Friday, December 11, 2009

Helping the Growing Tip Emerge!

Good Morning Daylily Friends,

As you know I have been in the process of converting a number of daylilies. One in particular that I am trying to convert is Elizabeth Salter's METRO BLUE. Lovely daylily. I like the pattern, and I've noticed that daylily gardeners in general are likewise attracted to patterns. So, I bought METRO BLUE from Elizabeth, grew enough so as to treat four, and it appears that I may get all four converted. I am showing a picture of METRO BLUE so that you can see the pattern. From looking at my second picture, you can see that METRO BLUE is "capped." That is to say, the foilage overlaps other foilage such that the growing tip becomes hidden. It is important to keep the daylily trimmed so that the growing tip can freely grow upward. This is important to keep the plant from becoming diseased and die. So, I am showing myself using a knife to cut METRO BLUE. Then, after the cutting is completed, I am showing another picture where I am applying powder. The powder helps because it prevents disease, and because it keeps the plant dry at the places where the plant is cut. If you have a daylily that you are trying to convert, and if it is not capped as is shown here with METRO BLUE, then your conversion candidate is probably not going to be a tetraploid. The capping takes place on all daylilies that I have grown that were ultimately converted. So, the step of keeping the path open for the upward growth of the growing tip is very, very important.

Those who have been keeping an eye on my conversion posts will recall that I have been focusing on WAXEN SPLENDOR, plant number three. It is still doing fine. I have cut and removed foilage, I have been watering about every 7 to 10 days since the weather has been much cooler, and I have kept water off of the daylily itself when I have watered. I am showing two pictures. One picture is meant to show some of the cuts that I have made. At the place where the cuts were made the foilage has naturally split. I am showing another picture from the top of the plant. You can see the center of the plant where the growing tip will eventually emerge. There is no success until the growing tip begins to emerge from the plant. This growing tip and the successive foilage is a sure sign that the conversion process is taking place.

Well that is all for this morning. I am continuing to make progress with the conversions, and soon I hope to see the plants coming into full growth.



  1. Hi Bill,

    Just wanted to say "thanks" for lunch the other day. I enjoyed having tea with you all. Just trying to keep warm now and enjoying watching all the dormants in my seedling beds. I am very pleased with the large number of the 2500 seedlings that appear to be dormants. I guess instead of having visions of sugar plums dancing in my head I am having visions of the possibilities that lie ahead for the spring.


  2. Oh William,
    I too am looking so much forward to spring. It is over three months at least, and it seems like it will be forever. But, it will be fun to locate the dormants in the seedling patch, and get them marked for identification. You have done so well having 2,500 seedlings. What an incredible effort. I know a number of hybridizers who would be envious of your efforts. I have also learned to really appreciate dormants. As for lunch, wasn't that an incredible shop? So unique.
    I hope that you have Sunday, December 20 on your calendar. We are looking forward to an incredible daylily afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m. There will be so many wonderful treats and it will be good to speak to everyone.