Ask a Question forum: Growing Daylilies from seed

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georgette
Jul 15, 2016 11:15 AM CST
I have a planter of what I believe are daylilies. They have the grassy bottom and the blooms come out and last for about a day. They are not large blooms, rather long and thin. The seed pods are bursting now with flat black seeds. I would like to know how to go about growing them from seed. As you can tell, I am a novice (seems like an eternal novice) at this.
Name: Jessie Worsham
Stockbridge, GA (Zone 8a)
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
Daylilies Hostas Heucheras Cat Lover Echinacea Hybridizer
Irises Region: Georgia
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Jessie6162
Jul 15, 2016 11:31 AM CST
Growing daylilies from seed is fun! Just keep in mind, they may look different than the parent plant, since daylilies don't come true from seed. You can pick the pods as soon as they start to turn brown or crack. There are a lot of different methods, but I'll share what has worked best for me.
Let them dry inside and remove the seeds.
Store the seeds in the fridge in a plastic bag with a bit of paper towel to prevent moisture. (Do not freeze.)
A couple weeks before the last frost is predicted for your area, remove the paper towel and put water in each bag. I mix in a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water to prevent rot.
Place all the bags in a tupperware container, in case of leaks, and put them back in the fridge.
After a few days or up to a couple weeks, you will see little white roots begin to sprout. When this happens, plant the seeds (careful not to break the tiny root) in a pot and grow them inside until all danger of frost has passed.
They can be moved outside whenever you are ready.
Make sure to keep them moist, but not soaking wet. It may take a year or two (or three depending on your location) for them to bloom, but when they do, it will be a surprise! You never know what you might get.

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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
Jul 15, 2016 2:32 PM CST
georgette said:I have a planter of what I believe are daylilies. They have the grassy bottom and the blooms come out and last for about a day. They are not large blooms, rather long and thin. The seed pods are bursting now with flat black seeds. I would like to know how to go about growing them from seed. As you can tell, I am a novice (seems like an eternal novice) at this.


The easy way is to just plant them as you would any other seed, at room temperature or outdoors, about twice the depth of the seed. Because daylily seeds can have seed dormancy, germination this way may be erratic and some may take a few weeks or months. If you want to speed up germination and have them all germinate quickly and at the same time you can stratify them. This is explained in this article from the American Hemerocallis (Daylily) Society's journal:

http://ctdaylily.com/files/Stratification_article.pdf

Another option is to soak them in diluted hydrogen peroxide (household strength) at 1:9 ratio to water or thereabouts. They do not need chilling for this method. Put them somewhere at room temperature but out of the sun. Hydrogen peroxide helps break seed dormancy. Plant them as soon as they germinate in the solution. I prefer the stratification in damp medium method as it is more reliable (note with this latter method they are chilled in damp medium for a few weeks then started at room temperature. The idea is to trick them into "thinking" they've been through a winter (fridge), and that spring (room temp) means it is safe to germinate.

Until you're ready to start them you can store the seeds either in the fridge or, if you're not in a warm humid climate, in paper bags/envelopes in a cool room.

For various undetermined reasons not everyone's daylily seeds will have seed dormancy in which case they will germinate promptly without any pre-treatment but there's no way to know if yours are like that until you try them.

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