Daylilies forum: Daylily seeds - question

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Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Jan 5, 2018 11:49 PM CST
This may be a silly question, but here goes...
I'm going to be germinating DL seeds again. I want to plant no more than 200 -300.

Here is my question: Say for example, on one cross I have 10 seeds from 10 different pods (total of 100 seeds) and I want to germinate just 20 of that particular cross.
What would you do:
A. Germinate two of the pods (to equal 20 seeds).
B. Germinate two seeds from each of the 10 pods (to equal 20 seeds).

Would it make any difference since the cross is identical on every pod or can there be a noticeable difference (as far as what the seedling may look like) from pod to pod?
Name: Kathy
(Zone 5a)
Daylilies Seed Starter Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
Jan 6, 2018 8:23 AM CST
When I harvest seeds, I combine all seeds from the same cross in the same container. I'd just mix them up and select 20 of the best looking seeds. Same parents, same genetic possibilities.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
Jan 6, 2018 8:33 AM CST

Ah, how to pick and choose before the plants have bloomed: that is the question? The answer is you would have to grow them all!
Just think of all the different traits a daylily exhibits and all the possible combinations that will be missed, maybe the one seed you don't plant was the very best of the lot!
Well, that is how my brain works, but I can't plant them all either, so I am just picking the best looking seeds and planting what I hope is a manageable number.
McLean, VA (Zone 6b)
Jan 6, 2018 8:43 AM CST
That's an interesting question. I doubt that anyone has had the time, space and patience to plant the same cross in different pods identified as such and see if there's any marked difference between pods.

Since the seeds in one pod seem to produce differing results, I guess I would go with the combine them all and plant the best looking ones method.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
Jan 6, 2018 8:54 AM CST
I will add that I have had some pods from the same cross with all small odd shaped seeds and other pods with large beautiful well rounded seeds. The puny ones always get left out, but that might not be the best choice if you are looking for the greatest variety from the seeds.
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Jan 6, 2018 9:11 AM CST
Seedfork said:
Ah, how to pick and choose before the plants have bloomed: that is the question? The answer is you would have to grow them all!

Hurray! Rolling on the floor laughing Oh I wish I could grow them all. Not sure if my husband would be happy if I rented some land and hired a crew to help me. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Greg Bogard
Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7a)
Jan 6, 2018 9:31 AM CST
Genetics is a crap shoot. In order to get the best chance to see what that cross can do, I would take 2 seeds from each pod. However, that only applies if the seeds are uniformly good from all the pods. If the seeds from a few pods are soft, wrinkled badly, or off-colored---I would discard those and choose from the remaining pods. Plant the seeds that are nice and black, full, rounded, firm, and shiny. These will give you the best germination and performance. Start about 10% more than you need in case some of the seeds do not germinate, or produce white leaves and die. If all germinate and grow well, then eliminate the weakest ones before planting until you get down to the number you need to plant.
Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
LA name-Maelstrom
Dog Lover Cat Lover Rabbit Keeper Container Gardener
Jan 6, 2018 11:18 AM CST
Just one question regarding the 'plant he strongest looking' seedlings, I was always told when I first started gardening that if you plant only the biggest, strongest seedlings you risk ending up deselecting for certain colours as some colour varieties in some plants make larger seedlings/plants.

Does anyone know if this is true with daylilies?
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Jan 6, 2018 1:02 PM CST
Also, if you are trying to breed minis, then you won't want to cull the small ones.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jan 6, 2018 2:34 PM CST
Like others, I have always just combined all the seeds from all the pods that were the same cross. In the event that I somehow had an excess of seeds, then I chose the best of the seeds to start. This was also true for the "unknown" pods, where a bee set a pod, or where I forgot to mark the bloom, or where the pollen parent ID clip was lost; all of the unknown pods got grouped together.

This year, I know for certain that at least one of my unknown pods on one of my heavily used plants was by a particular pollen parent. I would like to be able to look at all of those unknown seedlings and have a clue as to who the daddy was, which would be easier if all of those seeds were not clumped together. So this year, I am doing something a little different; each pod with an unknown pollen parent was put into its own envelope and got its own cross designation, and I will start all of those seeds in their own individual pots.
It's daylily season!
[Last edited by Polymerous - Jan 6, 2018 10:53 PM (+)]
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Ohio (Zone 5a)
Jan 6, 2018 3:35 PM CST
Floyd Cove Nursery tells in their catalogs that they plant tens of thousands of seeds every year. On one selection they
told how they had hundreds of seeds from the same pod and pollen parents, and only had two keepers from that cross.
They also tell us that occasionally a potentially logical cross may not produce any keepers at all. My own theory is to
plant as many seeds as I can take care of. Like Greg said, genetics is a crap shoot. Crosses with the same parents may
produce seedlings that closely resemble each other, but you rarely ever get two that are identical. No matter what I plant
I will always find something that I really like, and I don't worry about the might have beens. Those leftover seeds are like
the lottery ticket I didn't buy. If I could know the winning numbers ahead of time, I would be rich! As long as I play, I still
have a chance. That one shot at a winning ticket (figuratively speaking) is what keeps me going.

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