Daylily (hybridizing)

On this page I like to tell you about the way I hybridize. Daylily flowers are very easy to pollinate. All the parts that must be manipulated to pollinate are fairly large and can be easily handled. The following is the way I hybridize, once you start hybridizing you will probably develop your own specific procedures. One of the most important things to do first is to make a plan. What is the purpose you hybridize. In the beginning I made crosses with every possible daylily and it was fun, but I discovered the most strange results. Therefore:


Suggestion 1: make a plan in advance.


If you have made a plan there’s one specific thing you should be aware of. There are two types of daylilies, diploids and tetraploids. They are very hard to tell apart and pollen from one type will not set seed on the other. If you do not know which type you have, plan on crossing several different varieties in case some turn out to be different types and don’t set seed.


When two daylilies are flowering at the same day, you can make a crossing. In other cases you can save the pollen in the refrigerator and make the crossing later. You can exchange pollen also with other daylily lovers.


The way to fertilize is to take the powdery substance at the ends of the stamens (the pollen) from one flower and place it on the tip of the pistil of the other flower. The best time of the day is just after the pollen has dried and become fluffy, usually about mid-morning. To avoid little insects eat the pollen you can cover the pollen on the pistil with a straw closed on the top with adhesive tape. Do not remove the old bloom after applying pollen, let it fall off on it’s own accord


There are several ways to keep records of the crosses to help you identify the pods. To have minimal unpleasant visual effect in the garden I use tiny threads in different colors I attach under the fertilized flower. If a pod forms I can see on the list below what kind of crossing it is










Crossings Tetraploids 2012

Name Plant








Absolute Treasure


Aerial Display

Ageless Beauty

Suggestion 2:Keep the records of your crossing as punctual as possible


If the cross was successful there will be a tiny green pod at the spot the flower was attached. This pod contains the seeds and will continue to grow during the next few weeks. In some cases there may be a green pod at First but will fall off after a short time. In that case there were no viable seeds forming in the seed pod.


Typically, the seeds take between 40 and 60 days to mature to the point where they can be harvested. You can tell when it’s time to harvest, when the seed pods begin to split open. Sometimes I squeeze the pod gently to see i fit is ready to split. This is OK, but remember that seeds harvested too early will probably not germinate. Remove the seeds from the pods and let them dry for a week. Then I put them on a cotton pad, place another cotton pad above the seeds and pack them into aluminum foil. I put these packages in the refrigerator for the whole winter.



Suggestion 3: Put the seeds in the refrigerator for the whole winter, but

don’t freeze your seeds


In early spring I get the seeds out off the refrigerator, put them together with vermiculite and water in a zip-lock bag and put them again into the refrigerator. After six weeks I plant them in plastic boxes and wait till the plant starts growing.


It’s true that not all daylily seedlings turn out to be super gorgeous flowers. In fact, I have heard said that only one in a thousand is good enough to register as a new cultivar. But I have found that many of these seedlings are actually prettier than some of the daylilies for sale in your local nursery.


I hope you will enjoy your hybridizing!