Everyone Can Breed Daylilies

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From beginner to expert.

The old mini-book that will be hard to beat:

THE ART OF HYBRIDIZING by Oscie B. Whatley, Jr., AHS 1990.

The competition (which could also be considered models or used as a supplements or companion books):

Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers by Joseph Tychonievich, Timber Press, 200 pages, $20. Download for free here.

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving, 2nd Edition by Carol Deppe, Chelsea Green Publishing, 384 pages, $30. Download for free here.

You must read these to understand the task involved in creating a really good book.

Our book will be more specialized and targeted, and thus provide information in more depth that is relevant to daylily hybridizing. I'd contact Joseph and discuss ideas with him about his process and feedback. I've bought his book for myself and to give to a 13 year old beginning breeder.

  1. Daylily breeding is amazingly easy.
    No science or talent is needed beyond beginner gardening skills. Pollinate, collect the seeds, grow the seeds, then enjoy results. It takes one year to bloom in the south, and two to four years in the north. But if you want to breed well, there are many things you can learn to improve your results. This book is organized to tell you the easiest, simplest ways to breed daylilies, and then present a number of possible ways to improve your daylily breeding. In the interests of practicality, I draw the line at needing access to laboratory equipment.


Introduction and Basics

  1. Why breed daylilies?
  2. Starting to breed daylilies.
    1. Choosing what to cross.
    2. Pollination.
    3. Labelling pollinated flowers.
    4. Collecting seed.
    5. Planting and germinating seed.
    6. Growing seedlings.
    7. Evaluating seedlings.
    8. Naming seedlings.
    9. Selling your introductions.

Learning Intermediate Techniques

  1. Choosing breeding goals.
    1. Who is your target market?
      1. You
      2. Collector
      3. Hybridizer
      4. Walk-in gardener
      5. Mail order for general gardening
      6. Wholesale for garden center sales
      7. Wholesale for Landscaping services
      8. Wholesale for Public works plantings (highways)
      9. Commercial growers buying varieties for patent or distinctive introduction
      10. Selling seed.
    2. What do they want and why? (See What makes a good perennial? below)
    3. Ideas for breeding goals. (See Hybridizing goals for the new century below)
  2. Pollination
    1. Pollination tips and techniques.
  3. Selling your introductions.
    1. Giving them away.
    2. Selling over the internet.
    3. Selling through an established daylily garden.
    4. Selling through a professional nursery.
      1. Patenting.

Advanced Techniques

  1. The science of breeding daylilies.
    1. There is hardly any science involved in daylily breeding. You do not need to know plant anatomy, genetics, Punnet Squares, probability, pigment biochemistry, tissue culture, measuring yields, genetic engineering or any of the other knowledge of professional plant breeders.
    2. Plant breeding textbooks do not even list the type of breeding daylily breeders do. We do something very similar to the line breeding of animal breeders, but that is not that same as what plant breeders call line breeding. And we definitely are not hybridizing, according to the modern sense of the word, even thought we often loosely call it that.
    3. We are starkly ignorant of the genetics of daylilies, compared to the genetics of food crops. There are few well-characterized gene/allele based characteristics, and there is no table of which plants possess them or not.
    4. Flower color science. (Guzinski)
    5. Diploids versus tetraploids and conversions.
      1. telling them apart by pollen and corolla tube
      2. fertility
      3. incompatibility
      4. substance (whatever that is)
    6. How many seedlings do you need?
      1. the numbers game for recessives, and why tets are harder
      2. Bell curve and regression to the mean for multiple gene traits.
    7. Breeding pseudoscience.
      1. Pod versus pollen parent.
      2. Dormant, Semi-Evergreen, Evergreen have nothing to do with hardiness.
    8. Opportunities to answer interesting questions.
  2. Breeding strategies. (What do I cross with what?)
    1. Types of breeding.
    2. Choosing parents.
    3. Single generation goals.
      1. Pretty on pretty.
      2. What if?
      3. Remake Stout crosses.
      4. Selfing and converting to amplify traits.
    4. Planning multi-generational goals.
      1. Example of return to white.
    5. Selection.
      1. Conditions for selection.
      2. Early selection.
      3. Serendipity and the value of other's opinions.
      4. Is it good enough to name?
      5. Judging. (Garden judging.)


