Daylilies forum: Hybridizing

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Name: Gale
CentralWa (Zone 6a)
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GDJCB
Oct 30, 2015 5:10 PM CST
There are many posts on here, that touch on hybridizing, or Segway to this topic, however, I thought it would be nice to have a place to share any, and all members info on hybridizing, that they would like to share. As a newbie to this endeavor , I am open to all info on the subject. Please, share any thing that you have personally expeiranced in your hybridizing attemps, wether a professional, or like me a novice, or any were in between. Any info is good info, I learned in my first year at making crosses, that high temps have a significant impact on successful pollination attempts. If you could please include not only your zone, but also a short description of your actual weather, I would be grateful. I am in zone 6a, changed from 5b a couple of years ago, but I get very little snow cover, if any, with multiple frost/ thaw periods in late winter, not the same as many other zone 6a's.

Thanks,
Gale
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Oct 31, 2015 8:38 AM CST
Gale,
If high temps (above 85 is usually the limit people say) are a problem where you live, then make sure shade is available for those DLs you wish to make pod parents. Shade could be moving a pot to a less sunny area when you put pollen on it. If planted in the ground, a beach umbrella or some other form of shade that you can do would keep the temp right for forming pods. While we are Zone 7 and it gets pretty hot here, some areas of our garden don't hit that 85 because of the shade of trees, so our crosses "take" because those flowers don't get too hot. Making crosses in the early morning when the pollen is ready and the pistil is ready is a good thing if possible for you. Narrow your goals for your seedlings is a difficult, but necessary, as the more defined goals, the easier it is to work toward smaller goals. TM would say to focus on a very few pollen parents and pod parents, just use your best. Most of us used everything we liked when we started, but produced too many seeds to plant at some point, Then, we become more selective in the crosses.
Like I know what I am talking about,\
David
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America Roses
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Betja
Oct 31, 2015 9:51 AM CST
Gale, I live in Bakersfield, CA, near the southern tip of the San Joaquin Valley, and it can zip up to 100 as early as April here these days -- a very hot and dry climate, with summers usually over 100. Our average rainfall is something like 5"-6", and right now we're almost 3" under that for this year and we have fairly heavy water restrictions in place. And it almost never freezes here in the winter anymore.

I've had a lot of trouble getting crosses to take, and it seems that every spring I'll make literally hundreds of crosses that don't take -- and then suddenly in one week everything will take, and I simply cannot identify what is different about that week. So just keep trying, the earlier the better in the morning if possible, although not before the outside temp reaches 65. And I've learned my lesson and now keep just about all the plants I want to use as pod parents in pots so I can move them under my shaded back porch when I make crosses -- and I keep them there the next day as well, and it has helped. But there are some that I really want to set pods on that are in the ground, and for those I place big beach umbrellas over them on the day I pollenate and have to keep adjusting them as the sunlight moves. Also, I've had recent fairly good luck with bringing plants I want to use into the house to keep the temp around 80 on hot days during the early summer months.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Betty
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
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Dennis616
Nov 5, 2015 4:44 PM CST
I have been grateful to gain many helpful insights from the experienced and knowledgeable hybridizers here I tip my hat to you. . Perhaps some of you would be so kind as to share thoughts on some questions that are on my mind as a newbie about to begin a little bit of hybridizing?

1. Is there anything different about hybridizing dips as opposed to tets? Any very general “rules” or things that happen more commonly when crossing dips? About 15% of my daylilies are dips and I would like to try my hand at a few crosses, but wondering if I need to approach that differently...

2. Why do I keep reading about hybridizers leaving dips to focus on tets? Is it because is it “easier” to get changes in tets?

3. Are green blooms “albino” blooms where there is a lack of pigmentation? Why do green blooms generally seem to fade to white (or am I wrong on that)? Does one do anything differently when making a cross with a green bloom as one of the parents? What happens when green blooms are crossed with non-green blooms?

4. When using a white daylily as a parent with a colored daylily, does it frequently lighten the color of the colored daylily, or just "yield" completely to the colored daylily, or just random results?

