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Cedar Ridge Gardens Hybridizing

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Introduction

       The best time to hybridize is in the morning before the bees become active, and I normally stop around noon. However, it is important to let the plant dry out before one starts.

       Hybridizing is really quite easy. One takes the pollen from the stamen of one plant and places it on the tip of the pistil of another plant. One can remove the pollen from the stamen of the pollen parent with a Q-tip. However, I usually remove one of the stamens from the pollen parent and take it to the other daylily, which is going to be the pod parent. I usually make the reverse cross as well.

       What do I mean by that? Some daylilies are pollen fertile, but not pod fertile. If I make the cross both ways, I am more likely to have success.

       In the pictures illustrating hybridizing, I crossed Canadian Border Patrol (pollen parent) to one of my best seedlings (pod parent). I also made the reverse cross with the seedling being the pollen parent and Canadian Border Patrol being the pod parent. This has also been an excellent way to determine the fertility of my seedlings, so I can better assess them.

       Remember that diploid daylilies can only be crossed with other diploid daylilies, which have 22 chromosomes. The same principle is true for tetraploid daylilies, which have 44 chromosomes. So check this out before you begin.

       It is really important to keep track of the parents. I use permanent ink markers to note the cross on tags placed around the flower that has been fertilized. I write the name of the pollen parent only on my tags, although I know many others who write both parents and the date of the cross. The tags that I use just never seem large enough for all that information! Maybe I just write too big!

       Do not be surprised if some of your crosses do not take. Some daylilies are infertile. Sometimes the weather is too hot and humid causing the pollinated flower to drop off. What has also happened to me is that a seed pod has started to grow, but then withered and fallen off. This often happens when the weather is cool and changeable.

       However, when pollination is successful, the base of the pistil swells, the dried flower falls off in a few days revealing the little green seed pod. DO NOT try to pick off the withered flowers from around the ripening seed pod. Been there, done that! What can happen is that the seed pod can snap off even when one is trying to be very careful.

Removing Stamen
Removing Stamen
d Stamen  Pix 2 Slide 1
Preparing to pollinate
Preparing to pollinate
Pollinating seedling
Pollinating seedling
Tag Slide
Tag Slide
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