Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Again, Working With Conversions

Hello Daylily Friends,

I have begun working again trying to convert diploids to tetraploids. One of the plants that I am trying to convert is DREAMWORLD. It is 27 inches tall, and it has a 6 1/2 inch flower. It looks a lot like BARBARA MITCHELL, which is one of its parents, but it has much more branching. The flower is a lavender-pink, with a deeper lavender-pink halo, above a green throat. I first saw DREAMWORLD during an AHS National Convention in Pennsylvania. It was hybridized by Arthur Kroll, I saw it in his garden, and he was kind enough to send it to me to grow. Over the years I have tried to convert this diploid, but with no success. I kept making mistakes. Now, however, I am D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-E-D! I will get DREAMWORLD converted. My experiment seems to be working, and I am showing a picture. To me, at the moment, it seems converted because (1) the foilage is very stiff, and (2) because it tried to "cup" after it was treated. I kept cutting the foilage with my pin knife so that the growing tip could grow out, and it seems that it has. Although it seems that I have a conversion, there is no way to know for sure until the pollen is examined under a microscope. Since it is a dormant it will eventually have to go through some cold weather. I will keep you posted on how I am doing with DREAMWORLD.

Another daylily that I am trying to convert is ROSABELLE VAN VALKENBURGH. My friend David Arthur wants this daylily converted, and so I am giving this work my best effort. David bought ROSABELLE last spring on the Auction, and I have grown it so that I would have enough fans to work with in my conversion effort. ROSABELLE is a small flower. David likes small daylilies. She is only 18 inches tall with 3 inch flowers. ROSABELLE'S color is purple with a white and lavender eye. I understand that it is a semi-evergreen. You can see from the picture that I am providing that the treated diploid has grown into two separate fans. This is encouraging. Since it is a semi-evergreen I will keep it growing in the Greenhouse until next spring when it blooms.

During this past winter and into the early spring I tried to convert WAXEN SPLENDOR, but I was not successful. Although I thought I had it converted, it suddenly died. So, I have grown more fans, and now I am trying again. I have treated five fans, and they are now into their second day of treatment. I am going to show two pictures: Picture One: Immediately after it was cut. Picture Two: After Colchicine was applied for the first time. I expect to treat WAXEN SPLENDOR once a day for five days. Then, it will go above the "Coolant System" in the Greenhouse for about 10 to 15 days without water. When it is watered it will only receive a small amount around the outside edge of the pot. This time around I will get WAXEN SPLENDOR converted. I will continue to show the progress I make on this project. Other diploids that I now have under "Colchicine Treatment" include the following: SUNGLASSES NEEDED, JELLY BASKET, METRO BLUE, EXOTIC GYPSY, and PINK RUFFLED LOVE.

I am going to also try to convert a number of dormant diploids. Dormants cannot stay in the Greenhouse, and I cannot try to convert them now. Right now the dormants are in "reversal." If they are treated now it is my experience that, for the most part, they will not grow out of the treatment. Instead, they march toward their death. In the late winter and early spring, however, they will try to grow even after they are treated with Colchicine. So, I have taken the one gallon pots of the dormant diploids that I plan to treat, and I have put the pots into the ground in the outside garden. These dormants will lose all of their foilage, and then in January I will bring them back inside the Greenhouse. They will be put on the top of the "Coolant System," and will begin to grow. I will not water these plants. I will let them dry for about 15 days, and then they will receive Colchicine. These are important plants so I will make sure they survive our winter. Again, I will keep you posted.

That is the news for today from Kennesaw Mountain Daylily Gardens.



  1. Hey Bill,

    Had the day off for a furlough day. Got my fingers crossed that the EXOTIC GYPSY will convert this time. By the way, what has Larry said about KING SOLOMON'S TREASURE? I don't know if I want to spend $250 on it since it is an EV.


  2. Bill,

    Doesn't Waxen Splendor act as a dormant? I really love that daylily, made lots of crosses with it last year, and I, too, hope to convert it. But that little plant suffers crown rot so easily, I fear it's genes are not very strong. I look forward to hearing how your attempts work out.