Northern daylily hybridizers can use at least two methods to germinate their daylily seed. This can be done by planting the seed outdoors in a preferred growing medium. In this case, you can usually expect seed germination the following spring. If, however, you want bigger seedlings next spring, a quicker way is needed to germinate the daylily seed.
Daylily seed requires a period of dormancy before germination can occur. Seed planted outdoors in a cold climate remains dormant until warmer soil temperatures prevail, which is usually the following spring. In this case, dormancy usually occurs over an extended time period. So, if seed germination is desired before the next spring, a quick method is required to simulate dormancy.
The most effective method I have used over many years to simulate dormancy is to hold the seed in a dry and mild temperature (between 55 and 65 degrees F) until early November. This seed is then put in the refrigerator in a tight container for 6 weeks.
At the end of this time period, the seed is removed from the refrigerator into a dry and mild temperature for another week or so. Following this simulation of dormancy, this seed can be planted indoors in a good seed starting mixture.