Daylilies forum→Gibberellic Acid (GA) for Faster Seedling Flowering!!!

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Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 7, 2021 10:02 AM CST
I have amazing initial results from an experiment.
I bought some Gibberellic Acid (GA) to experiment with daylilies since very little is known with hemerocallis and this growth factor (there are reports that it enhances seedling germination, but I wanted to test effects on the plants themselves).
My experiment is laid out in the picture. 60% (3 of 5) of treated (bottle sprayed) seedlings have made scapes in 9months. Versus 0% (0 of 14) of untreated seedlings. One single seedling from each of 5 crosses was chosen for treatment, and each cross is grown together to keep their environments as identical as possible (but separate crosses are grown in separate planters, and planters were grown in 2 different locations).
The results speak for themselves, and are statistically-significant. This looks to be the way to go if you want to see your seedlings flower sooner rather than later.
Caveat: I am reporting this now, during scaping with buds, so I have not actually seen a single flower as yet. I assume they will bloom. Crossing Fingers!

Thumb of 2021-08-07/plasko20/91f516

If you are as impatient as me to see new seedlings bloom these results might be useful to you (if the writing is too small on the figure you can click on the image to make it larger).
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 7, 2021 10:49 AM CST
Looking at your data there is another possibility - that would be a location effect where garden location #2 is more conducive to flowering at nine months. If the data is examined separately by location there are no significant differences in flowering with versus without ga treatment (Fisher exact test). If the data is examined for a location effect there is not a significant difference between the two locations. However, garden location can have a strong effect on flowering.

Are you planning to do a larger test?
Maurice
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 7, 2021 11:13 AM CST
Garden location 2 gets about half the sunlight than location 1 (3h vs. 6h).
I am skeptical that would be a reason for enhanced scaping. But, the combination of less light + GA may have some effect, perhaps.
I did not mention that my in-ground GA-treated seedlings are also scaping (I justnow noticed). But, there I was more random in the planting and spraying so excluded those as my notes are not as meticulous (as the varying environments would be harder to compare between seedlings, so I did not think it worth keeping great notes on those).
I have no more room to expand the testing. But, it may be possible to do so over time (yearly). Or, we can gather some interested folks here to try this next year and then do a meta-analysis of collated results.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Name: Sue
Austria
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Nightlily
Aug 7, 2021 11:31 AM CST
If you find a chemical agent that will speed up wine-making - do you believe this would improve the product quality and customers will be interested in buying such a product? Thinking
In our part of the world more organic plant production is an issue - and not plant doping. So I do not understand your perspective - please explain why this should be desirable for garden or daylily lovers? Confused
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 7, 2021 11:31 AM CST
I would not expect less light to be the factor but a lower temperature might be. That would depend on the daily high temperatures in location one versus location two (and the daily average temperatures). If location one has more days with highs of above about 80F while location two has fewer days with highs above 80F then I might expect that location two would have more seedlings flower than location one. From a graph of Arisumi's results with 'Purity' and temperature, fewer presumably reasonably mature plants flowered at 85F (17%) than did so at 75F (100%) - none flowered at 95F. Interpolating from a graph of his results provides an estimate of about 78F as the optimum temperature for percent flowering.
Maurice
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 7, 2021 12:00 PM CST
The location 2 with more scapes I can say the overall seedling size is less (aligning with the lower sunlight factor). Unfortunately, temperature I could only guess at. It may be possible that daytime temperature is cooler due to less sun, but night temperature may be higher as they are sitting on an asphalt driveway which would cool down less rapidly. Location 1 is a grassy lawn.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 7, 2021 12:17 PM CST
Nightlily said:If you find a chemical agent that will speed up wine-making - do you believe this would improve the product quality and customers will be interested in buying such a product? Thinking
In our part of the world more organic plant production is an issue - and not plant doping. So I do not understand your perspective - please explain why this should be desirable for garden or daylily lovers? Confused