People I've thought of tapping for particular chapters:

  1. Apps
  2. Kaskell
  3. Mason
  4. Hanson
  5. Henley
  6. Reeder
  7. Guzinski
  8. numerous others
  9. Might be possible to integrate the Whatley "Art Of Hybridizing" articles. http://www.daylilies.org/Whatley/Whatley_TheArtOfHybridizing_1989.pdf

Suggested other contributors:

  1. Stamiles
  2. Hansen
  3. Trimmer
  4. Bell
  5. Herrington
  6. Kirchhoff
  7. Morss
  8. Crochet

Assorted notes:

Many daylily lovers are in awe of daylily breeders, but hybridizing is really
no more difficult than growing daylilies.  While the best hybridizers are
remarkably hard-working, skilled and knowedgeable, such talents are developed
gradually over years.

You don't need to know any science.
	Any drunken bumblebee can pollinate and hybridize.
	We actually don't know enough science about daylilies to use it effectively.
	General gardening knowledge is sufficient.
	There is lots of nonsense out there too.
        Sobek IBSNE (a bee seedling), probably Itsy Bitsy Spider * Nutmeg Elf, good enough to introduce except for the high standards of Bob Sobek.

Hybridizing can be cheap and low-technology.
	No need for microcentrifuge tubes to store pollen.
	No need to store pollen if you are willing to limit yourself.
	No need for reverse forceps to hold stamens:

Daylily breeding takes a long time.
	Even bloom the first year of seedlings in the south means that it may take several years for the several generations you need to achieve your goals.
	In the north, where it takes 2 or 3 years to bloom a seedling, it is much slower unless you resort to high greenhouse culture.

Two generations can do what you want, if you grow enough seedlings.
	Genetics be damned!
		1 generation if combining dominant characters.
		2 generations if combining recessive characters.
		1 to many generations if combining quantitative characters.
		Nobody has yet demonstrated any complicated genetic factors that can affect your breeding.
	More generations
	Breeding is a game of numbers and generations.
	You can get something good in your first few years.

You can breed faster with diploids than tetraploids.
	You can combine traits with fewer seedlings and generations.
	You can lose traits more easily as well.
	More genetic diversity.
	Many tetraploid breeders made their reputations starting with tetraploid conversions, which have double or quadruple doses of genes that may be less frequent in tetraploids.  Stamile and Trimmer to name a couple.
	Somebody needs to breed the diploids that tet breeders convert.

You do not need to keep records.
	But you can benefit from them, and records are easy to keep.
	Pauline Henry.

Selection cannot work without testing.
	Apples at Geneva Agricultural Experiment Station.
	Evaluating seedlings under high culture.  Pesticides, fertilizer, irrigation, etc. that are not going to be present in gardens or other plantings.

You do not need articulable goals.  You can just play.
	The best breeders have goals.  Good and different.

You do not need to buy the newest and most expensive plants unless you are competing for the latest fashion.  And maybe not even then.
	You will always be 2 or more generations behind the breeder of that super new plant.  People will want it because they've seen what it can breed for its hybridizer.
	But if you are breeding for a different goal, you don't need it.
	Reilly trick of remaking the cross with the cheap parents.
	Getting pollen from a friend.
	Buying seed from it.  Drawback: if one in 100 is better than the parent, you are likely to be disappointed.

You don't need to own a daylily form.
You don't need a business.  It can be informal.
Naming and registering your seedlings is really easy.
You don't need to sell your introductions.

Hybridizing goals for the new century.

Hybridizing is a joy in its own right.  The excitement of producing seed, the dreams of what the seed could produce, the excitement of rushing out in the morning to see what new seedling has opened and the pleasure of others appreciating our creations: those are a few of the joys.

But there are also disappointments.  Many crosses produce ugly results.  Beautiful results may be dismissed because they look like what’s already available: aren’t there a lot of eyed, edged tetraploids out there?  Exciting new blossoms may not increase or have poor scapes or foliage.

