If you want to increase your plant stock economically, you can’t do better than hybridizing daylilies. But that’s not why I did it. When I saw how easy it was, and that I actually got seeds, and that I could plant them, and that I could get brand new, never seen before daylily flowers, I was hooked.
Now not all your daylily plants will produce beautiful daylilies. What’s more, our local daylily expert, Pam Erikson, says it takes several years before a daylily produces its final (mature) “product”.
Here are a few of this year’s crop, some flowering for the first time:
So the above daylilies are all no-name varieties that I hybridized. And here’s the mini-tutorial:
First you’ll find a fresh daylily that has lots of pollen on the stamen:
Then DON’T DEADHEAD THE FLOWERS. And pretty soon you’ll see this
Many seeds, many different genetic varieties:
Like people, pollinating uses the genetic material of one plant and adds it to the genetic material of another plant, yielding an infinity of variations. You may get anywhere from one to 21 (or so) seeds per pod, and every one will produce a different looking plant.
The flowers above are all ones that I’m willing to give another year or so to prove that they’re worthy to keep. They need to have sturdy enough stems to stay upright, and enough flowers per scape (flower stalk) to justify taking up space. Like this:
And not like this:
I’m getting pretty ruthless with my “babies”. Pam Erikson said she gets as few as one marketable plant out of 5000 or so hybridized. She has pretty strict criteria.
If you have any questions about how to do this, leave a comment.