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Jan 21, 2022 10:11 AM CST
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
Could it be that the major hybridizers who do 15,000 seedlings each year throw away at least 14,000+ seedlings each year just to make room for the next batch of 15,000? I am out of room and will have to change my mindset or never be able to hybridize again if I have no more space to plant the new seedlings. Like, keep 10%, not 90%.
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Jan 21, 2022 10:20 AM CST
Name: Nan
southeast Georgia (Zone 8b)
Birds Bookworm Butterflies Composter Daylilies Region: Georgia
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https://www.signaturedaylilies...

Scroll down to the "before culling" and "after culling" pics.
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Jan 21, 2022 10:31 AM CST
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
DeweyRooter said:https://www.signaturedaylilies.com/

Scroll down to the "before culling" and "after culling" pics.

All the time and effort working on the seedlings. They bloom and perform well, just not good enough, so they are thrown in the trash heap.
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Jan 21, 2022 10:38 AM CST
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Birds Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Foliage Fan
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Many people sell seedlings on the LA, bloomed or unbloomed.
You can try to offload some and know they live on somewhere else. I have even seen them for sale there by the batch of 10-25 per lot. Mostly it seems to be 1 or 2 per lot, however.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
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Jan 21, 2022 10:57 AM CST
Name: Nan
southeast Georgia (Zone 8b)
Birds Bookworm Butterflies Composter Daylilies Region: Georgia
Keeps Horses
Yeah, I read somewhere that Darryl Apps used to sell his culls to nurseries that offered those "daylily selections," like 15 assorted daylilies for a low price. He said his culls were better than most of what was available, and he was probably right.
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Jan 21, 2022 11:01 AM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
I have been told the ratio of keepers to seedlings normally runs about 1:1000
I read in the Floyd Cove catalog that Guy Pierce grows 60-70 thousand seedlings a year, he introduced over 60 new ones this year.
So I doubt my ratio of keepers would be even that high. I have several beds approximately 10 x 10 feet for seedlings, a couple of small beds, and some parts of my round beds for seedlings also. I dug up two of those 10 x10 beds last year to make room for my 2021 seedlings, I kept under a dozen out of those two beds and the best of those will just be bridge plants. I made so many seeds in 2021, I may just have to skip making seeds in 2022... Thumbs down
No, don't expect that to happen, I already have over a hundred crosses planned. I'll just have to be ruthless in selections, and expedient with the shovel.
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Jan 21, 2022 8:16 PM CST
Name: Pat
McLean, VA (Zone 7a)
After many years of hybridizing, I've learned to be more ruthless more quickly. I'm sure I've gotten rid of a few that I shouldn't have but it feels so good to be making that extra space.

I mark my new ones as they bloom with flagging tape, yellow or orange for tets or dips I will keep, blue for something outstanding or for rebloom. Pink on everything that needs to go (and some are rather nice). I do ads on Craig's List and to my regular customers telling them to come and chose from blooming plants with a pink ribbon. Most of the new ones will be SF or DF plants at $5 to $10 a plant (mostly $5).

People walk away very happy with plants from parents such as Pray Without Ceasing and FKA JT Polston. I get a little cash and most importantly, more space. The more that leave, the easier it is to make decisions about the ones that stay behind.

I toss the worst on the compost heap, but that is not very many these days.
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Jan 21, 2022 9:46 PM CST
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
Seedfork said: I made so many seeds in 2021, I may just have to skip making seeds in 2022... Thumbs down
No, don't expect that to happen, I already have over a hundred crosses planned. I'll just have to be ruthless in selections, and expedient with the shovel.


For me, I want to skip a year and let the seedlings go through another full year before I do a big reduction. But I keep thinking how I "need" to know how a particular cross will work, then another and another. I will try to get the lowest number of new pods possible.
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Jan 21, 2022 9:53 PM CST
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
daylilly99 said: flagging tape


Great ideas!
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Jan 22, 2022 8:03 AM CST
Name: Vickie
southern Indiana (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
Ruthless is the word, Pat! Love your idea of the flagging tape. I use the hot pink flagging tape to tie up daylilies that I am giving away. It works great and I can write the name of the daylily on it.

I would think that where a person lives makes a big difference when deciding whether or not to keep seedlings and your rotation. I won't see blooms until at least the second year, but someone further south will see blooms the first year.