5. I have a daylily that was introduced in 2008, and I read on the hybridizer’s website that he is making a lot of crosses with it. But no introductions have been made with it as a parent. What are the odds that all those crosses turned out “badly”? If it is likely, should I abort my plans to use it as a parent?

Thank You!
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 5, 2015 6:17 PM CST
Dennis616 said:
1. Is there anything different about hybridizing dips as opposed to tets? Any very general “rules” or things that happen more commonly when crossing dips? About 15% of my daylilies are dips and I would like to try my hand at a few crosses, but wondering if I need to approach that differently...

A couple of different things between diploids and tetraploids. Generally diploids tend to be fussier in crosses. The self-incompatibility system is stronger in diploids. What this system does is prevent (or reduce) self-pollinations from working to produce seeds/seedlings. However, whenever a species has such a system it also affects crosses between unrelated plants that simply carry the markers to prevent crosses from working. In tetraploids such systems tend to breakdown more often than not and that seems to be the case in daylilies.
Crosses between related diploids will tend to produce weaker offspring than those between related tetraploids. Diploids should tend to show stronger and quicker inbreeding depression than tetraploids.
Tetraploids tend to have changed characteristics from diploids, such as larger cells and thicker tissues.
Tetraploids have a wider range of genetic possibilities than diploids. Where a diploid might have a range of three a tetraploid has a range of five levels of a characteristic because of the number of combinations possible when there are four copies versus two copies of a gene. Thus diploids might be X/X - 10, or X/x - 6, or x/x - 2, but tetraploids could be X/X/X/X - 20 or X/X/X/x - 16 or X/X/x/x -12 or X/x/x/x - 8 or x/x/x/x - 4 or the tetraploid could be X/X/X/X 10, X/X/X/x - 8, X/X/,x/x - 6, X/x/x/x - 4 or x/x/x/x - 2.
In diploids one might have a situation in which flowers could be red (R/R or R/r) or yellow (r/r). In the equivalent tetraploids one might have R/R/R/R - deep red, R/R/R/r - medium deep red, R/R/r/r - medium red, R/r/r/r - light red r/r/r/r - yellow. This tends to be the sort of thing that happens.
2. Why do I keep reading about hybridizers leaving dips to focus on tets? Is it because is it “easier” to get changes in tets?

Genetically it is more difficult to get changes in tetraploids than it is to get them in diploids. It would be interesting to know whether tetraploids are less stable than diploids otherwise.
4. When using a white daylily as a parent with a colored daylily, does it frequently lighten the color of the colored daylily, or just "yield" completely to the colored daylily, or just random results?

In daylilies the results would more often be closer to lighten the colour or otherwise change the colour by small differences (quantitative) rather than yielding completely to the darker colour (qualitative). Simple dominance and recessive relationships are not typical in daylilies.

Maurice
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
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Dennis616
Nov 5, 2015 6:32 PM CST
Thanks, Maurice! Good info there.

Still digesting, but one surprise to me is that despite the greater genetic possibilities with tets it is easier to get changes with dips. Good to know.
[Last edited by Dennis616 - Nov 5, 2015 6:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 5, 2015 6:52 PM CST
Dennis616 said: one surprise to me is that despite the greater genetic possibilities with tets it is easier to get changes with dips. Good to know.

A simplified example based on single gene characteristics inherited simply (not necessarily a good example for daylilies but used to show why diploids are easier to manipulate genetically). Suppose I have found a blue diploid daylily b/b but it is only present in one plant and that plant has a scape only six inches tall S/S. I want to put the blue flower on a plant that has a scape 24 inches tall s/s but it is red B/B. I cross the two plants and all the F1 seedlings are short reds B/b S/s. I cross two of the F1 seedlings together (luckily for me for this example they are compatible). 1/16 of the F2 seedlings will be blue with 24 inch scapes b/b s/s.
The same example but in tetraploids. Blue is now b/b/b/b S/S/S/S and the 24 inch scape is s/s/s/s B/B/B/B. All the F1 are short reds B/B/b/b S/S/s/s. There are three extreme situations I could have in the F2 in the tetraploids. I might find that 1/1296 on average are 24" and blue. Or I might find that 1/256 are 24" and blue. Or unfortunately I might find that there are never any seedlings that 24" and blue.