Selecting goals and planning for them will help avoid the disappointments, and perhaps make you a better hybridizer.  It doesn’t take a giant brain to learn what to improve in daylilies, what would be new, what is wanted by collectors, gardeners, landscapers and nurserymen.  The best two ways to learn these are to talk about daylilies with these potential customers and to sharpen your own evaluation skills by becoming a daylily garden judge.  Become knowledgeable about what’s already available, the strengths and weaknesses, and the uses and commercial constraints of  daylilies.  That is exciting in its own right, and will give you many ideas for breeding goals.

The basics that make a daylily valuable.

The basic list of what makes a good daylily is fairly long.  When a daylily fails the basics, we have to make excuses for it.  Here is a partial list:  good opening, long bloom, sun resistance, good foliage, easy culture, and easy salability.  Even though daylilies have been bred for a long time now, there is huge room for improvement in the basics.  In the rush for distinction, often the basics are neglected.  It is also very difficult to solve all the basics for even one region, let alone all regions simultaneously.  Nevertheless, we should try harder.

Improving the plants.

Improving the flowers.

Reviving old goals.

Compare things to Elva White Grow

Breeding goals for northerners in particular:
        good opening (EMO esp. in cool weather)
        rapid clumping
        continues to bloom for years without dividing
        high scape/fan ratio
        good spring appearance (bullets)
        high budcount
        shade tolerance (Promises Promises)
Regular goals:
        sunfastness of color and substance
        rainfastness of color and substance
        easily separable fans
        resistant foliage: thrips aphids mites slugs
        good foliage color
        midsummer dormancy!
        self grooming (good closing)
        sculpted petals
        teeth, patterns, doubles
        patterns on edges
        more metallic
        hanging flowers
        ruffled leaves
        lavender blue/grey
color changing PIGMENT OF IMAGINATION, Copper Chameleon, FOAR BIZAR
Forgotten goals from past breeding:
        good whites that are really white
        color clarity
        resume the diploid breeding programs of Spaldings, Gates, etc.
        graceful, species-like bloom (Fisher's Corky, Gossard's)
        dark scapes
        forgotten and novel colors
                white, melon, black, brown grey
        eye color combinations: Mr. Lucky, LBB were novel, lemon w'gold eye
Novel goals:
        lacinate petals (split) such as Hidden Blades (Hansen 2008)
        deep apricot/melon (Melon Extract)
        minute flowers, not in yellow
        cold opening
        rhyzomatious spreaders to be used like fulva
        seed grown, purebred (Kaskell) or hybrid
        extreme trumpets
        hanging flowers
        colored bracts
        decorative buds
        ruffled spiders
        variegated foliage
        gall midge
        cold weather opening (jeff corbett, Pierce)
Apps ideas:
        tall with 5-7 way branching and small flowers
        short <15 or rebloom
        large ufos on normal, well-branched scapes (highland spider)
        northern early
        color clarity, selfs
        red and purple foliage
        landscaping: self cleaning
Southern goals:
        existing soils!  (hot bare-assed sand)  (leaves shade soil)
        heat fastness (Mint Fresh), or early evening openers (4 oclock openers)
        disease resistance (not breeding for garden) (Knock Out® Rose)
        rebloom through summer
        bloom through winter (combine with aestivation?)
Kirchhoff ideas:
        rot resistance
        range extension (deserts)
        leaf streak
Perhaps organize the ideas by plant application:
        commercial landscaping
        home garden
        show scapes
Solving the big problems.

Eliminate rust
Better garden plants
Attractive much of the year
Modest sized flowers have better garden flowers that self-groom
Better foliage
Strength: vigorous without winter, outcompete weeds
Better colors
One year old seedlings sold
Long season bloom: early with recurrence
Drought tolerance is an unrealistic expectation
Attractive, conforming (arching) foliage, thrip resistant
Do not need to understand causes to breed away from problems.
Do not need scientific understanding to breed away from problems.
Solving problems in sequence based on top few problems.
Erect, slender self-supporting scapes
Longer clump duration before division
Uncrowded display of flowers in a clump.
End in late july, very little in August, some rebloom in September (Olive Bailey Langdon in December in Miami)
Perfect closing every evening, not needing deadheading.
50K seeds, 50 lines, 4 times more next year
less than 20 plants used per line per generation
starting to select for clump performance in garden soil

Our problems:
bud gall mite
spider mites
leaf streak
spring sickness

Fuchsias for gall mite
Breeding gall mite-resistant Fuchsia hybrids at Strybing Arboretum: Update 2001

hollyhock rust

no-spray (knockout) roses

agronomic disease
tomato hybrid resistances
tobacco mosaic hypersensitivity

Strategies for cross planning and selection
Test under difficult conditions, propagate under ideal conditions.
Keep seedlings and trials separate from plants grown for sale.  That way you can test them.
Test for rot resistance by infection from rotting plants: grind them up in a blender.
Avoid using difficult traits, such as tongue, falling scapes and tenderness.

