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Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Posted by berrytea4me Z5 CO (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 9, 08 at 9:28

Hi All,
Everyone here is working with such different plants. I really enjoyed reading the "what are you hybridizing" threads.

I'm collecting the last of my seeds. We are expecting hard frost possibly as soon as tomorrow night.

Now that the growing season is about finished how did it go for you? What results are you most excited about seeing?

This is my first year hybridizing. I crossed bearded iris, asiatic lilies and daylilies.

With the asiatics I have only a few to work with. All but 2 are NOIDs. I'm just excited to see if I can germinate any seedlings & then I'll go from there. I'm not even exactly sure which are viable seeds.

With iris, I have a few newer cultivars but mostly NOID historics. I'm excited to see if any interesting recessive traits come out by crossing the historics with moderns. I have ~600 seed collected, soaked, and now in cold striation. This is my first time starting them from seed so I'm excited to see if I can do that right. I'll have a lot more named varieties, both hisoric & newer, blooming to play with next year.

With daylilies I have again ~ 600 seed collected. Nearly every parent plant was new to my garden so the crosses I had planned did not all work out because they bloomed at different times & I did not have stored pollen. I froze lots of pollen this year and made mostly spur of the moment crosses. A couple that I really wanted to cross did not cooperate with direct crosses but did both work with another cultivar so I'll be looking forward to F2 to get those genes together. I have a few loosely set goals for daylilies: very tall, browns, and red throat.

Last year I started with purchased daylily seeds. I hope to see those seedlings bloom first time next season.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Interesting question. I have seen some results with my echinaceas (see thread: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/hybrid/msg0708505717536.html?12). But I have more to see since I planted some 100 more of them this Spring and I'll start as many next Spring. I've seen results that pleases me. I harvested seeds from the best plants I found so far and I'll plant them next Spring to see what these F2 hold in store for me.

I made 36 irises crosses (all named ones), almost 189 daylilies crosses (also named varieties). I'm very eager to see the results, which sadly wont come until 2010.

Just for the fun of it, I harvested a couple rose hips that I'll put in the ground next weeks, I also harvested some crocus, narcissus, hyacinth and tulip seeds that are already in their beds.

I'm also trying myself at peonies from seeds, I know that they are hard to get going and they take forever before you see any results, but I just want to try. I harvested seeds for the second year and so far, I haven't succeeded in getting the seeds to sprout. I've followed every rules in the book, I'm certainly not doing the right thing but where do I fail, I have no idea... ):

Laurier
My web site


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

One of my hobbies is breeding zinnias. Our growing season is rather short here in Maine, frost is threatening, and my zinnia patch has recently "dodged the bullet" twice already. Our first frost advisory was actually late in the last few days of Summer. We had another frost advisory a few days ago. Now it looks like we won't have a killing freeze for the next few nights, but we are definitely in the "end game" here.

My primary breeding objective this year was to cross bicolored and tricolored zinnias with larger narrow petaled zinnias, to get spider flowered zinnias with contrasting color tips. I have been gathering seeds from such crosses, but I probably won't know how they turn out until next Spring.

Zinnia breeding has the advantage of being rather fast paced, because the seeds come up in only a few days and the plants grow and flower quickly, and then set growable seeds in about 3 weeks after flowering. Zinnias have many colors, flower forms, and plant habits, so the number of possible crosses is mind boggling.

It's possible to get two generations a year in the garden and, by starting zinnias inside under lights or in a greenhouse, three or more generations in a year is doable. For more details, see the It can be fun to breed your own zinnias message threads, now in Part 8.

MM


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Laurier, Your echinacea are gorgeous. It was interesting to me to read some of the threads here about letting the bees do the crossing on plants like those with complex flowers. I had never thought of hybridizing like that. Thanks for sharing your webpage. I enjoyed looking at your flowers. Like you, I'll be waiting until 2010 for many of my iris & dl crosses to show me their stuff.

MM, Zinnias do have so many forms and colors to work with. I really like the spider forms best. The pictures you posted on that other thread were great. You have some real beauties there. I have to admit that I don't understand much about hybridizing annuals. I guess what confuses me is that you never really know what you'll see in the next generation of seeds so how do you ever share your results? Maybe its is because I have started out with perennials that my thoughts are constrained around each plant being unique and something that can be increased & divided. I know that new strains of annuals are produced and that the seed can be fairly consistent. I just don't know how one gets to that.