I only dabble in hybridizing and have just a few seeds in the fridge that I want to plant this spring, and at the most I might have 5 square feet to devote to seedlings (unless I tuck a few in some odd places strewn about the garden).

My very first hybridizing effort was in 2014 and I made around 40 crosses. Why, I don't know. I knew I didn't have room for all those seeds. Eventually planted a few, but I just threw out the rest. At this time, I have some Tom and Doug (pod parent) seedlings in that small 5 square-foot bed. John Kulpa was giving some seeds away in 2017, so I took him up on his offer. He didn't know the pollen parent, but that is okay. This will be the final year that I make the decision what to keep.

Not knowing what you're going to get when you walk out to the garden to see a new bloom is part of the excitement, so that is why I dabble just a little bit.

(unknown x Tom and Doug) Probably my best seedling in 2021 - I need to watch for thrips this year. Many of these seedlings had spots.
Thumb of 2022-01-22/blue23rose/1b6c1f
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
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Jan 22, 2022 10:55 AM CST
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
I have limited space, (and time and energy) so severe culling is a necessity. My seedling garden is basically divided into thirds. I'll plant 2022 seeds in one of the thirds this spring, they will get to show me what they have in 2023 and 2024, and in 2025, a handful of keepers will be moved to a keeper bed, and everything else goes to make room for the 2025 class. And the keepers that stay often mean an existing plant has to be culled to make room for it.

Another way I "cull" is to be more practical with my crossing. If I set a pod on every pretty bloom every day, I'd have tens of thousands of seeds and be tempted to start a thousand seedlings each year. But what good is that if I only have room for 150-200 seedlings a year? So over the winter, I will look over my notes and photos from last summer and make a list of 50 must have crosses to make next summer. So I've already taken the time to think of the best of the best crosses I can make, instead of crossing on the spur of the moment all summer long and starting a bunch of seedlings that don'r have great odds to be keepers anyway.

If I had more room, I wouldn't do it this way, but since I'm limited on space, this is how I "cull" seedlings before I even waste space, time, and resources on them.
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Jan 22, 2022 1:20 PM CST
Name: Wendy
mid-Atlantic (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Heirlooms Herbs Hostas Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers
Don Herr's garden was organized much like yours, Tim, and he was ruthless in culling. He, too, marked possible keepers with flagging tape. A daylily colleague came by each summer to mark those she thought were worth continuing to watch that he hadn't marked, and if he eventually decided to toss them she got to take them home. He was very disciplined in sticking to his goals, and that is why I think it was always easy to see what he was trying to achieve with the ones he eventually registered. And why he was such a successful hybridizer when he had a relatively small plot to work with. An amazing man who will truly be missed.
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Jan 22, 2022 2:49 PM CST
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
That's a nice tribute, Wendy. I think I'll make a point to put some of Don's plants in my 2023 crosses plan.

I like that idea of getting a new color of flagging tape for select visitors that might see something they like.
Avatar for Deryll
Jan 22, 2022 3:18 PM CST
Ohio (Zone 5a)
At the beginning of this thread, Nan suggested looking at Ron Reimer's video for ideas about culling. That is the perfect place
to start! In his video there are a bunch of plants that I would dearly like to grow- and he threw them out! I have told him that
a lot of my work is just trying to recreate something from his video that he dumped. And that is where it begins for me. I am
really picky about what I grow and what I buy, but I just like everything! I can't afford that, and I sure don't have the energy to
take care of so many. Ron's video is an inspiration though, because it gave me the idea of planting the seedlings in blocks
where they are only about 6" inches apart in every direction. I had a terrible time trying to keep them weeded that way, but
Jamie Gossard suggested some herbicides that can be used, and that has worked really well as long as I do it well before
they begin to start budding, as it will cause the scapes to curl.

When mine bloom, I will flag the keepers like Pat said, and move them to a select row at the end of the season. That will often
set them back, but it will also give me a second chance to see if they do well enough to keep them after that. Many times my
own seedlings are nicer than those I buy that are hardy here, so I have dug out a lot of the named ones to make space. I am
also trying to keep my clumps smaller so there are more clumps. Ron Reimer will tell you that he is a hybridizer, and not a
collector. I only hybridize because I am a collector and I know what I want. This year will be my biggest year because I planted
at least 5000 seeds. Of course, I am hoping half of them don't come up, and I will also cull the small seedlings before I even
plant them in the garden.