Increasing contrast
Different colors

Gold on yellow
Better contrasts

What makes a good perennial?

It's relatively easy to maintain a collection of 500 daylily varieties.  Why?

Little need for attention.
	does not need frequent division or other special care
		clumps could remain undivided, like trees
		ordinary drainage, soil, fertility, water, and sunlight are fine
	weed supression is not complicated in a mature planting
		many opportunities for efficiency
			clear areas between plants
			easy to distinguish plants from weeds
			selective herbicides
	few, insignificant, or easily controllable pests and diseases
	not weedy itself, requiring little or no control
	grooming not needed (deadheading, pod removal, etc.)

Losses are rare.
	during shipping
	during division
	drought tolerance
	cold tolerance
	heat tolerance
	sun tolerance

Suitability for many gardening applications.
	different parts of borders
	roadside plantings

Simplicity of increase.
	no need for special techniques to increase
	division is the easiest
		seed, cuttings, TC, micropropagation, grafting harder for layman
	non-critical timing for increase
	increase is functionally the same as the parent

Diversity offers opportunities.
	for many gardening applications
	for hybridizing
	for artistic expression in garden

More notes.

Folks to get rules/ideas/etc. from for a breeding manual:

Liz Salter (about minis)
Richard Norris (a series of 8 lessons complete with examples)
Melanie Mason (what to look for in selecting northern hardy daylilies)
Dan Bachman (7 hybridizing rules)

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Date:         Wed, 12 Mar 2003 10:55:18 -0800
Reply-To: michael lyons <jollygreenthumb@YAHOO.COM>
From: michael lyons <jollygreenthumb@YAHOO.COM>
Subject:      Re: Cleveland Symposium.  Dan Bachman's Hybridizing Rules.
X-To:         Robert Fitzpatrick <hemnut@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>

Michael Lyons
Parkersburg, WV
AHS Region 3, USDA Zone 6

Sharon Fitzpatrick wrote, "It would be informative if
someone who attended the symposium could give more
details on OSU Katherine Whitten and Dan Hanson's rust
reports. Would also be nice to know what Dan Bachman's
7 steps to hybridizing are? To get flowers like Dans
do I have to wear a hard hat and paper towel tubes
while hybridizing?"

First, I want to echo what so many have posted before
as to the high quality Symposium that Curt and Juli
seem to have down to a science.  It was a thrill to
have met so many new friends, revisited some old, and
I still didn't get to meet everyone I wanted.  Melanie
Mason, I got caught in the whirlwind, hope to meet you
next year...

Dan Bachman's program was NARROWING YOUR FOCUS, paper
towel tube goggles may be useful for focus, the hard
hat is probably optional. (;=>)

The following are Dan's hybridizing rules.  The
reasonings are my personal understandings.  I
apologize to Dan if any of these are off base.

Rule #1.  "Don't cross two daylilies by the same
I believe the reasoning was to outcross for greater

Rule #2.  "Don't cross yellow to yellow."
Reason, there are so many great yellows already.

Rule #3.  "Set only one or two pods on a first year
Reason, so as not to adversly affect best performance
of the new seedling.

Rule #4.  "Breed older varieties with newer, never
older with older, (except for spider forms)."
Reason, I beleve was to use improved cv's with older
cv's with potential.

Rule #5.  "Breed northern bred cv's to southern bred
cv's.  Avoid southern to southern."
Reason, breeding for northern hardiness. of course not
a factor for daylilies for a southern market.

Rule #6.  "Breed with your own seedlings as much as
possible.  Create your own lines."
Reason, so as to produce distinctive cv's of your own.

Rule #7.  "Rules are made to break and bend."
I understood this to mean to follow your instinct at
times, and take some chances.

I'll leave the rust reports to others who may have
taken better notes.

