How To Hybridize Daylilies in Your Garden

parts of a flower how to hybridize daylilies.png
In this post I’m going to use really simple language and not go into much detail, if you need clarification or more info we can talk in the comments section. I will provide some links at the end if you’d like to delve further into the world of hybridizing daylilies.

One of the ways you can participate in sex in the garden is to hybridize some of the daylilies in your garden. The two parts of the daylily flower that you need to identify in order to do this is the anther, where the pollen is located, and the stigma, where the pollen is received. In the photo of the daylily flower above I’ve marked the anthers and pollen (fluffy yellow material) with A and the stigma, at the very tip, with B.

Transfering pollen to stigma how to hybridize daylilies.png
Find two plants that you’d like to cross. Tetraploid and diploids are said not to be able to cross. You can remove an anther from one flower and brush it on the tip of the stigma like in the image above in order to fertilize the flower.

Brushing Daylily pollen on stigma with flower How to hybridize daylilies.png

Or, you could take a flower from one plant and brush it against the stigma of another, making sure you transfer pollen, and repeat the process with as many plants as you would like to hybridize. This process can be a bit messy and you could accidentally pollinate a flower with its own pollen. One way to avoid this is to remove the anthers from the flower that will be receiving the pollen. If you look closely at this pic you’ll see I removed the anthers, A, in the peach-colored daylily.

Daylily seed pod how to hybridize daylilies.png

If you were successful, soon after the petals of the flower fall off you’ll see the swelling of the seed pod begin. It will turn brown and split after a few week– revealing shiny black seeds that you can direct-sow in the garden and wait 2-3 years for them to bloom. Cross as many daylilies as you can, the more you do the greater the chances are that one will take. Even if a seed pod develops pollinate more flowers on the same stem in case something happens to your first seed pod.

The best times to do your daylily hybridizing is in the mid-morning when the weather forecast doesn’t call for rain. Recently, I attempted to pollinated a number of daylily flowers in my garden and it rained just moments after. None of my flowers were fertilized. I’m guessing the rain washed pollen away before it had time to do its work. Remember, daylily flowers only lasts for one day. Remember to keep track of what flowers you cross pollinated so you reffer to them later. The names are recorded in the following fashion; pod plant (plant holding the seed pod) x (the plant that donated pollen) pollen plant .

It isn’t magic, it isn’t a big mystery, all you have to do is transfer pollen from a fertile anther to a receptive stigma–voila! Same goes for just about any flower in your garden. Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to hybridize daylilies in your garden you’ll probably become addicted and you’ll need some further info. Here are some links to get you started:


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  • How fun! I've done a lot of experimenting in the garden, but never tried hand-pollinating anything. I know there are lots of gardeners who have success with daylilies even with a lot of shade, but I don't have much luck with them. They survive, but don't thrive, and don't bloom very well. :(

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    Really? I hand-pollinate just about everything that blooms in my garden. It is one of the appeals to me about gardening, the sense of "I made this" that comes from seeing all of those seed pods or fruits develop.

    Ever since I learned that you didn't need a science lab, like on the TV, to cross plants I've been doing it. My preferred method is to hand-pollinate with an artists' paint brush, which gets people curious and gives me the opportunity to go on and on about gardening when they ask a question.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    " me the opportunity to go on and on about gardening when they ask a question." You ARE ripe for becoming a master gardener! But don't do it for the secret file cabinets, do it for the snazzy name badge (HA!)

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    LOL. You have to post a pic of your MG name badge. You've mentioned it a couple of time and now I'm curious to see it.

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