Too many Daylilies. Said nobody. Ever.
Probably the most known and common method of propagation is digging up the root ball and dividing the rhizomes. This can be done most anytime the plant is not in bloom. Ok, I admit, I have dug and divided them while in bloom but I can’t think of any reputable garden source that recommends this method! Generally, most sources suggest tackling this task in fall or early spring.
1. Dig up the clump
2. Divide by pulling or cutting apart the root ball
3. Trim as needed, replant or share.
Another, lesser known, method is to harvest the proliferations. After the daylilies have finished blooming and before the stalks turn completely brown, it’s a good time time to check the scapes for proliferations. Cut any you find with about 2 inches of stalk remaining and pot them up. Don’t have any pots around? Put the ‘baby’ in a glass of water. Be sure to label them so you’ll know “who’s who” in the spring.
Keep them in a sunny window for the winter before transplanting them back into the garden come spring. This proliferation will be an identical twin to the parent plant.
In just a little time, you have increased your supply of lovely daylilies for your own garden or as gifts to your family and friends.
Are the pods ripe? If it’s been about 7-8 weeks since fertilization and the pods are beginning to turn brown or open up at the tips, the seeds are ready to be harvested.
Collect the seeds and soak them in warm water overnight. The next day, put them in a zip-lock type bag and place the bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Daylily seeds require a minimum of 4 weeks cold stratification before they will sprout. Important: Label your bag prominently so your harvest won’t accidentally end up on your dinner plate.
When you are ready to plant the seeds, remove the bag from cold storage. Check first. Have the seeds already started to sprout? If yes, you can go ahead and plant them. if no, add some water to the bag and leave out in a dark and warm location. For the next week, check daily to see if seeds are starting to germinate. If there are no white feet popping out, put the bag back into the crisper for a week as the cold period needs to be extended a bit more.
It’s time to plant, what to do?
Plop seeds into pots filled with potting mix and place in a warm and sunny location. How deep to plant? Some sources recommend covering with about an inch of potting mix, others suggest they will do fine gently pushed on top of the mix as long as they are kept moist. I either bury them or cover the pot loosely with piece of plastic kitchen wrap because I tend to forget to mist them as frequently as they like.
Watch for green leaves and once the plants are about 5-6 inches tall they can be planted out in your garden. Soon, you’ll have completely new daylily varieties – that may or may not look anything like their parents – growing in your garden.
Daylilies are some of the most beautiful and carefree plants in the garden. They come in many colors, sizes and patterns. They withstand heat and drought. They are even edible!
They are plants that do not come true from seed. This means every seed produces a new and unique plant that may or may not look anything like its parent.
And that’s where the fun starts. How about trying your hand at hybridizing this year? It’s quite easy and you never know what you might get. The 3 most common crossing types are:
1. pretty on pretty – pick two varieties in your garden that you really like
2. trait on trait – flower shape, height, number of blooms – your choice
3. intentional – using plant genetic and science to attempt to bring out desirable attributes
How to find the Anther and Stigma on a Daylily
Making a cross is quite simple, take the pollen from one variety and apply it to the stigma of another. Then wait and see if the mating was successful. If yes, there will be a pod developing at the base of the flower. Daylily pregnancy takes about 50 days from fertilization until seeds are ripe and ready for harvesting.
I had some ideas for a post yesterday, unfortunately, something went wrong with WordPress and I was unable to log in and write. So you’d think, I’ll just write it today.
I am learning that that isn’t quite the way it works as my ideas from yesterday have poofed into thin air while I slept. Maybe you can relate to this experience and maybe not. But I used to be able to remember EVERYTHING, yes SIREE! I do remember I was planning to write about the Winners in my garden in 2013. The plants that just stood out and gave my garden that special oomph and brought a smile to my face when I walked out with my morning coffee. I posted pictures of some of them on facebook over the last few days and I am proud to say that I figured out how to insert the pictures into this post!
Happy 2014 to you and yours – may health and happiness find you and may your garden be all that you hope for with few weeds that can easily be pulled!