Speed of getting flowers to cross with or determine which are good seedlings vs. ugly seedlings is more desirable (to me) than waiting extra years to see the same results. If you are making a multi-cross plant, it may then take you 5 years instead of 15. E.g. right now on the LA are seeds going for hundreds of dollars, from various crosses. Now imagine you can get those crosses earlier, and in greater numbers, before all your competitors.
As I mentioned in my initial post, this is about speed.
Also, there are agents that are used today to speed up wine-making. By the professionals. Do they improve the quality? I highly doubt it. Do they get the identical quality, but at a shorter time? Yes.
Organic plant production is a fantastic ideal to strive for. But I doubt we would last long without anti-fungal agents, or insecticides in the armory. I do try and use neem oil (considered organic) where possible, but it is just not as good (although gives leaves a great healthy sheen). I have bought ladybugs to eat aphids, but they fly away in a few days. I also admit to using chemical fertilizers (e.g. miracle grow) as well as organic composts. I would like to be more like you. But my success rate is low with organic-only. [Added later: Just reading about daylily leaf-streak, they advise not to use organic composts as the fungi spread through it like wildfire, and it is used as a vector to infect all surrounding plants. That would be one disadvantage of organic, I imagine].
And when you do not have a lot of space, like me, you need results fast so you can toss unwanted seedlings and make room for fresh ones. With a faster turnover rate (e.g. tossing 3 of every 5 seedlings) I would be able to keep growing fresh crosses instead of grinding to a halt for several years, then starting again, while I waited.
Unlike so many, I do not have entire fields of space to play with. Space is prime real-estate.
I hope this helps answer your query.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
[Last edited by plasko20 - Aug 7, 2021 4:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 7, 2021 4:10 PM CST
Just a quick note to add that I justnow noticed a second scape on the second treated plant from Area #2 (asphalt driveway). Both GA-treated daylilies there now have 2 scapes each. I only saw it because a weird bug was sitting on top, it is quite a thin scape at the moment. That brings total scapes to 5 (but does not change the % success rate, which remains at 60%).
Again, I have no idea if any of these buds will make flowers, but I will update if they do.

Thanks for the acorn @Seedfork
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 7, 2021 6:08 PM CST
@plasko20

How many seedlings of cross 3 were untreated.
How many of cross 4 were untreated?
How many of cross 5 were untreated?

How many of cross 1 were untreated and how many of cross 2 were untreated?
Maurice
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 7, 2021 8:53 PM CST
admmad said:@plasko20

How many seedlings of cross 3 were untreated.
How many of cross 4 were untreated?
How many of cross 5 were untreated?

How many of cross 1 were untreated and how many of cross 2 were untreated?


Figure B.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
SE Iowa
hawkeye_daddy
Aug 7, 2021 9:14 PM CST
Nightlily said:If you find a chemical agent that will speed up wine-making - do you believe this would improve the product quality and customers will be interested in buying such a product? Thinking
In our part of the world more organic plant production is an issue - and not plant doping. So I do not understand your perspective - please explain why this should be desirable for garden or daylily lovers? Confused


Pretty sure GA is considered organic. Here is a link to an article about where it comes from: https://smallfarms.cornell.edu... Another natural product, colchicine, was responsible for the first tetraploid daylilies. I'm looking forward to future updates on this subject!

Name: Sue
Austria
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Nightlily
Aug 8, 2021 11:41 AM CST
plasko20 said:

Speed of getting flowers to cross with or determine which are good seedlings vs. ugly seedlings is more desirable (to me) than waiting extra years to see the same results. If you are making a multi-cross plant, it may then take you 5 years instead of 15. E.g. right now on the LA are seeds going for hundreds of dollars, from various crosses. Now imagine you can get those crosses earlier, and in greater numbers, before all your competitors.
As I mentioned in my initial post, this is about speed.

Thanks for this explanation. Speed to see a pretty face - but is the same plant as pretty as your doped seedling, when you sell it and it's planted in a garden?
How can you be sure that this treatment does not change things like flowering time, bud count, branching or scape height? How will you be able to guarantee quality?
I'm crossing for season extenders (extra early and late/very late flowering time) - I would not be able to identify if my seedlings bring me closer to my hybridizing goals - for me just a pretty face is not enough.

plasko20 said:
Also, there are agents that are used today to speed up wine-making. By the professionals. Do they improve the quality? I highly doubt it.