You can see pictures of some of the plants in my gardens at my member page here on gw forums.

Thanks to both of you for sharing your garden passions.

BT4M


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

BT4M,

"I guess what confuses me is that you never really know what you'll see in the next generation of seeds, so how do you ever share your results?"

Once you get a really good specimen, you need to "dehybridize" it before you can share seeds that will produce predictable, reliable offspring. Most of the open pollinated varieties of flowers and vegetables that we now grow were once accidental bee pollinated or wind pollinated hybrids or hand pollinated hybrids, that have been dehybridized by repetitive selection.

It takes several generations of selection to dehybridize a hybrid into a relatively pure strain. You simply grow a lot of hybrid seeds and select only those individuals that are true to type, and repeat that process for several generations. When it happens that you have several "on type" specimens, it wouldn't hurt to make crosses between them to "fine tune" the process.

Another approach would be to hand pollinate the same parent strains repeatedly to produce distributable F1 hybrid seeds. But that would require you to maintain the separate parent strains. That's doable, but right now I am in the "adventurous" stage of zinnia breeding, crossing and re-crossing zinnias willy-nilly to get novel new specimens for my own entertainment. There is always some anticipation as a new zinnia bud starts to open, but the suspense is more intense when the zinnia is a hybrid of your own making.

"Maybe it is because I have started out with perennials that my thoughts are constrained around each plant being unique and something that can be increased & divided."

It's not widely known, but zinnias can be propagated asexually, by taking cuttings. I am growing a few zinnia cuttings now, although I am not sure how I am going to take those plants to Kansas in our upcoming move to relocate there. Perhaps I will simply take the potted plants in our minivan. I have already treated them with a plant growth regulator to keep them from getting too tall.

There are also tissue culture methods that can produce a much larger number of plants at a time. But that is a little too advanced for me at this time. I might dabble in tissue culture next year. I took cuttings from a scabiosa flowered zinnia early this year and started the outdoor season this year with a grouping of those cutting-propagated plants. They were shown and discussed in It can be fun to breed your own zinnias - Part 6.

MM


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

MM,
Thank you! that is very informative. Seems like you'd need a good amount of space while you are dehybridizing to make sure bees don't accidentally cross multiple strains you might be working on simultaneously. Any recommended distance between strains during that process? Just curious. I'm wondering if the big time seed producers have acres & acres in different locations.

Hey, I was searching for something else on iris hybridizing and ran into the forum at dave's gardens. Noticed you were there too. It seems a little more active than this one. Is that your experience too?

Are there other forums I should consider to find discussions on hybridizing iris, asiatic lilies, daylilies?


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

BT4M,

You are absolutely right that the more growing space the better for breeding zinnias or anything. The more plants you grow, the better your chances are for getting something good. My current garden is a little over 3000 square feet, and after we relocate to Kansas I hope to have some more space.

"Seems like you'd need a good amount of space while you are dehybridizing to make sure bees don't accidentally cross multiple strains you might be working on simultaneously. Any recommended distance between strains during that process?"

The "safe" distance is probably hundreds of yards, which might be practical for commercial operations, but is way beyond the scope of home gardens. I, and some other amateur zinnia breeders, use "hairnets" to keep bees off of "breeder" zinnias. That keeps the bees from robbing good pollen, and it also keeps them from pollinating female breeder specimens. When you are dehybridizing, at any given time you will have only a few "good" specimens to protect from the bees, so you don't need a lot of hairnets. My entire breeding operation currently uses only about fifty nets. The nets are reusable, and don't cost much to make. I use net fabric that I purchased for about a dollar a yard at Walmart and black yarn that I interweave to "sew" the fabric together. I use a large yarn-capable needle and a needle threader. The individual "stitches" are about -inch long, so it doesn't take long to make a net. Here is a picture of an example:

"I was searching for something else on iris hybridizing and ran into the forum at dave's gardens. Noticed you were there too. It seems a little more active than this one. Is that your experience too?"

