Daylilies forum: Daylily seeds

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Name: Gary
Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
MochaJoe
Sep 14, 2019 11:44 AM CST
Hi I've read articles on the subject but I still don't know if I should let daylily seeds dry for a while before stratification or stratify as soon as I empty the pods? Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks. Gary. Natrona Heights PA 15065 About 25 miles north of Pittsburgh
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

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spunky1
Sep 14, 2019 12:59 PM CST
Gary, I live on the Gulf Coast, as soon as they harvested I take them out of the pod, roll them around on a bath towel, and immediately put them in a plastic 5 x 5 zip lock bag and into the frig. No waiting time.
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
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Lyshack
Sep 14, 2019 1:34 PM CST
When are you planning to plant the seeds? Are you planting them outside in the spring or fall? Or inside overwinter?

Everyone has there own way on doing this, so you've probably read conflicting theories on stratification and preparing to plant seeds. So this is just my opinion on the topic:

I think the purpose of drying them is to make them less susceptible to mold or fungus if the weather turns damp/wet, or if you're going to store them for a while. I think you let the seeds dry 10 days or so out of the pod, no matter when you want to plant them.

Stratification is just "faking" winter-to-spring effects on the seed to encourage it to germinate (like it's spring) when you pull it out of the fridge. So I wouldn't stratify a seed until you are ready to have them germinate in about 4 weeks.

I think if you are planting them outside now, winter will do the stratification for you in your location. I don't think I would bother with the step. You're far enough north that I think if the seed wants to wait until spring to germinate, it might be a good thing.

Last time I planted seeds directly in the ground in spring, I waited until ground was 38-40 degrees, and didn't bother stratifying, because that's the situation that stratification is trying to emulate. I get better germination rate when I start inside, so I personally don't sow directly into the ground any more.

Tim
Name: Gary
Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
MochaJoe
Sep 14, 2019 1:56 PM CST
Thanks for advice. Yes I will be storing in refrige for a few months we don't plant outside here until April earliest for perennials. Gary
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Sep 14, 2019 2:03 PM CST
Here when I gather my seeds, I let them set in my shed for one full day then put them in the fridge the next day. As hot and dry as it has been this month there was probably no need to let them dry for a day, but I did it out of habit. Yes, I do it also to help prevent mold.
Name: Gary
Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
MochaJoe
Sep 14, 2019 2:16 PM CST
Yes we have had a hot early September here. Thanks
Name: Gary
Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
MochaJoe
Sep 15, 2019 6:13 AM CST
Yes we have had a hot early September here. Thanks
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 15, 2019 7:31 AM CST
There are two things to separate here, storage and stratification. For long term storage they are probably better dried (and in a cool dry winter climate they don't even need to be in the fridge for that, although it may prolong their viable life). For stratification the seeds need to be sufficiently hydrated because otherwise chilling them does not break seed dormancy. You only need four weeks for stratification so if you plant them in damp medium in the fridge about four weeks before you want them to germinate that should be sufficient. (Of course as noted earlier in the thread, you can do that outdoors too if you can get your timing right).

Whether your seeds even need stratification (not all daylily seeds have seed dormancy) is something you would find out if you planted them without. If you plant them and some take weeks or months to germinate then they had seed dormancy and in future you would have better results from stratifying. This variability (potentially by location) is why you will see some people who do not need to stratify while others get better (quicker) results from stratifying. If someone's seeds germinate quickly and evenly without damp chilling then those seeds may not have had seed dormancy to start with. It is also quite normal for some seeds in a batch to have seed dormancy while others do not.
[Last edited by sooby - Sep 15, 2019 7:32 AM (+)]
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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Sep 15, 2019 9:32 AM CST
@sooby so I have said for years that they do fine without cold wet stratification and with only time in the fridge alone. Maybe because Fred does his so quickly from pod to fridge his stay hydrated. Maybe it's the same reason Hemlady's 3 day dry 3-4 weeks in the fridge method has worked well for me. Our seeds may be hydrated enough for stratification to take place without supplemental moisture. I have good germination rates with my seeds they take about 10 days to pop up but I'm happy with my sucess rates. Since I catch my pods when they first start to vent I feel like they are a fresh as can be and I let them dry inside my house "in AC" for 3 days. Do you think me and Fred have enough moisture in our seed going into the fridge and that's why we have good rates?
Here is the funny thing though when I get seeds from others and treat them like I do mine I have low success rates Thinking maybe because theirs need the extra moisture and mine don't? Am I thinking crazy here or could we be on to something?
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[Last edited by ediblelandscapingsc - Sep 15, 2019 11:06 AM (+)]
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Name: Gary
Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
MochaJoe
Sep 15, 2019 10:36 AM CST
A lot to think about being a novice at it. Up until a few years ago I thought daylilies only were yellow, orange and white! I guess some testing is the thing do to. But again thanks for the advice. Gary
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 15, 2019 3:31 PM CST
Daniel, that's something I've wondered about, whether freshly harvested seeds still contain enough moisture for chilling to work. When I tested it but only on a very small scale because I could only find one pod at the time, the seeds I tried were still dormant as far as I remember - I'd have to try and find my notes on that or try it again. But you also have to separate that from the seeds not having seed dormancy in the first place.