.....Do they get the identical quality, but at a shorter time? Yes. ....


This i highly doubt - but we in Europe have different food quality standards - e.g. it is not allowed to sell beef or milk products with hormone residuals from 'special feed'.

plasko20 said:
Organic plant production is a fantastic ideal to strive for. But I doubt we would last long without anti-fungal agents, or insecticides in the armory. I do try and use neem oil (considered organic) where possible, but it is just not as good (although gives leaves a great healthy sheen). I have bought ladybugs to eat aphids, but they fly away in a few days. I also admit to using chemical fertilizers (e.g. miracle grow) as well as organic composts. I would like to be more like you. But my success rate is low with organic-only. [Added later: Just reading about daylily leaf-streak, they advise not to use organic composts as the fungi spread through it like wildfire, and it is used as a vector to infect all surrounding plants. That would be one disadvantage of organic, I imagine].
And when you do not have a lot of space, like me, you need results fast so you can toss unwanted seedlings and make room for fresh ones. With a faster turnover rate (e.g. tossing 3 of every 5 seedlings) I would be able to keep growing fresh crosses instead of grinding to a halt for several years, then starting again, while I waited.
Unlike so many, I do not have entire fields of space to play with. Space is prime real-estate.
I hope this helps answer your query.

I completely understand your point of view, our garden is small (the small seedlingsgarden is not on our own land) and due to our poor soil I use granulated fertilizer in my garden too, but ours is an organic one. And if no organic method works against a pest I use a special pesticide against it.

For me there is a difference between giving my plants the best conditions to grow and forcing them with doping substances to unnatural behavior. Thinking
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 8, 2021 1:27 PM CST
Nightlily said:
Thanks for this explanation. Speed to see a pretty face - but is the same plant as pretty as your doped seedling, when you sell it and it's planted in a garden?
How can you be sure that this treatment does not change things like flowering time, bud count, branching or scape height? How will you be able to guarantee quality?
I'm crossing for season extenders (extra early and late/very late flowering time) - I would not be able to identify if my seedlings bring me closer to my hybridizing goals - for me just a pretty face is not enough.



This i highly doubt - but we in Europe have different food quality standards - e.g. it is not allowed to sell beef or milk products with hormone residuals from 'special feed'.


I completely understand your point of view, our garden is small (the small seedlingsgarden is not on our own land) and due to our poor soil I use granulated fertilizer in my garden too, but ours is an organic one. And if no organic method works against a pest I use a special pesticide against it.

For me there is a difference between giving my plants the best conditions to grow and forcing them with doping substances to unnatural behavior. Thinking


I do understand exactly where you are coming from. But flowering is not an unnatural behavior, it is what they are supposed to do. Just a wee bit sooner. As for your other questions regarding long-term consequences, you have a great point. Hurray! That is a complete unknown. Anything could happen, perhaps they might all die during winter because I messed with their homeostasis, who knows. But that cannot be answered without continued testing and observation.
However, if humanity relied on tried-and-tested we would still be living in caves and would have never gone to the moon. And, daylilies aside, at least for crop biology we need to find novel ways to increase crop densities to feed the millions of new mouths appearing on the planet every year as we breed unfettered like rats. So, intensive plant-research (including genetically-modified crops) is a must or mass starvation will soon occur. If we can gain the knowledge from crop research and then apply it to decorative vanity plants like daylilies, then we have lost nothing. I got the idea for the GA experiment after reading about it being used to increase commercial tomato harvests. I do see my garden as a fun laboratory as well as a pretty thing to look at. For example, just last year I got a fruit tree where branches from 5 different types of fruit were all grafted to the same trunk. I am excited to see it progress. It packs 5 trees into the space of just one, so is a massive space-saver (80% space saved). I have also tried grafting myself, trying to fuse 2 different types of magnolia together so the tree will flower in both yellow and pink (not successful yet), as well as performing experiments with rooting various types of cuttings, etc.
I think gardeners were the first scientists. Indeed, the monk Gregor Mendel is famous in history for his genetics research using pea plants in the 1800s. He is an inspiration.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 8, 2021 2:19 PM CST
Also, Sue I have been pondering your own problem in developing extra-late blooming daylilies.
The best chances to do this would perhaps be to cross as many late or very-late as you can. However, the current latest to bloom would not develop pods in time before the cold comes and kills them.
This means either doing the crosses indoors in a controlled environment to give the pods enough time to develop. Or you can "tent" your crosses just using a regular pop-up tent, which would keep the temperature warmer for longer (a few extra weeks to a month, perhaps) to protect from the cold. Then you may be able to harvest the seeds that you were unable to before, which would be much more likely to have extra-late seedlings develop.
Not sure if this counts as manipulating nature or the environment to get your ends. But it seems the most logical to get extra-late blooming seedlings in your climate, is to push to the extreme limits for pod collection.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
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Dennis616
Aug 9, 2021 2:43 PM CST
Thank-you Orion/Plasko20 for performing and sharing this interesting experiment! Thumbs up

