seed pod on day lily

brer(Zone 7)August 2, 2012

I am new to day lilies. I have searched this site, but all questions dealing with the seed pods seem to start in the middle. I don't know ANYTHING>

I planted day lilies from a friend last fall. This year all bloomed beautifully, but some had no pods and a few had big pods.

What do I do with these? Why don't all of them have pods?

I take it from what I've read that I let the pods mature and then collect the seeds and refrigerate them for 3 weeks and then soak them in water before planting.

Are these always hybreds? Are they babies from the parent.

Where can I read more about this?

Thanks so much!

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silverkelt(Z5b/Southern Maine)

Seed pods only form when the daylily was pollinated, in this case, if you only have one daylily type, its most likely pollinated with itself, via mother nature.

The seedlings from it will most likely look like the daylily you grow, sometimes with diffrent hues , the genectics comes from the parents, in this case being a self cross, its probably not going to stray to far, but they could be shorter, taller, more vigorous , less, or complete dogs.

You can do a google search for daylily hybridizing if you want.

You need to allow the pods to mature as far as possible, when they are ready they will split open, you can use mesh cloth, nylon or anything of that nature to collect the seeds.

If you are planting seeds, the seedlings are called hybrids, they are not the mother plant. Hence you could name them if you really wanted to.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 11:27PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

And if you are not interested in taking care of a bunch of unknown baby plants, you can always break the pods off the plant and throw them out. A daylily will have more energy for growing and flowering if you break off any pods when they begin to form.

Whether you want seedlings is a matter of personality. If you like the unknown and want to try it out, go for it. Most will be unimpressive compared with the plants available on the market, but you never know until you try. If you want plants that look good and grow well, buy existing plants instead.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:25AM
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I usually discard all pods that I didn't pollinate. Making seeds does divert the plant's energy from growth and bloom. I store my seeds in the fridge crisper in little plastic bags only until I am ready to plant, usually when all seeds have been collected. I don't soak the seeds prior to planting, unless the seeds have been dried excessively for some reason.

Oscie Whately's "Art of Hybridizing" has been published around the web and is an excellent guide for hybridizing daylilies. Another source you should check out is the American Hemerocallis Society, link below.
Have fun, Ed

Here is a link that might be useful: AHS

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:36AM
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I'm not going to discourage you and tell you to dispose of the seed pods. Yes, it is easier to buy mature plants, but not nearly as much fun. You see, I am an enabler like many here on the forum. Should you decide to follow my instructions (or not), I welcome you to the Clan of Daylily Addicts here at the forum!

Here's what to do, step-by-step:

01) Allow the seed pods to mature until they begin to crack open.
02) Harvest the mature pods and remove the seeds. Let them air dry for at least 4 days. (Others will differ on the time allotted for drying.) Dispose of any small squishy seeds and other debris.
03) Place the dried seeds in small ziplock bags, the kind you can write on. You can get them at Office Depot, etc. Write any info about each cross on the bag.
04) If they are dormants, refrigerate seed bags at least six weeks in refrigerator before soaking. You can even wait until spring to continue to the next step. Keep seeds refrigerated until ready to begin.
05) Mix a solution of 1/2 gallon of hydrogen peroxide and 6 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Pour some in each seed bag and seal.
06) Place the filled bags in a small container with lid.
07) Pour more of the solution in the container (in case one bag leaks). Put lid on container.
08) Place container in a completely dark room, cabinet or closet. The warmer the better.
09) Do not peek.
10) During your 4-day wait, acquire one 16-oz styrofoam cup per bag and poke holes in bottom with a kitchen fork (for drainage and continuing moisture).*
11) On day 4, start checking soaking seeds daily. They will not all sprout at same time. Most of them will sprout between day 4 and day 14.
12) When seeds begin to sprout, write any pertinent info of cross (one or both parents), including date of planting on outside of each cup with a black Sharpie.
13) Fill cups with Miracle-Gro Seed Starter, thoroughly moistened. (I just turn on the faucet, fill the bag with water and mix the potting soil with my hands, then drain.)
14) Remove any sprouted seeds from bags beginning with day 4 of darkness. Return the remainder back to the closet.
15) Make small holes (up to 7)in top of soil with eraser-end of pencil.
16) Place one seed per hole. Lay them on their side, with the curved tip of white root pointing down.
17) Cover with fine-ground vermiculite or potting soil.
18) Cover each cup loosely with a sandwich baggie.
19) Place cups in a pan filled with water. (I buy packs of 6 aluminum foil roasting pans at Sam's Club.) The pans must remain filled with water until you are ready to plant them in pots or outdoors.
20) Keep pan of seeds close by so you can watch them.
21) When you see the first green sprout in cup, remove baggie.
23) Place pan of growing seedlings in outdoor shade. (Some of our more northern forum members grow them in basements with grow-lights. - That's another story.)
24) Once seedlings have grown a second set of leaves, gradually introduce them to more and more sunlight.
25) When they have shown substantial growth, it is then time to plant them in the ground or in pots, depending on time of year and your climate.