Spring is whispering here,
Michael the jollygreenthumb

Checklists of important characters for breeding and introduction.

Major Faults:
	scapes fall
	pod infertile
	pollen infertile
	pale foliage
	poor color
	poor BBC
	spider mite susceptible
	thrips/aphid damage to buds and scapes
	early closing/senescence

Minor Faults:
	curly pistils
	poor closing

Major Features:
	color clarity
	rapid increase

	excellent foliage
	erect foliage
	dark scapes
	colored reverses
	trumpet form
	hanging flowers
	purple bracts
	red/purple foliage
	bud colors

Things I can not or do not select for:
	rust resistance
	drought resistance
	heat tolerance
	hardiness below Z5

DL's for the border, not just solid beds: varying heights.

Date:    Wed, 28 Jul 1999 20:02:32 -0400
From:    bobandmimi <bobandmimi@HAMPTONS.COM>

>Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 20:01:43 -0400
>To: Michal Graber <mglily@gwi.net>
>From: bobandmimi <bobandmimi@hamptons.com>
>Subject: Re: Private: Bob need your advice!
>Hi Robins.
>I received a posting from Michal Graber asking me how I evaluate my
>seedlings.  I thought others might be interested.  At least, I hope some
>others might be interested.
>I can only talk about how I evaluate seedlings in my garden on Eastern Long
>Island in Zone 6b.
>If the first time I see a seedling bloom it has a flower that makes me
>swoon, 4 way branching, 35 buds, great foliage, and a scape that holds the
>flowers appropriately high above the foliage and is good and sturdy -
>there's no problem.  The evaluation process is simple.  I jump up and down,
>wave my hat in the air, let out whoops of glee.  After a while, my eyes roll
>up and I fall down.  After I regain consciousness, I flag the plant.  I then
>try to cross on it. I always cross on good first year seedlings (and on not
>so good ones too), I have never seen that it does them any harm.  In the
>fall I take it out and give it special care.  If the plant performs well for
>the next couple of years, depending what is "out there" in the market, I may
>have an introduction.
>More often I will bloom a "bridge plant".  That is, a plant that has several
>desirable features, but is not good enough in all areas to introduce.
>However, these plants are stepping stones on the way to achieving my goals.
>Crossing my "bridges" after I've bloomed them, with Cvs that have
>characteristics that will improve them can eventually get me closer to my
>goal.  This can be a tedious endeavor, though, lasting a few generations,
>and when one is fast approaching 70, and is in a two year bloom cycle, one
>does not want to start crossing on a seedling that requires too many
>improvements.  That may just be too many bridges to cross.
>But, I have several proven parents that have given me introductions.  I use
>these on bridge plants hoping to make something acceptable in one generation.
>I am involved in hybridizing Tet UFos.  There are not a lot of them out
>there, so, having built up a line of UFos in the past 10 years and using
>them to cross with, it is relatively easy for me to produce plants that are
>not similar to things that are already on the market.
>If the plant habit is good and the flower is really unique (form and color),
>I find that double branching and 20+ buds is minimum.  There are many
>hybridizers for conventional hems for whom these criteria are sufficient.
>Of course 5 way branching and 40 buds would be better.
>I look for seedlings that rebloom and try to use them if they have any other
>redeeming features.
>I look for seedlings that come up double and triple fans because if they
>pass that on it's a good thing for increase.  It's a well proven fact,
>however, that second year seedlings that have 6 or 7 fans already, are
>always stinkers.
>I have a space problem, so I plant my seedlings 8" apart (this year 6"
>apart).  The seedlings fight with each other for nourishment.  If a first
>year seedling and has a unique blossom, but is lacking in other respects, I
>would keep it and give it good care.
>Here is an example - Mimi's MISTER BUBBLES, grown this year in Paul Aucoin's
>garden, was the talk of Region 14 garden tour this summer.
>MB bloomed in our garden as a first year seedling with only 6 buds about 10"
>tall, although the flower was a heart stopper.  I took it out and gave it
>some better care and the next year it had 12 buds.  The third year it was
>triple branched and 25 plus buds and 28".  Knowing the background -WEDDING
>produce highly budded offspring.  I don't know how well branched and budded
>it was at Paul's, but it must have been a stunner.
>So, if a seedling blooms beautifully but is under budded, look at it's
>parents, and if they are strong in that department, give it a chance.  Give
>it a chance anyway.  Give it some good culture and see what happens.
>I am thinking of writing a book titled - "I UPPED MY BUD COUNT - UP YOURS!".
>In our garden we have 4 areas.  1. Lined out seedlings that will bloom next
>year, 2. First year seedlings, 3. Second year seedlings, 4. Third year
>Only about 80% of my seedlings bloom the first bloom season.  Each season I
>find a couple of great plants that did not bloom last season, or did not
>have the root mass to allow them to do their thing.
>So, it is important to look at your seedlings for two seasons at least,
>preferably three.  I found LAUGHING GIRAFFE in the second season, and STRIKE
>UP THE BAND in the third season.
>John Lambert once wrote to me that the drudgery of the hybridizing process
>was worth it when you went out to your seedling patch in the morning and
>discovered a "real pants wetter". It was a good thing that when I saw each
>of these flowers for the first time I was wearing industrial strength Pampers!
>This season it is especially difficult for me to evaluate seedlings.  I have
>written previously that scapes are taller than usual and plants which I know
>have good branching and bud counts are either not branched at all, or are
>top branched with buds close to each other at the top.  Many others have
>commented that they are having similar problems.
>So, this year I am going almost exclusively by that face of the flower.  If
>it is a flower I like, I'm flagging it and taking it out.
>Evaluating is also dependant on what market you are aiming for.
>If you are attempting to enter the national market, it is important to
>acquaint yourself  with what is
>"out there", so that in your evaluation you are not introducing
>"look-alikes".  I won't comment on the number of look-alikes that are
>If you are going to be selling your Cvs mostly locally the blossoms do not
>have to be as unique as if you are attempting to enter the national market.
>This will effect your evaluating. Given a good enough blossom, you should
>concentrate on hardiness, bud count and increase. You know that your Cv will
>do well in your area because it will have been growing there for several
>years. Your prices will most likely be lower than the prices of hybridizers
>who sell coast to coast.
>I think there is room for local hybridizers to develop a local market and
>pay for their expenses - or most of their expenses - well, some of their
>expenses - maybe a trowel.  Look, most of us aren't going to make any money
>at this.
>There are probably more factors in evaluating ones seedlings, but I can't
>think of them.   I'm sure that in this robin there are those who can add to
>what I have said.  I think that this topic is important to many of the robin