You are applying the GA3 as a foliar spray-- have you tried or are you considering trying soaking seeds in GA3? Would that potentially be as effective?

Am I correct in assuming the growth is entirely normal other than the acceleration? I usually cut scapes from 1st year seedlings because the plants are too small to put energy into the scape/blooms and still develop enough to survive the winter-- so I am concerned about "forcing" scapes on too small of a plant...

Please keep us updated on this Thumbs up
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 9, 2021 3:21 PM CST
Soaking seeds in GA is supposed to enhance germination. It works for many seed varieties and online I found a kid's school project where he reported success at testing daylily seeds for enhanced germination. Seeds are next on my list of things to test. I also used the GA to "wake up" some lazy hibiscus plants this year that were sleeping in like teenagers. However, I do not anticipate any additional effects on seed-treated other than enhanced germination. But you never know.

My results may be even better than before. I have noticed a possible scape on another treated planter from garden area #1. If it turns out to be real it would increase efficiency to 80% (4 of 5 treated). However, it is still early and the putative scape looks like there may be damage (possibly the head has snapped - maybe a squirrel or a blue-jay). I will know more in a few days, I expect. I do not want to rush the analysis. If confirmed, I will reflect this by re-making the figure and posting the new version below.

You are correct in assuming the growth is normal as I can recall thus far. To be honest I never pay much attention to scape formation, anyway, until I see fat buds. It is also later in the year and light levels are lower, so I am not really sure what to expect in August and beyond. The local weather said that by 1 month from now the sun will set 1h earlier than currently (not sure about sunrise).

I have also tested the GA on actual cultivars I have growing. My new DF of Starburst Galaxy gave me some flowers early on (ground-level, oddly) in June, I think, then pooped out. So I sprayed it. It now has 2 new scapes. It can be argued these are rebloom scapes. So no solid evidence. This is why results with seedlings are more trustworthy than actual cultivars. All seedlings started at the same time, and all are together in the same micro-environment of the planters. The data there is solid. But I am now spraying all my new cultivars that gave me no flowers this year as I feel cheated out of blooms. I am also spraying a daylily that I know does not rebloom (in my garden) to see if I can make it do so. I feel a bit like the demon Crowley from Good Omens (author Neil Gaiman) who is cruel to plants to get them to behave better.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

As for whether the seedlings are too small to survive, well that is the curious thing. Many of them are way way bigger (at least above-ground) than my actual SF or DF daylilies. This has nothing to do with the GA as most of them are this way. Many have at least 3-fans already, which I was not expecting.
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Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Aug 10, 2021 7:00 AM CST
Orion...pretty cool experiment. I like home experiments. How do you protect the other seedlings from drift? I would be interested to know....Are you planning to examine and compare these daylilies for let's say 5 years? Just to be sure the plants performance has not been altered in any way. That way the only result was faster blooming...no negative impact was seen plant strength. Daylilies can put energy into 4 things, growing, making new fans, flowers, seeds. Sometimes too much energy into just flowers or seeds, for me can create a plant that succombs to its environment and dies...especially with high Texas summer temps. Even a small scale longevity study in a garden environment, would be super interesting.