Unfortunately, neither this Hybridizing forum nor the Hybridizing forum at Dave's is very active. The Hybridizing forum at Dave's Garden is a little more active then this Hybridizing forum and, unlike most of Dave's forums, you don't have to be a paying member to use it. I am a paying member there, so I can access any of their forums, and most of my discussions of zinnia breeding at Dave's were in their Annuals forum, and most of my discussions of zinnia breeding have been in the Annuals forum here, as well.

"Are there other forums I should consider to find discussions on hybridizing iris, asiatic lilies, daylilies?"

Look in dedicated forums for Daylilies, Iris, etc in both places. For some reason, the word "Hybridizing" in a forum name seems to put most people off.

MM


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

MM,
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

The "hairnet" is interestng. I have not been concerned about protecting the daylilies or iris from bee contaminating pollen as neither plant it too prone by physical design to be readily pollinated by insects. I've noticed with daylilies that if I plan to collect pollen for freezing I better get out there early. Also, on a few cultivars the stamens are so close to the pistil that wind pollination can occur so it is important to collect the stamens as soon as possible when the flower opens.

I did have one cross of daylilies that would regularly set pod and then abort which could be an indication that bees have been selfing the flowers in addition to my efforts. Many daylilies have an inhibitor to self-pollination that will cause the pods to abort. Next year if I have the same issue I'll try capping the pistils. With daylilies all you need to do is make a tiny cap of aluminum foil.

Through the AHS I have a pretty good forum to follow for daylily hybridizing though some folks seem to hold their information pretty tightly, others are more than willing to share.

With iris in particular it seems to be rare that anyone on the regular iris forums attempts hybridizing. I've even had people suggest that "hybridizing is something that should be left to the professionals" on some iris forums which suggests it may not be pc in that particular community to dabble.

Will keep looking for likeminded folks in all hybridizing.


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

BT4M,

"Through the AHS I have a pretty good forum to follow for daylily hybridizing though some folks seem to hold their information pretty tightly, others are more than willing to share."

I think that some breeders may withhold information because they plan eventually to introduce their new varieties commercially and they don't want to reveal any "trade secrets".

My zinnia breeding is purely a hobby and I don't have any trade secrets.

MM


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

I must agree with berrytea4me about hybridizers being very secret about what they do.

I was involved with orchids before coming to other genera hybrizing. With orchid, there are almost no secret from anyone, everything or almost is known, published and even publicized. Every hybrid ever created is cataloged and you can find out what the parents are for any hybrid.

If you want to know what the dominant and recessive caracteristics are for almost any good known parent, this information is readily available and updated as it is used, and this proves to be very helpful to everybody. The majority of hybridizers will share their knowledge, and in doing so, they don't loose anything while everybody is gaining something. This is a great help while trying to create new hybrids and can keep hybridizers from repeating the mistakes that were made by someone else. It also helps to make big steps forward in hybridizing orchids and in creating new genera of orchids.

This is not the case with daylilies, irises, hippeastrums, peonies, echinaceas, etc. I find that most good information is either kept very secret and just plainly not available at all. For instance, there is almost no way to know what the parents are for most hippeastrum, even for most primary hybrids. It is a secret, and don't ask for more. That's too bad since I believe that such an attitude slows down anyone from stepping forward faster if not keeping them from moving at all.

When you share what you know, you don't loose your knowledge in doing so, and you always have to know more than what you share to be able to share anything, so you are never empty of anything, you are always left with more than what you have given.

That's only my 2 cents... for what it's worth, if worth anything at all...

Laurier


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Laurier,
I'm actually beginning to think that one reason a lot of hybridizers don't answer questions is that they really can't.

For example, some of those I have dialogued with tell me they tend to use intuition over logic and thus don't keep enough records to feel comfortable answering questions about heredity.

More general topics like seedling culture, etc seem to get answers pretty readily.

I'm an engineering manager so by nature pretty data & logic driven. Keeping records is fun and interesting to me. For someone who is more on the artistic side of personality they may not handle data that well.


