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RE: Seed Pods (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: najoba on 06.10.2009 at 10:50 am in Daylily Forum

Hi Jill,

Seed pods normally indicate that the plant has been cross-pollinated or perhaps self-pollinated.

Not all seed pods contain viable seeds, and among the seeds within each pod there may be a few duds. As a general rule, most pods normally produce 80% or more good seed.

Yes, you can plant them right after harvest directly in your garden - not very deep - no more than 1/8 - 1/4 inch, and keep them moist. If you do not plant them immediately, they will need to be kept in the refrigerator.

Many of us start our seeds by first placing them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of distilled water to 6 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. We put them in small ziplock bags along with some of the solution. (These write-on bags are available at Office Depot, etc.) The seeds are refrigerated for six weeks. They are then placed still in their bags in a bowl full of solution (in case of leakage). We place them inside a dark closet, and seeds can start germinating usually within 4 days or so. Check them daily after that. Once you see the white root sprouting, they need to be planted.

We then plant them in Dixie plastic cups or styrofoam cups - anywhere from the 12 oz to the 20 oz size. (Holes are punched in the bottom and along the sides at the bottom.)

We fill the cups with well-moistened potting soil. We make a small depression with the rubber eraser end of a pencil and place the seed, covering it lightly with potting soil or fine vermiculite. Place these cups in an aluminum roasting pan with water about half way up. Slip a sandwich baggie over the top and wait for them to show green shoots - usually a ninimum of four days but others take much longer. Remove the baggie, and you can then place them in a protected area outside. They must remain in the aluminum pans so they do not dry out. Change water every 3-4 days.

Once the seedlings develop their second set of leaves, you can begin fertilizing them by filling the pans with a weak solution of fertilizer/water. I use 1 small cap of Schult'z Expert Plant Food (1/2 strength) but any good soluble fertilizer would be fine. They are later transplanted to the garden or pots.

Seed pods are harvested once they turn brown and just begin to split open. Watch them carefully so they don't open too much and spill all the seeds. Place them in small paper Dixie cups for 4 days, allowing them to air-dry. You can either plant them immediately or store them in zip bags in the refrigerator until you are ready to begin planting them.

You can produce seed pods by cross-pollinating your blooming flowers. You can also harvest the pollen, freeze it and it will be good for years to come. I'd stick with just one seed pod per scape so you don't overwhelm the plant. Pollination should be carried out in the morning if possible, once the anthers release their pollen and it becomes fluffy. You can simply remove a stamen with the anther and dab the pollen on the pistil (the tall white stem inside the flower).

I'm writing this in a hurry, because it hasn't rained for weeks on end and I'm having to water. If I've left out any important details, maybe someone else at the forum can add them.

Nancy

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clipped on: 06.11.2009 at 11:14 pm    last updated on: 06.11.2009 at 11:15 pm