Starting Daylily Seeds
by Diane Linsley
There's nothing quite like growing daylilies
from seed and witnessing the arrival of a new
flower that has never been seen before. Each
seed-grown daylily is genetically unique.
After harvest, daylily seeds are refrigerated
for at least 3 weeks to improve germination.
When you purchase them, they will have already been refrigerated. Store the seeds in the fridge until it is time to start them indoors in late winter. In the deep south, daylily seeds may be sown in the fall.
Before sowing daylily seeds, you need to soak and pre-chill them. Add 2 teaspoons of tap water to the seeds inside the ziploc bags they came in (remove the slip of absorbent paper first). Squeeze out the air, so the seeds are surrounded by water. Place the bags inside a waterproof container (in case of leaks), and refrigerate them for 4-8 weeks. Check them frequently, and pot up any seeds that sprout in the fridge. When the time is up, pot up the remaining seeds. The longer pre-chilling time (8 weeks) may hasten germination, but it isn't necessary.
Sow the seeds into pots of moist seed-starting mix, 1/2" deep. It is important to keep daylily seeds consistently moist during germination because they tend to die if they dry out. Set them in a bright window or under lights at normal room temperature (about 70 degrees). Seedlings should begin to appear in 2-6 weeks, but some may take as long as 3-4 months. Transplant the seedlings into the garden when danger of frost is past and they are large enough to resist slug damage.
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