Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Day, 2012!

Hello Daylily Friends,

This morning I had to get to the Greenhouse to see my conversions.  I knew that I had a problem with PINK STRIPES.  Yesterday evening I noticed a shoot that was obviously growing from the bottom of the plant.  Whenever I see a shoot growing the way this particular shoot is growing, I know that there is trouble ahead.  It seems that the energy from the plant goes to the shoot, and that the growing tip that I am trying to convert, just reverses and dies.  In the past, I've tried taking a plant from a pot and cutting away the shoot, but this has never worked.  In this particular instance there is a sprout next to where the growing tip was treated.  The growing tip or the sprout or both, may yet survive.  I'll just have to wait and see what happens.  In any event, I treated multiple plants, and I have another that I'm showing that I hope is converted.

I'm also showing TET. SPIDER MIRACLE.  This plant was given to me by my friend, David Williams.  I tried to use its pollen, and I tried setting pods on the plant, but nothing worked.  So, I looked at the plant's pollen using my microscope, and I found that it had about 40% tetraploid pollen.  I know from past experience that retreatment of a partly converted plant can be easily done, so I retreated TET. SPIDER MIRACLE.  I also have another three of this same plant that look converted.  Next summer I'll let you know what happens when I get a chance to look at the pollen again.

The next plant that I'm showing is CHOO CHOO CABOOSE.  I'm trying to convert this for my friend Lee Pickles.  I've seen it bloom as a diploid, and it has wonderful branching, plenty of buds, and is a very nice, beautiful, red daylily.  I might point out that in the past I've usually treated my plants with the chemical, Colchicine, three times a day for four days.  Sometimes I've treated them for five days.  This time around, however, I treated the plants only once for four days.  I've lost only two plants, and it looks like using a smaller amount of Colchicine may have been a good choice.

The next plant that I'm trying to convert is WAXEN SPLENOR.  It is just a beautiful red, and it has a lovely red eye, along with that coveted green throat.  I've also killed plenty of WAXEN SPLENDOR plants because I've likewise had no success in getting it converted.  I want to cross it with my seedling, HOTLANTA, which is red with a red eye.  My friend Paul Lewis wanted to see a picture of HOTLANTA so I'm including a picture here.  HOTLANTA is 24" tall, it has well defined 4-way branching, and a 5 3/4" flower.  It is 24" tall, but it may be taller after it grows outside in the same place for two years.  Anyway, I want to cross TET. WAXEN SPLENDOR with HOTLANTA to see if I can't produce a better red-eyed daylily.

I must also note that the pictures of my conversion plants all show small plants.  I've got a long road ahead making sure that these all survive.  I've got to keep them from too much moisture, I've got to keep any rot from appearing or harming the plants, and I've got to get the plants through the coming winter.

The last plant that I will show is BY THE GOLDEN RULE.  I have two others of this plant growing, and I'm hoping that they are both fully or partly converted.  The reason that I'm showing this plant is because it is so "hard and stiff."  I've learned that plants that show stiffness  after Colchicine treatment, are more likely to be converted.  Here's hoping for the best.

 I've also got to show a Thanksgiving day picture of the four of us in the family room.  Little Lily Rae is the star of the picture, and she is the star wherever she goes.  Just like a light switch lights up a room, Little Lily Rae likewise lights up any place she goes.  She has really been walking so well.  Also, she loves to climb our stairs.  Of course I am always with her, and I watch her carefully.  I hope to live long enough to see her have many adventures on the road up ahead.  I must say that she can now count to ten.  Well, more news soon.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.



  1. Bill I always love reading your blog. I was wondering what is the powder that you have on the plants that are treated.


  2. 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!

  3. Hi Chris,

    I don't know what that powder is. It was given to me by my friend, Larry over in Alabama. He tells me that it helps to prevent rot or disease. I've got plenty of it so I use it.

    Regret that I can't answer the question, but you could ask Larry.


  4. Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for your post, and for your report of similar experience in trying to convert PINK STRIPES. I truly believe that I have two that will ultimately prove to be converted. So far they have survived, and I'm hoping for the best.