In the diploids 1/16 is produced by 1/4 x 1/4. However in tetraploids 1/4 becomes 1/36 or 1/16 or never. It is partly because of the greater genetic possibilities that finding specific genotypes becomes rarer and therefore more difficult.
Maurice
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
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Dennis616
Nov 5, 2015 7:11 PM CST
That was very helpful. Makes sense.

I was thinking that with all the extra genetic information present in tets there would be lot more “hidden” genotypes that could appear after a cross, more readily enabling the appearance of different variations in the children...
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Nov 6, 2015 5:36 AM CST
That is why I concentrate mainly on dips. I do a few tets but sell most of the seeds. If I plant 2 dozen dip seeds from a cross, I usually get something that is worth keeping but with tets not so, only sometimes.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 6, 2015 7:05 AM CST
My apologies - a screen refresh caused a duplicate post.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Nov 6, 2015 7:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Nov 6, 2015 5:30 PM CST
That is very interesting about dips. I would have thought it the other way around. Good thing my newly acquired registered daylilies were about half tets and half dips. I like hybridizing both types, but didn't know that dips might actually have a better chance of producing something unique. Good info to know!
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
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kidfishing
Nov 6, 2015 9:30 PM CST
I have about 7500 dip seedlings that were planted this year in the garden or are growing in pots. First to see how many are there next spring and how many start blooming. Let's see, at one per every 16 ....
I will just wait and see.
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
Nov 7, 2015 12:14 AM CST
If 1 in 16 survive to bloom, that would be about 500 seedlings.
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: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Davi
Nov 7, 2015 6:50 AM CST
Dennis616 said:That was very helpful. Makes sense.

I was thinking that with all the extra genetic information present in tets there would be lot more “hidden” genotypes that could appear after a cross, more readily enabling the appearance of different variations in the children...


Dennis

That's why I find tets so appealing....I think many things remain hidden within the tetraploid gene pool that are hinted at from time to time when you have a focused program. Curt Hanson's program is a good example of a focused program that is revealing some of these hidden things through the development and stabilization of his sculpted forms. Curt gave me some seedlings early in my hybridizing career that are entwined so heavily in my program now that I'm seeing some pretty unusual things such as midrib cristation and ruffles on the BACK of petals, extreme pleats, toothy projections on petal surfaces.....weird, wacky things. One has to sort out if what you are seeing is just a weather related mutation or some hidden genotype that is trying to express itself. And stabilizing anything new so that it appears consistently takes many generations. But to me, that is what hybridizing means....moving daylilies forward to create things that do not now exist....not just crossing one pretty face with another pretty face to reinvent the wheel. And the possibilities are greater with tetraploids in a focused program. Of course, some of those "unpredictable" outcomes are not always pretty!!!
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Nov 7, 2015 7:38 AM CST
Well Judy with tets you certainly do have a lot more possibilities for sure and that in itself is exciting. It must be quite a challenge and certainly takes time to see what will come of all the hybridizing. I stick mainly with dips because of lack of room, although they can multiply a lot faster than tets most of the time and that can create problems as well. I look back at the first patterned daylily I purchased, Get Jiggy. At that time Get Jiggy and Rings of Wonder seemed to be the only patterned daylilies available. Now, one has their choice of tons of patterned daylilies and now I am seeing that even in dips thanks to some great hybridizers out there. I am anxiously looking forward to some crosses blooming from Rainbow Maker, thanks to Jamie Gossards wonderful hybridizing program.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
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Dennis616
Nov 7, 2015 7:48 AM CST
@Davi, on the one hand as a “newbie” I must confess that I would, at least initially, be very thrilled to get any good result even if it is “reinventing the wheel” Hilarious! But without a doubt revealing and developing new, hidden, unexpected possibilities takes it to a whole new level. Even though it’s just the scratching the surface of your endeavors, sounds like you are fully immersed in blazing some new trails and how truly exciting that must be! Truly fascinating to read about those new features you are working with. As you hint at by describing the generations it takes to stabilize anything new, the skill, time and effort required makes me tip my hat to you I tip my hat to you. . But it is daunting to me—and doubt creeps in as to whether I could possibly accomplish anything with very limited resources. Nonetheless I will step up to the plate and take some swings. I feel like it could just take one cross to pop-out something new and away I go. Thanks for the inspiration!

