Hybridizing Daylilies A Simple Process For Anyone

Hybridizing Daylilies is a simple process which any interested gardener can learn to do,” says Mrs. Sam D. Register of the Valdosta, Georgia, Hemerocallis Society.

She is shown above, saving some pollen from a favorite variety for later use.

Hybridizing DayliliesPin

Mrs. Register has been an enthusiastic amateur hybridizer for 15 years and has introduced 25 fine varieties, including the following:

  • Dark purple Royal Toga
  • Valdosta Beauty, a very dark reddish purple
  • Night Life, a night-blooming light yellow

Mrs. Register shares this exciting hobby of hybridizing daylilies with other members of the Valdosta Hemerocallis Society.

Hybridizing Hemerocallis 

Hemerocallis are straightforward to hybridize. The flower is large, containing one long pistil and six stamens with their pollen-bearing anthers.

To pollinate, it is necessary to carefully remove the stamen of one flower and touch its anther to the stigma, the tip end of the pistil, of another flower.

Then wait until the seed pod develops and plant the seed when ripe. Seedlings should bloom in the second year.

In all breeding, the seedlings will have characteristics of the pollen parent (the one from which the pollen was obtained) and the seed parent (the plant on whose stigma the pollen was placed).

Two Distinct Daylily Characteristics

There are two types of characteristics:

  • Dominant
  • Recessive

The dominant traits are the ones that generally show up.

For example, let’s take a tall red variety in which tallness is the chief characteristic and the red color recessive and cross it with a short yellow, where yellow is dominant and shortness recessive.

The seedlings should be tall and yellow. However, recessive characteristics may appear if these seedlings are crossed with one of the parents (backcrossed).

The experienced hybridizer works toward a particular characteristic or color by establishing the attributes of varieties that appear when crossed and thus produce the results he wants.

The hybridizer raises many seedlings and keeps complete records of the characteristics present in each.

In this way, he discovers the traits that are carried over and those that are present but recessive and do not appear.

It is the recessive traits as well as the dominant traits that the experienced hybridizer must establish and bring out to produce new and better varieties.

Even the rank amateur, purely by chance, may select two daylilies with dominant and recessive characteristics to produce a new and spectacular variety.

This possibility makes amateur hybridizing the fascinating hobby that it is.

44659 by M. E. Gerlach