    Congratulations on creating this lovely daylily. We had it growing in the garden, and it was a "hit." People saw it and wanted to buy it. If I get it converted, and as I say, I'm hopeful, then I'm going to cross it to itself. I don't know of another daylily that is similar to cross it with.

    I like its dormancy. Just a wonderful daylily!

    Again, thanks for your message.


  5. B,

    Happy belated Thanksgiving to you and your family. I think it's really cool that you got a comment from the hybridizer of Pink Stripes as to how hard it is to convert. I bought Pink Stripes from Mike Derrow some years back. I hope your attempts bring success. I think you forgot to include the picture of Hotlanta in your most recent post, but hopefully we can see it in your next one. Curious to see it. Happy holidays!

  6. Hi Paul,

    Yes I did post a picture of HOTLANTA. It is growing so nicely, both outside and in the Greenhouse. I have about 35 fans. I'm very pleased with it, and I'm anxious to know the final numbers on its measurements. I will have two places from with to receive the measurements: Myself and then at Tim Bell's garden.

    As to Mike's comments, well, I went outside this morning and cut away the "shoot" that was growing. I took pictures, and within a few days I will post the pictures along with pictures of the other plants from PINK STRIPES that I've retreated.

    By the way, the seedlings that you sent me have started to grow, and they look like they will all do very well.


  7. Bill,

    Sorry about that. I thought the picture above was of a Tet. Waxen Splendor bloom. (you can tell I've never seen Waxen splendor before.) Hotlanta is nice! I can't help but think that would be a great one to cross with Stamile's Walter Kennedy. Looking forward to Hotlanta's release!

  8. Hi Paul,

    Stamile's WALTER KENNEDY is one parent, and RED EYED RADIANCE is the other parent. I just like my HOTLANTA better because the color is stronger, and the branching is so well defined.


    1. Hi Bill - Thank you for the compliment on PINK STRIPES - I appreciate it! Regarding breeding partners for Tet. PINK STRIPES - if you/I/we ever succeed in getting it to convert you might wish to check out SHATTERED (G. Story) and AUGIE'S UNIQUE BEAUTY (Krupien) - both are broken color daylilies, tet and pod fertile, I have them and can give you pieces when they increase if you want to go beyond trying a self cross with Tet. PS. I believe SHATTERED should go quite well color-wise it's a light lavender/lilac pastel bloom with darker light purple striping. AUGIE'S UNIQUE BEAUTY is a screaming gold with brick red/brown striping - I don't think the colors would be a good match with Tet. PS but broken color partners are so rare that I'll make the cross anyway if I can get Tet. PS pollen. BTW, years ago, in my first attempt, I managed to convert PS and hybridize with it - cross was DAKAR x Tet PS - got 2 pods 5 seeds - 3 seeds didn't germinate, of the 2 that did one was insignificant but the other was pretty amazing - PS took DAKAR which is a round, 5.75" bloom for me and produced a 7" bloom with and acid green throat and the exact same flower form and ruffling as PS but no striping - there's is no doubt at all in my mind that I had a seedling from Tet PS pollen though - out of hundeds of other DAKAR sdlgs, I've never seen another with form like that one - however, 2 weeks following first bloom of that seedling, the neighbors entire herd of beef cattle got through the fence and destroyed the bed that seedling was in - they grazed the foliage down to the crowns and I lost hundreds of pods and quite a few important seedlings, the 'good' one included. The 'treated' plant of PINK STRIPES reverted to diploid and never produced tet pollen again. That one seedling has driven me to continue my attempts to convert PS until I get a stable tet to work with. Are we crazy or what? LOL

  9. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the insight on SHATTERED and AUGIE'S UNIQUE BEAUTY. I will get PINK STRIPES converted, and after I do, I would appreciate receiving these two plants. In fact, I think that I will make another Post about trying to convert PINK STRIPES. I'm going to the Greenhouse to take some pictures, and will post about the subject this week-end.

    It is certainly a big help having your insight and experience.