Name: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Davi
Nov 7, 2015 8:53 AM CST
Not every goal has to be as complex as creating a new form. You can move daylilies forward by creating new colors, new color combinations, new bud counts and scape heights, new foliage (variegated in different ways anyone? I love the red socks on some foliage), quadruple edges, or whatever strikes your fancy. The purpose of goals is just to create something that does not now exist. Some of those goals make take 30 years, while others may take 6!!

But do be on the lookout for anything "different" in your seedling beds. Sometimes I think people growing in small spaces have more time to do this, Cindy. I would find it nearly impossible to notice what the BACK of petals look like if I were growing 10,000 seeds every year.

This is a photo of Margo's FLIGHT OF ORCHIDS taken in Atlanta during the national. Floota took a photo on the same day that is in the database...... because look at what was on one of the petals!!!! A tooth!!! So I couldn't wait to ask Margo how often she sees that on this particular cultivar. I've seen these random teeth on other cultivars....some have edges. Things like this makes my imagination go wild. Could we some day see a daylily with teeth all over the petal surface???

Thumb of 2015-11-07/Davi/825610

Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Nov 7, 2015 8:57 AM CST
Oh wow, that is really strange.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
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Dennis616
Nov 7, 2015 9:30 AM CST
Petals with teeth all over them? How wild! Love it!

I do have a couple small goals where I just want to “tweak” the color and look of a couple particular blooms just a little bit so I’ll start there. I think it would require a lot of resources so I am not planning on doing this but I’m intrigued by the idea of taking stippling to big full-blown polka dots! From a landscaper perspective I really think the front of the border is critical so I would love to create more large blooms on very short scapes. I also LOVE the idea of new features with regard to foliage. And I’m sure some seedlings will nudge me in particular directions. Oh the possibilities!


Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 7, 2015 10:46 AM CST
One has to sort out if what you are seeing is just a weather related mutation or some hidden genotype that is trying to express itself. And stabilizing anything new so that it appears consistently takes many generations.

Unless a weather related effect is present in most or all daylilies it is almost certainly genetic. That is, the plant that shows the effect is genetically different from the plants that do not show the effect. This is basically the situation for all similar effects caused by any factor not just the weather. Such effects/characteristics are described as having thresholds. There are probably many important characteristics now present in daylilies that have such thresholds. They can be altered by selection.

The standard example involves the fruitfly. If fruitflies are given a temperature shock while developing, some of them will have a break in a wing vein when they are adults while others will not. There is no break in the wing vein without the temperature shock. The researcher crossed the fruitflies with the break together and gave their offspring a temperature shock while they were developing. Some of them developed a break in their wing veins. The researcher repeated the selection process for a number of generations. After a few generations of the selection with temperature shocks finally the break in wing veins appeared without temperature shocks in a few fruitflies. Breeding from that generation on was with fruitflies that had the break in their wing vein without the temperature shock. As is to be expected, the proportion of fruitflies with a break in their wing vein without having suffered a temperature shock continued to increase generation after generation. A characteristic that only appeared uncommonly in a few fruitflies because of an outside factor became a characteristic that appeared in many fruitflies without the outside factor.
These sorts of characteristics are based on the actions of many genes (as probably are most characteristics in daylilies).

I suspect that a substantial number of the unusual characteristics that are present in modern daylily cultivars and that set them apart from the species are based on threshold characters. Picotee edges could be one. Double flowers could be another.
Maurice

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