May everyone be blessed with a fantastic week!
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[Last edited by Altheabyanothername - Aug 10, 2021 7:05 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Austria
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Nightlily
Aug 10, 2021 7:38 AM CST
plasko20 said:

I do understand exactly where you are coming from. But flowering is not an unnatural behavior, it is what they are supposed to do. Just a wee bit sooner. As for your other questions regarding long-term consequences, you have a great point. Hurray! That is a complete unknown. Anything could happen, perhaps they might all die during winter because I messed with their homeostasis, who knows. But that cannot be answered without continued testing and observation.
However, if humanity relied on tried-and-tested we would still be living in caves and would have never gone to the moon. And, daylilies aside, at least for crop biology we need to find novel ways to increase crop densities to feed the millions of new mouths appearing on the planet every year as we breed unfettered like rats. So, intensive plant-research (including genetically-modified crops) is a must or mass starvation will soon occur. If we can gain the knowledge from crop research and then apply it to decorative vanity plants like daylilies, then we have lost nothing. I got the idea for the GA experiment after reading about it being used to increase commercial tomato harvests. I do see my garden as a fun laboratory as well as a pretty thing to look at. For example, just last year I got a fruit tree where branches from 5 different types of fruit were all grafted to the same trunk. I am excited to see it progress. It packs 5 trees into the space of just one, so is a massive space-saver (80% space saved). I have also tried grafting myself, trying to fuse 2 different types of magnolia together so the tree will flower in both yellow and pink (not successful yet), as well as performing experiments with rooting various types of cuttings, etc.
I think gardeners were the first scientists. Indeed, the monk Gregor Mendel is famous in history for his genetics research using pea plants in the 1800s. He is an inspiration.


Thanks for your explanation.
I live in a family of scientists - biology, molecularbiology, medical genetic engineering - we discussed this issue many times and all of my scientifically educated family members told me just one thing:
You will have to pay a price!

And this is what everybody that dreams of a bright future filled with genetically or hormonaly manipulated animals and plants has to keep in mind.
Look at our lovely blue planet - burning now in so many places - destroyed by more/faster/bigger/cheaper - this looks for me like the road to hell. Thinking
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
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plasko20
Aug 10, 2021 7:50 AM CST
[Post was on an unrelated topic so was intentionally removed by me to keep focus on GA and daylilies]
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[Last edited by plasko20 - Aug 10, 2021 10:46 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Austria
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Nightlily
Aug 10, 2021 7:53 AM CST
plasko20 said:Also, Sue I have been pondering your own problem in developing extra-late blooming daylilies.
The best chances to do this would perhaps be to cross as many late or very-late as you can. However, the current latest to bloom would not develop pods in time before the cold comes and kills them.
This means either doing the crosses indoors in a controlled environment to give the pods enough time to develop. Or you can "tent" your crosses just using a regular pop-up tent, which would keep the temperature warmer for longer (a few extra weeks to a month, perhaps) to protect from the cold. Then you may be able to harvest the seeds that you were unable to before, which would be much more likely to have extra-late seedlings develop.

I can tell you out of about 8 years working on this issue that this will not bring you beautiful modern late and very late seedlings within years - you would need to work for decades to catch up with the cutting edge midseason daylilies available now.

It works much better to freeze the best midseason pollen you can get and use it for crossing in August or September (my job in these days now - every morning I have to decide which pollen I have to bring to the seedlings garden, usually about 8-10 different ones). Usually at least one of the seedlings out of such crosses flowers late/very late and opens perfectly after cold nights - and if I'm lucky it's a beautiful one. Crossing Fingers!

plasko20 said:Not sure if this counts as manipulating nature or the environment to get your ends. But it seems the most logical to get extra-late blooming seedlings in your climate, is to push to the extreme limits for pod collection.


Pods are not the problem here - the latest cultivars I was able to buy start here end of August - if I use the first flowers I can easily cross whatever I like - the pods ripe untill it's getting frosty (in our region in November or December).

Late/very late flowering daylilies are usually not fast growing - their 'lazyness' in producing scapes and buds and finally flowering at the end of the season is often due to a slower metabolism and for me it makes no sense to speed them up with a chemical agent - I will loose the information if a seedling has inherited the desired flower time too. Thinking

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