Lilies forum: Extra fertility using stress induced pod parents

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Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Joebass
Mar 8, 2017 3:57 PM CST
While flipping around an old NALS yearbook, I came across an article speaking of high temperatures for higher fertility (sometimes creating more triploid offspring). I think many have heard of this method but what was interesting to me was they mentioned making the soil alkaline by adding lime by the bulb. The theory is that the more likely a plant believes it will possibly perish, it will do anything in its power to live on. It may mean to make more bulblets, bulbils (which we often see on stems that have been cracked or not blooming) or increased fertility. I had never heard of this before, regarding the alkaline soil.

Also, a little sidebar. While speaking to Brian Bergman recently, I asked how he was often able to get crosses of the OT x O, O x OT nature without embryo rescue. He claimed that he does not protect his crosses and that he believes that in many cases the caps that are put on protected crosses can inhibit the actual cross. Now I know that you can not tell for sure on an unprotected cross what the pollen parent is but I found it very interesting. Anyway, food for thought......
Name: Patrick
Midland, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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auratum
Mar 8, 2017 8:31 PM CST
Joe,

I had read the same article on stressing the lily to improve fertility. I always worry about stressing it so much you kill it. I would only be willing to try it one something I had a fair number of bulbs of and wasn't worried about killing it.

Brian has some interesting theories. Whatever the reason, he has bred some interesting seedlings.

Back to the heat treatment concept - I have had thoughts of trying to build a portable greenhouse/enclosure I could put over a few stems to create a "hot house" for lilies planted in the garden. The reason would be to heat stress the plant to improve fertility. I have ideas, but nothing built yet. The family farm I grew up on had many greenhouses - they were the hoop houses covered in transparent plastic. My thought is to build a frame from 1/2" galvanized conduit and cover with a clear plastic tarp. More thinking to do on this one...

Patrick
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Peonies Bulbs Seed Starter Pollen collector Plant and/or Seed Trader
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Nhra_20
Mar 8, 2017 9:06 PM CST
Patrick, there are a few places that build small standalone greenhouses and use glass. I know there are also a few kits out there to build a small sized A frame style with a poly ethelyne cover
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Mar 8, 2017 9:16 PM CST
Patrick, quite a few gardeners around here use PVC piping to build their hothouses.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
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Leftwood
Mar 8, 2017 10:07 PM CST
Is it really the heat stress that they think does the trick?
--- I always thought it was just warm temps (not stressing the flower) that improved the act of pollenation and subsequent fertilization.
I need convincing that a "wilty" (or somehow deficient) flower is going to be more fertile.

Which yearbook are you looking in?
Sydney, Australia (Zone 10b)
Protoavis
Mar 9, 2017 7:36 PM CST
As someone that had a number of orientals I was pollenating in 40C temperatures.....I'm not sure how accurate the heat stress is. All but one plant dropped their pods or fried and withered their pods. The last plant with three pods, not even convinced it's fertile seeds. The pods got a little larger, are still green but any size increase is slow and not significant compared with other pods I've seen.

Maybe the temp can be too high ;)
Anyone with oryzalin (aka Surflan, Embargo), am looking for a small amount rather than 5litres from manufacturer (min size in Australia....)
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Mar 9, 2017 8:53 PM CST
At 40'C or 104'F, I would expect them to go limp. That's not good!! During a 6 day hot spell here in 2012, when temperatures were over 100'F for 6 straight day, I had a lot abortions (and incomplete filling). And that's with Div VI, Trumpets and Aurelians, even. Thumbs down
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
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magnolialover
Mar 9, 2017 9:13 PM CST

Moderator

That same summer you speak of Lorn, those temps nearly melted my OT 'Blueberry Crush's' petals. I've never seen anything like it before. It was obvious they hated that high heat for that extended period.
Tracey
Sydney, Australia (Zone 10b)
Protoavis
Mar 9, 2017 10:42 PM CST
Perhaps surprisingly they didn't go limp.

Some petals would get burn marks (ie brown patch) but would stick around for a while afterwards.

I think a number of them went to dormancy early though when the temperature went higher for a couple days (they were in direct Sun, I'm sure it would have been at least 45C in direct sun) during the heatwave that basically covered the country....probably should have shade clothed them.

There's still the one plant with pods, I doubt it'll amount to viable seed (i just think the pods should be at least twice as thick as they are) but with temps now consistently around the mid 20's will see what happens when they aren't green anymore.....if nothing else extreme heat stress was applied :P
Anyone with oryzalin (aka Surflan, Embargo), am looking for a small amount rather than 5litres from manufacturer (min size in Australia....)
Name: Patrick
Midland, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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auratum
Mar 10, 2017 8:21 AM CST
There is a lot that goes into plant stress. It is one thing to stress a potted lily by growing it in a greenhouse where you give it all the other necessary things including appropriate water. But when you have outside heat as described, I think there is more going on. As mentioned the direct sun can scorch things that is better controlled in a greenhouse by providing shade.

This comes back to my original concern - some stress is good but too much stress can kill the plant or take out the buds all together.
Sydney, Australia (Zone 10b)
Protoavis
Mar 15, 2017 7:17 PM CST
While entirely anecdotal, and to do with iris, but the site below seems to think similar with stress and has created some...odd crosses that seem to go against the grain a bit.

https://www.povn.com/rock/hybr...
Anyone with oryzalin (aka Surflan, Embargo), am looking for a small amount rather than 5litres from manufacturer (min size in Australia....)
Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Joebass
Mar 15, 2017 8:39 PM CST
https://www.povn.com/rock/stri...

Interesting about how the bloom is stripped for crossing. I once did this with 'Big Bang' (although I capped the stigma) and got many seeds with it. I wonder about the part where the author says that the bees will not recognize the bloom without the petals. It would be interesting to try it with lilies too. Good read!
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Mar 15, 2017 8:58 PM CST

Moderator

I have dabbled around with iris breeding and do the same thing, strip off the petals. It becomes less attractive to pollinators. I have been dinking around with Japanese iris breeding for ten or fifteen years now. Not much room to grow them out though.

I am not sure it would work with lilies. With iris, both the stigmatic lip and anthers are snuggled down in the center of the bloom. With lilies both the anthers and the stigma are situated far from the petals and the pollinators may not notice the difference. I bet the hummers would though!

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BUGGYCRAZY
Mar 17, 2017 8:44 AM CST
Prolonged heat has killed my orientals here and I usually get no seeds from any lilies due to heat. At the farm in a good climate high heat also caused less seed set. I remember reading articles on heat stressing for better fertility, but I remember the author stating that stigmas alone were heat stressed by dipping them in hot water and placing pollen on them while limp from that. It may be that high heat for just 1 day may help, but that can also fry the petals and buds.
Sydney, Australia (Zone 10b)
Protoavis
Mar 17, 2017 3:11 PM CST
BUGGYCRAZY said:Prolonged heat has killed my orientals here and I usually get no seeds from any lilies due to heat.


(sorry to take a tangent!)

Just on this front (because maybe it applies to me given the heatwave and die down that followed) how would I know if the bulb is dead/dying. Is it obvious?
Anyone with oryzalin (aka Surflan, Embargo), am looking for a small amount rather than 5litres from manufacturer (min size in Australia....)

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