Date:    Wed, 9 Feb 2000 07:09:31 EST
From:    "Pat and Grace Stamile, Enterprise, FL" <PStamile@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: scape height

Patrick Stamile,FL, zone 9
    Every hybridizer measures scape height a little differently.  I remember
being in Wimberlyway with Liz Salter and standing in front of a small clump
of a mini which I had just measured at 40" but which was registered at 16".
She explained to me that it would grow shorter in the North.  Scape height
does vary considerably according to latitude and especially foliage type.
    For myself I measure the average scape on first bloom (rebloom is much
more variable and usually taller)in my garden on a small clump of at least 3
fans.  This measurement is made from the ground to top of the  top bud or
flower as high as you can go.  Height is very variable  as Liz points out.
Many of my dormants which grew 30" in the North grow as short as  12" here.
REGAL BRAID   which never gets over 12" here even on rebloom  routinely grows
to 22" in the North.  ANASTASIA  which routinely grows to 30-36" here in  FL.
barely grew to 18" in NY. I believe this is because the dormants are
energized by the long cold growing period and accordingly grow taller while
the evergreens are damaged by that same cold and grow shorter. In  our NY
display garden we were having to constantly move things around according to
their heights as measured in our garden.
    In measuring the size of the bloom you measure the largest diameter as
the flower naturally stands without unfolding or stretching any of the
segments.  If the flower is oval you would measure along the longest axis.
    As for why we garden I think there is something programmed inside us that
draws us  to nature and the earth.  I think we all borrow our little piece of
the earth and are stewards of the land and have a moral  responsibility to
protect it for those who will come after us.  Pat

Melanie Mason
Survive/Thrive:  There's a difference.  Many sevs and evs survive in
zone 4/5.  They manage to present a few fans each year, bloom, and may
actually look pretty good in a clump.  But there's a difference between
surviving and thriving.  A daylily that is thriving here increases each
year,  looks great by April 21st, and can withstand division in August
without being set back.  It's flowers need to open well, even if the
nights are cool.

