non-recyclables' a second use, if possible; and the k-cups seem to be a manageable size in case I end up having fifty or a hundred seeds that I want to try to start. I'm trying to figure out how feasible all of this is...like almost everyone else, I don't have tons of money to spend on this project, so there might be some difficult decisions involved. Crying

Maurice - thank you for the input. Have you successfully grown daylilies under fluorescent lights?


I'm planning on growing these in my basement, so, while there is some daylight, I wouldn't factor it into the equation, there just isn't enough to make a difference. (I do, however, have enough for maybe 20 lucky seedlings to take up residence in my office window.) Whatever light waves are needed for the daylilies in my basement will have to be supplied by the light I purchase. It sounds like I'm going to have to set them up with two lights, which might be just as expensive as the grow lights. (I started researching all of this last winter when I was thinking about starting veggies, but I didn't commit most of the information to memory and I dropped the research in favor of just planting things and seeing what happens, which worked well). I guess I still have a lot of research to do in the next several weeks if I want to give my daylilies a head start this winter. Blinking
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Aug 9, 2015 8:27 PM CST
I have mentioned this before and even wrote 2 articles about growing seeds over Winter. I know I am in a different zone and grow some in my south window, but I also used to grow them on a shelving unit with shop lights:

Growing daylilies from seeds article:

http://garden.org/ideas/view/beckygardener/1839/Growing-Dayl...

Making a grow light shelving unit:

http://garden.org/ideas/view/beckygardener/2188/Create-Your-...

Maybe my two articles might give you some additional ideas on how to grow them over the Winter in your location. The one advice I can give ..... be careful NOT to over-water them in Winter. I also used a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in the spring water that I watered them with. It helps prevent root rot.

Just my .02 worth.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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gargoyl52
Aug 9, 2015 9:16 PM CST
Thank you Beckygardener. That was very informative! Thumbs up
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Aug 9, 2015 9:27 PM CST
Good luck! Do keep us updated on how this all works out for you germinating and growing seeds.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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gargoyl52
Aug 9, 2015 9:49 PM CST
Absolutely I will. So you don't refrigerate your daylily seeds after they have been dried for a month or so?
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Aug 9, 2015 9:51 PM CST
I dry my seeds for 3 days and then refrigerate them until I am ready to sow them in potting soil in cups.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
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
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kidfishing
Aug 9, 2015 9:55 PM CST
I refrigerate my seeds for at least 3 weeks.
I had a seed pod on Stella crossed with Little Mucha Minto and we threw them in a pot with a chaste tree and they are now growing without drying or being straisfied!!!
Kidfishing
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Aug 9, 2015 10:02 PM CST
I have read that many people do not dry or cold-stratify their daylily seeds, but instead plant them right away and they germinate just fine. I believe that to be true.

I think the reason that most people do dry for 3 days and then refrigerate is because they are not planning to sow them immediately after collecting them from the pods. By drying them, you prevent future mold from developing if you are going to be using cold (refrigerator) storage. The cold storage is believed to allow the seeds to stay viable for a longer period of time. I always dry mine in paper envelopes before ultimately storing them in small plastic ziploc baggies. I have a crisper bin that has several gallon baggies filled with individual crosses in small ziploc baggies. I've had some stored that way for a number of years and they still germinate just fine when I do plant them.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 10, 2015 5:35 AM CST
Maurice - thank you for the input. Have you successfully grown daylilies under fluorescent lights?

You are welcome. Not usually from seeds. I have dug up plants that have gone dormant and brought them inside to test what type of dormancy, if any, they have. After they sprout, I grow them under compact fluorescents but near an east facing window. So far no daylily has shown dormancy that requires cold to break, they are simply dormant (set bud? and not growing) because it is too cold. That includes 'Hyperion' (as long as it really is Hyperion) that goes dormant in Florida and stays dormant until spring. When brought inside in late autumn after going dormant but before it experienced cold, it sprouted and then grew slowly all winter with the light from an east-facing glass door and normal winter (short) day lengths.

I did have some seeds of 'Mosel' with 'Stella de Oro' that I sprouted inside and grew inside for about 18 months. Those were growing on a window sill (east facing) and then near an east facing window and under a compact fluorescent. The first batch grew successfully and are now outside in a large pot. The second batch of seeds from the next year I planted in individual coir pots. I was not able to keep those alive inside during the winter, but I blame that on the small coir pots. The first batch were planted together in one small plastic pot.

I kept the light on continuously.
Maurice

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