Years ago, when we lived on our farm my mom sent me a box of plants. Several arrived tired because it was pretty hot and very few made it through transplanting.
However, the day lilies did amazing and every year I propagate to expand their beauty.
When we moved, we left some at the farm and transplanted the rest at Quail Grove. They produced even better here and I’ve really grown to love these flowers. I think it’s because they don’t require a lot of attention and they make a great statement.
So, there’s two ways to expand daylily plants, one by dividing their clumps and the other by growing from seed. Today we’re going to chat about seed harvesting but if you prefer dividing daylilies read here.
Daylilies from Seed
Daylilies grown from seed will not be identical to the parent plant if you have other varieties growing nearby. Which I think is pretty exciting because it offers an opportunity to establish a new flower.
Imagine forming new colors and patterns by cross breeding your existing plants, this is how new cultivars are created each year and it’s easy to do.
I only have one variety of daylily in my garden and no nearby gardening neighbors so I’m pretty sure that when I harvest these seeds, they’ll remain true to my existing plant. I guess we’ll find out when I germinate the seeds I’ve gathered.
Let’s dive into seed harvesting process because it’s super easy!
After the Flower Blooms
After the flowers bloom the stem needs to remain attached to the plant so they can produce their seed pod. They’re pretty small and you can see them forming in the photo above.
These pods will expand and become a nice shade of green before they begin to dry on the stem, this process can take 5-6 weeks.
At this point many folks remove these stems to encourage new flower growth. You can do that but leave a few if you want to harvest seeds for later.
When the Pods Dry
When the pods finally dry, they’ll begin to open. They almost hold the shape of a tulip and you’ll see black seeds inside.
When they begin to open you can pull and gather those stems to harvest seeds.
You won’t need to cut to remove because if you hold the stem from the middle and give it a tug it will come right out.
Daylily seeds will vary in size, appear round, black and they’re easy to handle.
They may fall right out or you might need to help by opening the pod. Once the seeds are gathered make sure they’re dry before placing in an envelope to store for later.
Harvesting seeds from the garden is one of my favorite activities and it’s probably because my grandma spent a lot of time showing me how to do it.
I remember her saying, “be smart, independent, learn essentials skills and you’ll never go hungry.” I believe her wisdom surfaced from raising a family during the depression.
They didn’t have much and yet they were able to keep a roof over their head and food on the table even if it was minimal.
Long after those days passed, life improved and those years of experience became part of her. I found these stories interesting because they had this understanding of common sense that gave her inner strength and hope for the future.
A strength that seems to be missing more and more in the generations that followed and I’m not sure why.
I treasure the knowledge she passed on, because now I can share it will all of you.
Maybe that was part of grandma’s plan?
Simple skills like harvesting seeds is a reminder to be thankful for those awesome people that passed through our lives.