As years go by, I am finding that my tastes change. Larger flowers, brighter colors, hardier plants, eyes and edges. That makes
it a little easier to decide which ones remain, but I think it is always difficult. Selling a few like Pat said would be a great incentive.
When I go to the garden, it is a big signal when they make me stop in my tracks. If I just pass by without much notice, I will often
tag it to be taken out. And I always do that long after they have stopped blooming so I'm not tempted to keep them. Grin
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Jan 22, 2022 4:34 PM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
I will mention one thing that has really helped me in making room when I cull, but I don't use it 100 per cent because I would have nothing left after culling. My goal is very narrow, I am trying to create sculpted relief blooms. But, like most hybridizers I expect it to be a plant with good foliage, decent bud count, and branching, multiplies decently, and can be divided and recover within two years. There are other things also I don't want to see...but so far if I meet just those goals mentioned I would have zero plants left. So just to keep me from being depressed I keep some that just are nice garden plants. So culling does not seem to be a problem for me, I just don't have the time, space, money and energy to plant and cultivate all the seeds I would love to plant. I think I am about maxed out with what I have. I just need to do a little better on limiting the seeds I make. Having a narrow goal helps me limit my purchases and my culling.
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Jan 22, 2022 4:47 PM CST
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
Deryll said:Ron Reimer will tell you that he is a hybridizer, and not a
collector. I only hybridize because I am a collector and I know what I want.


Interesting way to think about it. Thumbs up
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Jan 22, 2022 9:33 PM CST
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
My focus has been to create only rust-free daylily varieties. So when I get that it's hard to cull as long as it likes my garden. Currently, I have about 210 that are rust-free here in Florida. And a few that are rust-resistant and about 3 that get rust that I have to keep as a control. Usually, pitch anything that gets rust. But time will tell. I hate to cull anything that is rust-free, but I will have to start. Trying to determine what to cross if crosses will be very limited. My self-pollination experiment went well. Got some great, large plants, but waiting for the blooms. I really want to try that again. If I keep 20%, that's a good stat. Besides, sometimes I just don't have anything to cross one with that would work, so cross it with itself. I never sell any of mine.
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Jan 24, 2022 1:50 PM CST
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Bee Lover Vegetable Grower Plant and/or Seed Trader Spiders! Seed Starter Garden Procrastinator
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Guess I've been lucky. Mother Nature does my culling for me. Most of my seedlings die since I never have enough time to take care of them properly. Plus the weather has been all over the place the last few years. One year drought, another year heatwaves, another year flooding, another year lots of temperature swings in winter/spring. What survives always impresses me since so many die before blooming. I don't sell the ones I don't want to keep but I will give them away. I hybridize to get good garden plants and for that element of surprise every year.

Last year I got my first sculped seedlings. It was a Doc Branch cross and I can say that DB has only ever had normal flowers for me. The pollen parent (Lizzie's Legacy) isn't sculpted. I only planted the cross hoping for a kid that looked like LL but with the hardiness of DB in my garden (LL died after 1 summer of bloom). Didn't get that, but it was a nice surprise. I'm curious to see what the seedlings look like this year without the flooding rainfall of last summer. That is, if they survive the temperature swings this winter.
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Jan 30, 2022 6:46 AM CST
Name: Gary
Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Wow first time seeing what Signature Daylilies has to offer! Thanks Nan. Sort of glad he sold out of certain ones. Smiling I'm going to try to as others have said to narrow down what it is I'm trying to produce in my new seedlings.
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Jan 30, 2022 7:48 AM CST
Name: Nan
southeast Georgia (Zone 8b)
Birds Bookworm Butterflies Composter Daylilies Region: Georgia
Keeps Horses
MochaJoe said:Wow first time seeing what Signature Daylilies has to offer! Thanks Nan. Sort of glad he sold out of certain ones. Smiling I'm going to try to as others have said to narrow down what it is I'm trying to produce in my new seedlings.


You're welcome. I have to give credit to Deryll for steering me toward Ron's website as I am trying to buy only cultivars that are very rust-resistant. I am trying two of Ron's this spring and will see how they do here. His daylilies are truly lovely, and I have my eye on several more for the future.

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