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

What troubles me more than the lack of good information from amateur hybridizers,is the fact that here in the US, university programs ,supported or just linked to private corporations,glean all the information they can about a cultivar or species from every source possible.They then, on my tax money, experiment and prove out,supplying the data to the corporation.Often the information becomes propietary property of that company.The data is very rarely
free to a non university person,but the professors will pass copies of the data to each other upon request from another university.Published data on hybridization and tissue culture ,especially direct somatic embryogenisis protocols on, such as, hippeastrum are scarce and when found very expensive to a nonconnected person. Del


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Actually I find that the amateur hybridizers are often the most forthcoming with information. It is the professionals who tell me they use "intuition" and don't keep records.

Now I can understand if someone is planting 15000 seedlings per year and several acres that one may not keep track of every plant in a cross but I would hope they would record at least a high level "pattern" of the offspring characteristics.

Instead, at least among the daylily hybridizers, it seems they only record any data for the "select" seedlings which may be 1 or 2 in an acre.

I agree with you Del, that it is troubling that university researchers have such an elitist attitude that they think it is somehow OK to share data that they were commissioned to collect for a company with only the "elite" in other academic situations. I do understand why they don't publish it further though. That is usually a condition of a commissioning contract. The freedom to share the information in educational settings may also be in the contract though. It makes a "sweetener" for the academic researchers to take on such a project.


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

This year, I'm most excited about a raspberry cross:
Anne (a yellow Rubus ideaus) X Rubus illecebrosus (a Japanese species)

and some bearded iris species crosses, especially one that required refrigeration of pollen for several months.

As for sharing of hybridizing knowledge -- I'm in the relatively freely-sharing amateur group. Just ask me and I'll tell, you if I know.

And I find quite a bit of free, shared hybridizing knowledge for irises on the iris-talk forum and iris-photos forum.
You can browse/search their archives at:

www.hort.net/lists

And the parentage of many irises can be studied more directly at the American Iris Society "irisregister.com" database. Use of this particular site costs $10 per year, but is well worth it to someone wanting to study pedigrees.

I remember finding a daylily pedigree database somewhere before too. Maybe it was at the American Daylily Society's website. It was a little cumbersome, but you could find parents of a particular daylily and then search for the parents of each of those (and so on).

Best of luck to you, Tom


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Oh I almost forgot...
I have some interspecific pepper crosses that I'm anxious to get germinated too. For example: For a seed parent I used a mild pepper of my own, derived from a mixed ancestry involving bell pepper and a variegated hot pepper (both Capsicum annum); for the pollen I used 'Habanero' which is Capsicum chinense. These were growing indoors under fluorescent lights the whole time, so if I get hot seedlings, I'll be pretty sure of the parentage. Then I can try some intercrosses and backcrosses to try to get back to a mild type with some of the unusual 'Habanero' flavors.


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Tom,
I sorry I haven't been over here for a bit to see your post. THANKS for the tips on where to find iris hybridizers!

I was hesitant to spend the $10 to access the AIS database until I knew more about it. Is it searchable and does it have photo's?

Free online databases for daylilies:

Tinker's

AHS online database

Free online database for Roses, Peony, Clematis:
Help Me Find


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Hello berrytea4me,
Yeah, this forum is relatively inactive so I don't check very frequently either. The AIS database has just rudimentary search capabilities. You can put in a search word and there are checkboxes for the name (of the iris), hybridizer's name, and/or description. It's basically a database of the information given on the registration applications for each iris. So, there is pedigree information in the description when it has been given. By searching the description information only, you can generate a list of irises that are described as having a particular iris in their pedigree. Sadly, there aren't any pictures and it definitely isn't as user-friendly as those great HelpMeFind sites, but it still is worth the $10 to someone like me.
Thanks for posting those links to the other databases. I'd been to them all at some point in my surfing-past, but it's still nice to have all the links so handy.
And if you haven't been over to the iris-talk and iris-photos forums yet, those are ones that I think you'll find incredibly helpful.
Take care, Tom


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RE: Season over, which results are you most anxious to see?

Wow! Thanks, Tom for recommending the iris-talk & iris-photo forums. I had never found them before. Looks just like what I was trying to find.

I agree, at this point I think $10 to access the AIS database may be reasonable even with limited data/usability.


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