*I do place a handful of rocks in the bottom of each styrofoam cup, which weights the cups and helps prevent them from tipping over.

If you live in a warm climate and plant seedlings outdoors in the fall, some may bloom the following season. Most tets will wait until second year of growth. Keep the ones you like and discard the rest.

I've used 16-oz plastic cups in the past, but it is too time-comsuming to heat up the tines of a kitchen fork over a gas burner to poke holes. Besides, I don't like the fumes.

When checking the seeds, it helps me to pour out the solution with seeds through a small tea strainer, and place the seeds on a dark-colored bath towel. In that way, I can more easily see the ones that are sprouting. I use fresh solution when I return the unsprouted seeds to the baggies. If I see any seeds that look bad, or if the solution is cloudy, I change the solution and remove any mushy or moldy seeds immediately.

Whew! I hope I haven't left anything out.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 2:20PM
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I belive najoba ment to say 1/2 gallon of water.

05) Mix a solution of 1/2 gallon of hydrogen peroxide and 6 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Pour some in each seed bag and seal.

Now im new to this but i have had plenty of luck with just sticking the seeds in potting soil,they seam to grow just fine.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Oh my goodness! I certainly did mean 1/2 gallon of distilled water. Thanks for pointing that out.

A former colleague of mine was really big into daylilies, and advised me to just plant them in the ground. Somehow, I just never could bring myself to do that. When we lived in the country, I planted thousands of red poppy seeds (actually scattered them in my wildflower garden area). It seems the fire ants and/or other critters ate all but two seeds. I had one huge red poppy growing near our front door, which had to have been deposited by a bird. The second one was growing out of a fire ant mound in the wildflower zone - the little devils must have overlooked one seed.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Nancy zone 6

I was just going to say before I read all of Nancy's post, to discard any that are squishy. The seeds should be hard & shiny. I've had lots of squishy seeds this year. Usually the bees pollinate the daylilies, & if the bees cross pollinate them for you, they don't check to see if the plant was a tet or a dip, which rarely will result in a good seed pod. It is always fun to grow your own daylilies from seed, but be aware it can take a couple of years to see blooms. Mine are exceptionally slow, most take 3 years here.
I did learn something new from this post. I knew that I could start some seeds without cold treatment & they grew well, while others just sat there. I didn't know why til Nancy list & it makes sense that dormants require cold. Just hadn't thought of it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:07PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Yeah, I've got between 50% and 75% sprouted right now (and more still starting), and all I did was:
1. Put them in zip bags in the fridge for 2 weeks.
2. Plant the seeds directly in pots under shade.
3. Mist with water every day so the soil never dries out.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:13PM
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That's great, Nate, but me, I'd forget to mist them! In fact, I have three pots of proliferations sitting in a kiddy pool full of water. I just have to add a little water here and there. It's working out well. I like Tommy Maddox's water beds, but hubby says "No!" so I'll have to make do with the alternate arrangement. LOL

Also, when I pay $20 for 5 seeds, I simply must hover over them and mother them. Same goes for a special cross that I want to cultivate.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 8:57PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

That's an important difference! Mine are all from my own crosses, and if a few of them don't sprout, my attitude is "fewer mouths to feed." :)

I can understand wanting every one to grow if you bought them though.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Nancy, that is such nice detailed info. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:55AM
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So for those of us who live in northern states (Im in Iowa) have people found the same success using these methods but having them inside under grow lights instead of taking them outside in the shade?

I just found Lily's Auction and I am in so much trouble! I am addicted!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:58AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Nancy, thank you very much for the directions. I just posted somewhere, it went into outer space I think. Anyway, I'm glad to find some good steps on how to.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:23PM
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I do pretty much the same thing as Nancy. I usually start my seeds in February. After they put up green shoots, I will leave them under the grow lamps until I can get them in the outside seedling beds in May- June. Quite a number of them will bloom by September of that year, but many will not bloom until the following year, I usually wait until the 3rd year (on the ones that show potential) to make a final determination of whether they are keepers, or are going to a friend or the compost pile.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 1:20PM
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alameda/zone 8

It was time consuming for me last year to put individual baggies over each cup. This year I am going to try encasing the whole group of cups I put in my roasting pan with a clear plastic clothes bag, like the cleaners put over clothes - seal both ends with twist ties. When a cup needs to come out of the greenhouse, will just reach in and get it. Will use chopsticks to keep the bag off the plants. Anyone else tried this?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 4:26AM
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