Friday, November 30, 2012


Hello Daylily Friends,

My daylily friend, Mike Derrow, has written several messages onto the post that I made on Nov. 23, 2012, about his introduction, PINK STRIPES.  In my Post on Nov. 23, I showed two pictures of PINK STRIPES, and made the point that, because of a newly sprouted scape, that I probably did not have the plant converted.  Mike then wrote to me, and stated the following:

 Hi Bill, Happy Thanksgiving! This is Mike Derrow writing, the hybridizer of PINK STRIPES. I've been trying to convert PS for a few years now - have killed or failed with quite a few plants - just as you've experienced, PS quickly throws up more fans beside the crown piece that I'm attempting to convert and the converted area just gives up and least it did in all previous attempts before last spring. During the latest attempts, most of the fans remained as singles - they didn't throw up the extra side fans and I think I might have at least 2 and perhaps as many as 6 potentially converted or partially converted plants from a group of 21 that I treated in April last spring. The potted plants spent the summer growing out on my deck and were planted out in the fields this fall - PS is a hard dormant and needs a chilling period to perform well. Anyway, I'll know this coming spring whether they survive and if any have tetraploid tissue. I'm also going to try converting another 20-25 fans this winter in the greenhouse...Good Luck with your attempts, I hope you are successful.

This past Monday, on Nov. 26, I decided that I would just "go ahead" and cut away the emerging new scape.  I was very careful to move away the soil, so that I could actually see most of the scape.  It looked like I could easily reach it, so I took my pin knife, and cut it off.   When I did this I accidentally cut into two roots, but alas, such is the hazard when you can't see everything.  Anyway, as I said in my post on Nov. 23, allowing that scape to grow would probably kill the growing tip which was the object of my conversion work.

After I cut away the emerging scape I put the plant in front of my fan, and left it there for at least two days.  I wanted to make sure that a "scab" formed on the roots that I cut, and that the place where I cut the fan also formed a protective barrier.  I didn't use any of Larry's powder; I just wanted to be able to keep the area dry so that it could be ultimately watered without any harm to the plant.

Well, it would seem to be a good idea to look at PINK STRIPES Number #1, on the day that I trimmed away the emerging scape, which was on Nov. 26, 2012, and then compare this with the scape as I saw it this morning, four days later, on Nov. 30, 2012.  I think that the "growing tip" looked rather anemic on the 26th, whereas this morning it looked much better.  I did cut away some of the excess foliage yesterday, and this morning everything looks good.  I believe that the little sprout that is growing to the lower right of the growing tip is part of the area that would have absorbed the conversion chemical called Colchicine.  At the moment, I think that removing the emerging scape has helped with my conversion effort.

I have three other plants of PINK STRIPES that I've treated, and I want to show these to exhibit what my progress is today with this effort.  The first plant that I'm showing is plant Number #2, and as with plant Number #1, l had cut away some of the excess foliage.  I cut away the foliage to try to avoid too much moisture and potential rot.

Plants numbered #3 and #4 have not been recently trimmed, but I don't think this should be attempted just yet.  Number #3 may have some rot forming, but it is just too small to be cut into again.  Number #4 looks good.  All of this just demonstrates that conversion work is an attempt to change a plant that requires many steps, all of which are judgmental and may or may not be correct.  The only true test of correct judgment comes from whether a conversion is made.

I can't close this epistle without showing a picture of our gorgeous granddaughter, Beautiful Lily Rae.  My wife, Diana Rae, took Little Lily Rae's picture while I was holding her on the deck just outside our back door.  Lily Rae was just smiling and waiving and just so happy.  Lily Rae just make me happy.  This coming Monday, I'm going to take Little Lily Rae to Music Class where there will be a Christmas Party.  I know it will be fun, and I'm going to try to get some good pictures.  Maybe I will have a new post about the Music Class Christmas Party!

Don't you just love Little Lily Rae's "juicy cheeks"?



  1. Dear Bill,

    Really amazes me the amount of time, effort, and the knowledge it takes to convert a diploid. Wow. You have worked very hard to make this conversion a success. Did you ever consider making a video on how you approach the conversion process. I'll bet a lot of daylily people would be interested in purchasing it! Great read. Anyway, GO BULLDOGS!

  2. Great idea on the video Paul Lewis, but instead of the hassle of producing it, shipping it and having to sell it, why not put it up for free on youtube for the whole world to see?

    I've been reading this blog for a couple of years now...checking about every Sunday for updates. I can't tell you how much I appreciate having access to to so much free information.

  3. Hi Paul and Marty,

    Thanks for the encouragement on making a video on how to treat a daylily with Colchicine, and hopefully get the plant converted. I would probably have to start with preparing a video sometime in late January because that is when I will begin again with my conversion work. I could just put it youtube.

    Thanks to you both for reading this blog and for your encouragement.


  4. I am a great fan of pink stripes. I am more than thrilled that there is an ongoing effort to convert it. Thank you for all you work. Can't wait for an update. mary

  5. Bill, I am wondering if you have considered trying to convert Pitter Patter? It is the only true spotted daylily that I have ever heard of and has produced spots on two occasions that I know of. I'm also thrilled to know that Pink Stripes is now converted!