Tall Seedling Question

TNY78(7a-East TN)February 24, 2014

I've grown daylilies from seed for the past couple of years (somewhat unsuccessfully, but I have a few that are promising), but I've always grown the single form daylilies because those were the seeds I've had available...before discovering the Lily Auction last year thanks to all the enablers on GW :)

This year, since I really like the tall spider and unusual form daylilies, I thought I would experiment with them and grow some from seed myself. I have some Scandinavia and The Cow Jumped Over the Moon crosses that I started in the beginning of January. The problem I'm having is they are immediatly shooting to about 6-10 inches high, but are so thin that they are just flopping over and eventually dying. It's like they can't support their own weight. Is this normal? Any suggestions for how to get them stronger? I'm been growing them in the house on heating pads in cell trays or solo cups with holes in the bottom under grow lights.. I'm just at a loss as to what I should do :(

Tammy

Here's a couple of pics of what i'm talking about....

These are Blueberry Breakfast x Scandinavia on the left (weird combo I know), and The Cow Jumped Over the Moon x Rognvaldursson on the right.

This is another group of BB x SCAN started about 2 weeks after the others

This post was edited by TNY78 on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 2:05

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marricgardens

It doesn't hurt to give your seedlings a haircut, I do it when mine get to tall. They just come up stronger than before.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:22AM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Really? I didn't know that was an option :) That definitely may help this problem!!!

Tammy

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:45PM
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virgo45(Toronto,Canada 6a)

Hi Tammy: I grew daylilies from seeds for several years and I can tell you that your seedlings are not getting enough light. The reason they are growing tall is to reach for the sunlight. I would place them in direct sunlight in day time and keep them moist, at all times. A lot of people put the cups in about an inch of water and leave them there 24/7. I have tried this method and it does work very well. My first thought was that it would cause them to rot, but they loved it, and did much better. As suggested above, I would cut them back to the point where they can support themselves. If you place them in direct sunlight in the day time and under the lights at night, about 3 inches below the bulbs, the new growth should be stronger and self supporting. Also you should turn them daily to keep the new growth straight, otherwise they will turn to the light which could cause them to fall sideways. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:34PM
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virgo45(Toronto,Canada 6a)

Hi again: You mentioned you had the seedlings on heat pads. Heat pads are normally used to germinate the seeds only. After germination occurs the heat pads can/should be removed as they will only dry the soil out. Daylilies do not mind the cool temperatures. I once left my seedlings outside overnight, by mistake and found them covered with snow the next morning. The snow melted and the seedlings just kept on growing. Amazing little guys.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:47PM
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shive(6b TN)

Tammy - I second Virgo's recommendation. Your seedlings need more direct sunlight. And haircuts won't hurt at all.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 4:34PM
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shive(6b TN)

Tammy - I second Virgo's recommendation. Your seedlings need more direct sunlight. And haircuts won't hurt at all.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 4:35PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

ok great! I can do that as well :) Now that it's getting warmer, they'll probably really appreciate the outdoors!

I gave them haircuts a couple of days ago, and it seems to be helping already!

Thanks!
Tammy

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 5:41PM
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signet_gw

The addition of a fan blowing on the seedlings helps them become stronger as well. Also of you are actually having your seedlings fall over they should still not die . There maybe something else causing the dying.
Possible causes could be fungus gnat larva that devour the roots or damp off. The fan blowing on the seedlings will help eliminate damp off. I stopped using potting soil a number of years ago as I lost many many seedlings to various and sundry problems
I no longer have these problems as I now grow all my seedlings in coir fiber. It is non organic coconut husk fiber that does not support fugus or bacteria. Fibres dont compress like soil so there is lots of aeration for the roots. I love this stuff and have not lost a seedling since I started to use ot

Signet

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:11PM
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signet_gw

The addition of a fan blowing on the seedlings helps them become stronger as well. Also of you are actually having your seedlings fall over they should still not die . There maybe something else causing the dying.
Possible causes could be fungus gnat larva that devour the roots or damp off. The fan blowing on the seedlings will help eliminate damp off. I stopped using potting soil a number of years ago as I lost many many seedlings to various and sundry problems
I no longer have these problems as I now grow all my seedlings in coir fiber. It is non organic coconut husk fiber that does not support fugus or bacteria. Fibres dont compress like soil so there is lots of aeration for the roots. I love this stuff and have not lost a seedling since I started to use ot

Signet

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:16PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Thanks Signet! I think you're right, a lot of the problem with them dying is them damping off. I have a ceiling fan above the table that they are on, so I'll turn that on now :) I haven't heard of the coir fiber so I'll look into that as well.

I had been using a 50/50 mix of seed starting soil and vermeculite, but I think the vermeculite holds the moisture too well. The last tray I did, I used seed 50/50 seed starting soil and perlite...it seems to be better than the vermeculite mix in terms of drainage.

I root my roses in straight play sand...has anyone tried this with daylily seeds? It seems that the drainage would be excellent (which is why the rose cuttings like it), but I don't know that there's enough nutrients in the sand to support a seedling....

Tammy

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:54PM
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jeanne

I top dress my seedlings with sand, it keeps the fungus gnats away. I haven't had a problem with damping off so perhaps it helps with that as well.

Jeanne

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:37PM
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