A catalog of daylily faults.

It is handy to have a list of faults for the purpose of choosing among
the myriad daylilies.  Whether you are a breeder with 40,000 seedlings,
or a home gardener with room for only 50 varieties, at some point you need
to reduce your holdings to make room for new acquisitions.

None of these faults are objective, in the sense that everybody should agree
that they are a fault.  The purpose of this list is to allow people to think
about what they consider to be faults in their circumstances, given their goals.
Indeed, some of the faults conflict: you have to choose.

A comparable list could be made of virtues, and decisions could then be made
weighing both faults and virtues.

	Not distinctive
	Bad form
		Tongue, lazy, dominant, or shoehorn petal
		Sepals clawed, pointed, etc.
	Bad color
	Bad substance
	Not rain resistant
	Not wind resistant
	Fades to bad color in sun
	Closure of throat too tight
	Melts in sun
	Sides of petals curl inwards in sun
	Senesces early in the day
	Dead flowers mummify over other blooms, inhibiting opening
	Dead flowers conspicuous
	Opening problems
		Nocturnal opening provides opportunity for flower damage
		Opens poorly in cool weather
		Never opens well
	Scapes fall over
	Flowers crowd each other
	Poor branching
	Low budcount
	No flowers in center because no scapes or scapes lean out (tonsure)
Blooming performance
	Doesn't bloom
	Doesn't rebloom well
	Poor count of scapes for number of fans (big clump, few scapes)
	Poor color
	Too upright
	Too lax
	Summer deciduous
	Winter deciduous
	Winter continuous growth
Vegetative performance
	Doesn't increase
	Sulks after division or transplanting
	Requires time to be established
	Requires full sun
	Requires heat
	Requires winter protection
	Poor performance without high quality growing conditions
Difficult to divide
More prone to or more affected by pests or disease
	Leaf streak
	Spring sickness
	Spider mites

Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 10:37:13 -0500
From:    Melanie Mason <melanie@NETHEAVEN.COM>
Subject: Winnowing in Ohio

Someone asked me about my "winnowing" talk.  Here's the summary. It will
give you an idea of how to grade your seedlings into keepers and
compost.  In my case, the compost is cow-fodder.  I show slides of all
the pluses and the minuses to illustrate.  I even have a pic of the cow

PRO vs. CON:


Each hybridizer has to weigh each element as to degree of importance.
But if you keep all of these things in mind as you evaluate your
seedlings, you'll arrive at a better selection of 'keepers', not just
pretty faces.

Date:         Mon, 23 Oct 2000 11:31:26 EDT
Reply-To:     Genealogy1@AOL.COM
From:         Genealogy1@AOL.COM
Subject:      How I select and save seedlings...

Hi Everybody,

Over the past few weeks I've received quite a few E-mail messages asking how
to choose seedlings to save. I can only speak for the way that I do it in my
garden. Further, I can't speak for dips as I only hybridize tets.

To start the sorting process and to simplify it, I developed a list of MAJOR
faults. I've found that trying to hybridize with a tet seedling that has 2
MAJOR faults is frustrating and for the most part a waste of time. Anything
that blooms with 2 MAJOR faults is not selected with very rare exception. The
usual exception is if it has a "genetic break" that I've never seen or heard
of before. Seldom do I see this.

For me, MAJOR faults are:

01)  Less than 15 buds.
02)  A scape that blooms in the foliage.
03)  A scape that can't support the buds and bends.
04)  A scape that is way out of proportion to the rest of the plant.
05)  A scape that is to tall.
06)  A flower that doesn't open well by 9 AM.
07)  A flower that has 1 petal that looks like a "bee's landing strip".
08)  A flower that has very poor substance.
09)  A plant that has poor foliage habits or poor color.
10)  Foliage that sticks up straight as an arrow with no bend to it.
11)  Branches that are to short or to long.

There may be additional MAJOR faults that just don't come to mind at this

Beside using my MAJOR fault "system", I don't select seedlings that are not a
significant improvement over their parents.

It would be interesting so see what other people have to say about selecting


--Bob Carr--(Ocala, FL)

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