Whether they have seed dormancy may depend on your climate and other factors. In other words, as @admmad has said, the same cross may have seed dormancy for some people but not others depending on the environment experienced by the pod parent. If the seeds don't have seed dormancy they will germinate well and promptly without stratification so in that case they'd be germinating despite rather than because of any refrigeration.

I know that the seeds I have tested here have seed dormancy because the un-stratified group would germinate about about 25% within a couple of weeks whereas when stratified first they would germinate at 90+%. They key to determining if they have seed dormancy is how quickly your seeds germinate without prior damp (not wet) chilling.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Sep 15, 2019 3:39 PM CST
Take note that she said 25% germination withing a "couple of weeks", that might actually be as high a 100% within a month or two. I have tried it both ways, and the main thing I get from stratification is much faster germination of some of the seeds, not all. Can't say one method was better than the other as far as percentage of germination over a two month period.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Sep 15, 2019 3:59 PM CST
I am going to try a few with damp perlite this year especially the seeds I win from Rich because he swears by it with his seeds.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Sep 15, 2019 5:21 PM CST
Seedfork said:Take note that she said 25% germination withing a "couple of weeks", that might actually be as high a 100% within a month or two. .


Exactly! If some take several weeks or months to germinate without stratification then they had seed dormancy, and proper stratification would have made them all germinate together in less than a month. I suspect quite a lot of daylily seeds get written off as not viable because they were no-shows after a certain period of time, whereas they may have been perfectly viable but dormant. I've heard several stories of people re-using a daylily seed starting mix for houseplants etc. and finding daylily seedlings popping up in them months later.

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Sep 15, 2019 5:30 PM CST
Lost my post again, darn. Second try.

I am trying a few seeds in vermiculite this year. All my late collected seeds are being added to the baggie with a scientifically measured amount of water Whistling , a half a cap (from an Armor All bottle) and a teaspoon full of vermiculite. They will stay in the fridge for at least 4 weeks.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Sep 15, 2019 5:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 15, 2019 7:25 PM CST
The way the vermiculite method is normally done is that you place the seeds in as much of it as you would use if you were sowing them in a pot. I don't see a teaspoon of vermiculite working with more than maybe one or two seeds. The vermiculite also should not be floating in water (nor should the seeds). The vermiculite should be keeping the seeds away from touching the sides of the baggie.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Pollen collector Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
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ediblelandscapingsc
Sep 15, 2019 7:44 PM CST
vermiculite may be a better option I'll go with that also. I just like to keep an eye peeled for rot or mold in my seed bags and seems like with perlite it would be easier to spot these problems before they affected other seeds in the pack.
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Sep 15, 2019 8:33 PM CST
I have sown seeds in small and large pots, cups, pans , etc. so now I am sowing in a small baggie with vermiculite. Well, there is no way I can get a pot full of vermiculite in a small zip lock baggie, but I am going to try this. I think it will work, already have some that have been in the fridge a few weeks. It will be interesting to see how it goes, if it does not work, I will increase the amount of vermiculite next round. So far no mold, I had that problem when using just a small piece of paper in the baggie.
Normally my tets don't make over seven or eight seeds very often, so it's not like I am sowing 20 seeds in a pot.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Sep 15, 2019 8:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Sep 16, 2019 6:21 AM CST
Well yes, it would depend on the size of the pot Hilarious! What I should have said is that the seeds need to be covered/surrounded by the damp vermiculite. This can be done without making the baggie too fat.
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Sep 16, 2019 6:46 AM CST
I don't cover my seeds, want to see any signs of germination or rot. Probably works because the cups have lids. I put two tablespoons of vermiculite in the condiment cups, seeds on top and add/spritz water when I'm ready to stratify them. Usually end up spritzing more water the first few days as the vermiculite absorbs it. I try to keep them from drying out, so probably use more water than most, seeds don't float but the vermiculite is kept very wet. Had only two seeds rot last season and since they were on top, easy to see and scoop out. When any seed in the group germinates, they all get planted pronto. So far this is working well for me, but I do check the cups daily throughout the stratification period.
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