Seeds can be planted directly into the ground out in the garden, or they can be started in small pots. Which method you choose will depend on personal taste as well as on what climate you live in.
You can plant the seeds in prepared beds. Make a furrow about 1 inch deep, as long as your bed will accomodate. Plant the seeds a minimum of 1 inch apart (6 inches would be better) and cover with soil. Firm the soil over the planted row. When finished, water the entire bed thoroughly, to wet the soil down to a depth somewhat greater than the planting depth of the seeds.
You can expect weeds to grow vigorously in your seedling bed, and using a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weeds will also prevent your daylily seeds from germinating.
Be aware that grassy weeds look a great deal like sprouting daylilies, and weed with great care!
Overcrowding may be a problem if you planted the seeds too close together, and if too many of them germinate. You may have to transplant some of the seedlings to give them space to develop.
Planting in pots is the way to give your seedling crop a head start if you graden where the winters are cold. It also avoids the weed problem until the seeldings are large enough to take better care of themselves.
Plant in plastic pots in a soilless potting mix. The seeds can be very close together, less than 1 inch apart is fine for the time they will be in the pots. A square pot 4½" by 4½" can readily accomodate 16 seeds of tetraploid crosses. The seeds will germinate on the surface of the mix, but it is easier to keep them moist enough to sprout if they are covered ¼ to ½ inch deep with mix.
Place the pots in bright light: direct sunlight or close under fluorescent lights. Under artificial lights, use 15 to 20 hours of light per day. Do NOT use extra heat! Daylily seeds germinate best at 55° to 65°F. Water from below, keeping the potting mixture moist at all times. If adequately stratified ahead of time, the seeds should start germinating within a week to 10 days after planting.
You can plant in pots at any time of the year. Just be sure you have a place with adequate artificial or natural light to grow the seedlings until the weather is warm enough to move them outside.
You can plant in the ground in late autumn or in early spring in the northern states. I assume that in the southern states, they plant daylily seeds just about any time of year, but I don't actually know.
Revised last on 07 February 2007.
© Copyright 2007 by James E. Shields. All rights reserved.