Daylilies forum: Minimum time for seed pods to mature

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Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
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amberjewel
Aug 6, 2016 6:26 AM CST
I know I read on a past thread that there is a minimum time to allow seed pods to mature and that it can be safe to pick them before they turn brown and crack...but I can't find the thread that that information came from. I believe it was either @sooby or @admmad (maybe both) who provided information and research to back up the theory. If I remember correctly, it is something like a minimum of four weeks to allow seeds to ripen? Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Amber
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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Aug 6, 2016 6:44 AM CST
Hi Amber,
I think you are remembering right about being advised to wait 4 weeks. But I honestly believe it can vary a lot more than people think. I just picked a pod yesterday that was crossed on July 17. It had normal, hard black seeds. That's under 3 weeks. We are experiencing a drought so that may be a reason for the early ripening. And the reason I picked it was because it was starting to open.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 6, 2016 6:50 AM CST
According to the AHS 2002 Daylily Handbook's physiology and anatomy chapter page 124, it takes 46-56 days from fertilization to seed maturity with a median of about 52 days for diploids. Add a day or so from pollination to give time for fertilization.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 6, 2016 6:54 AM CST
From the same book, for 15 days after pollination the seeds are still white. Four to five days after that the seed coat turns brown. A few days after that the black coating (phytomelan) is formed, so being black doesn't necessarily mean mature.
[Last edited by sooby - Aug 6, 2016 9:16 AM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Aug 6, 2016 7:45 AM CST
I, personally, would wait at 6 weeks. I have harvested seeds too early and they die.
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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
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cybersix
Aug 6, 2016 7:46 AM CST
I usually wait when they start to open a tiny bit. Until now I found it takes about 45 days.
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Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Aug 6, 2016 7:58 AM CST
beckygardener said:I, personally, would wait at 6 weeks. I have harvested seeds too early and they die.


I think I harvested some too early and they failed to germinate. Is this what you mean, Becky? I am curious because I am hoping to not have the same problem this year.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Aug 6, 2016 9:16 AM CST
When I say they die, they shrivel up to almost completely flat when drying in a paper envelope for a week. The embryo inside the seed dies and the seed starts to deteriorate, shrink, and flatten. Failure to germinate, of course, is another sign.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Peter
Allentown PA (Zone 6b)
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Nysbadmk8
Aug 6, 2016 9:55 AM CST
6 weeks.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Aug 6, 2016 9:56 AM CST
beckygardener said:When I say they die, they shrivel up to almost completely flat when drying in a paper envelope for a week. The embryo inside the seed dies and the seed starts to deteriorate, shrink, and flatten. Failure to germinate, of course, is another sign.


I had some do that, shrivel up, but others looked perfectly normal and stored well, but just didn't germinate. Other seeds I got from Cindy germinated, so it wasn't my method of germination that was the problem. I am going to leave them on the plant longer this year!
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 6, 2016 10:16 AM CST
Plant growth and development depends on the temperature (as well as other factors such as watering, fertilizing and light. So the amount of time it takes daylily seeds to mature to the point of successful germination will depend on the day time and night time temperatures. Up to a certain temperature (known as the optimum temperature), seeds will develop faster the higher the temperature. After a certain temperature they will develop more slowly and at an even higher temperature (upper lethal limit) they will die and be aborted. Sorry, I do not know what those temperatures are, and do not expect that those temperatures are known for daylilies.

Arisumi, in Beltsville, Maryland, studying embryo development indicated that at 35 days (five weeks in his growing conditions) the embryos in the seeds were nearly fully developed and able to germinate on filter paper or nutrient gelatin. He did get germination and seedlings by planting 35 day old seeds in soil. The percentage success would not be relevant for normal diploid or tetraploid seeds as he was specifically working on producing triploid seedlings.
Maurice
Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
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amberjewel
Aug 6, 2016 10:28 AM CST
Thank you for the replies everyone. I have some pods that I need to harvest before they get knocked down by some work we are doing on the house. I think they are all between 4-7 weeks along (computer crash lost all of my well kept data). The pod color is starting to lighten and the seeds inside the few I have harvested are black.

Am I understanding correctly though that even if the seeds are black they may not be viable?
Amber
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Aug 6, 2016 10:32 AM CST
What I would do (and have done in the past) is cut the long scapes (that the seed pods are on) and put them in a vase of water to allow the pods more time to ripen.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 6, 2016 2:00 PM CST
amberjewel said:Am I understanding correctly though that even if the seeds are black they may not be viable?

Yes. The black coating appears a few days after the pods are 19-20 days old - lets assume three to five days. That would mean that the coating turns black from day 22 to day 25. According to Arisumi and others, the seeds may not be mature/viable until after day 35. Therefore, even if the seeds are black they may not be viable if they are less than 35 days old (at typical summer temperatures for Maryland/Chicago/etc.).

It may be important to note that even though seeds at least 35 days old may germinate it is possible that fewer than the normal number (that would have germinated at 50-60 days old) will germinate.

Maurice
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Aug 6, 2016 4:53 PM CST
Well, crud. I don't mark dates when I set pods (because I use paper clips, not tags). I have been collecting at least some pods early this year, because I am tired of losing seeds (pods open and shrivel and seeds fall out, or go flying when I harvest the other pod(s) on the scape), and we will be traveling later this month.

All of the seeds I have collected are black, and some of the pods were brown, others starting to turn color. If I can't squeeze a pod open, I've been (mostly) leaving it.

I guess I had better lay off collecting seeds now (now that a great many pods have been harvested Rolling my eyes. ), until the pods crack on their own. Which means I am going to have to go use my brand new pristine mesh bags to bag those pods.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Aug 6, 2016 5:10 PM CST
Here it is about 4-5 weeks. Lack of attention beyond that can lead to empty pods. Crying
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

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spunky1
Aug 6, 2016 5:55 PM CST
The average time here is 45 days, I never pick a pod until it starts to crack open. After spending the time to set the pod I can wait until it tells me its ready, I don't like to guess when I'm planting or selling.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Aug 7, 2016 8:26 AM CST
I have been out West for close to 3 wks and got home and some of mine have dropped out. Angry
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Aug 7, 2016 10:17 AM CST
spunky1 said:The average time here is 45 days, I never pick a pod until it starts to crack open. After spending the time to set the pod I can wait until it tells me its ready, I don't like to guess when I'm planting or selling.


I am going to practice patience in the extreme this year.

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