Hemerocallis (Daylily) Propagation

Winston C. Dunwell
Department of Horticulture, University of Kentucky
Research & Eucation Center
, P.O. Box 469, Princeton, KY 42445

This publication is a revised (10Jan00) form of: Dunwell, Winston C. 1996. Hemerocallis (Daylily) Propagation. Proc. Int'l Plant Prop. Soc. Vol 46:590-594 and Dunwell, Winston. 1998. Hemerocallis (Daylily) Propagation. Perennial Plants, Vol 6 (1):9-13.

INTRODUCTION

Numerous Hemerocallis (daylily) cultivars are introduced each year that never make it to the consumer market because of limited supplies. The dramatic increase in the number of daylily cultivars and the preference for named cultivars has resulted in daylily propagation being limited to vegetative propagation, except in the case of hybridizers use of seed propagation to grow-out and evaluate the plants produced from their crosses. It has been stated that it can take 20 years for a outstanding cultivar to move from the enthusiast (connoisseur) market to the mass market (Pounders and Garton, 1996). The shortage and subsequent rapid nursery production of 'Happy Returns' introduced in 1986 indicated that even if the cultivar forms a relatively large number of divisions per year it can take ten years or more to have adequate plants to meet market demand.

Hybridizers have often been caught short of plants when a new introduction proves popular leading some to postpone introductions for several years (C. Schott, 1995). The recent introduction of patented daylily cultivars and the continuing efforts by hybridizers to breed cultivars for use by the landscape industry has resulted in the need for rapid build up of stocks in order to have sufficient supplies available. Current demand for daylilies for use in mass plantings, some containing tens of thousands dalilies, has further strained already limited supplies of desirable cultivars. The use of all available propagation techniques will be needed to provide adequate supplies of desirable cultivars.

SEED PROPAGATION

Seed propagation can start with seed collected from the capsules found on the scapes or from seed produced from selected crosses that can be purchased from daylily hybridizers/propagators. Seed is collected as the capsule matures, drys, and is beginning to split at the distil end (Munson, 1989). Seed collected from dormant daylilies benefits from cold stratification at 32-45 F., following stratification the seed can be dried and stored at room temperature until sown (Griesbach, 1956). Seeds resulting from evergreen parents can be, directly sown or, handled and stored the same as described above for seeds from dormant parents (Benzinger, 1968; Munson, 1989).

DIVISION

Dividing the daylily clumps by pulling or cutting apart is the most common form of daylily propagation. Division is relatively easy to do, plant survival is excellent and the resulting plants are identical. It is recommended that division be done during early spring or late summer with harvest season defined by the area. In Kentucky daylilies are commonly divided from February through April and late July through the mid-September with Autumn Equinox considered the latest possible day for dividing and transplanting. Fall is the dominant harvest season in Kentucky, but numerous small growers field divide from February to October in order to make retail and mail-order sales.

While division is the most popular form of propagation some limitations do exist. The most common limitation is the slow progress in producing adequate numbers of plants of a popular cultivar to satisfy the market demand. A very high increase ratio would be 25:1, new plants:original, the average might be closer to 8, with a minimum ratio for commercial production being 3:1 (Apps, 1995). There are cultivars that take a year to produce a single division and therefore cannot be introduced even if it has many desirable characteristics (Dunwell et al, 1995).

Dr. John Ruter (Ruter, 1999) stated that "For the propagator, (Spinout treated) fiber pots could be beneficial for increasing the number of fans available for division from continer-grown plants."

PROLIFERATIONS

Proliferations are small plants that grow on the scapes of daylilies. Proliferations can be cut from the scape and if a multiple proliferation can be further divided by cutting before being stuck in a well-drained media. The proliferations will expand roots out into the media in approximately a week. Daylily growers frequently miss the opportunity to produce plants from proliferations because summer shearing and late summer division remove the scapes with proliferations and remove some scapes on which proliferations would have formed. I have had success producing plants from proliferations (Table 1 and 1997 AHS Proliferation Poll). Considering the value of each plant of a recently introduced cultivar propagation by rooting proliferations can increase the number of plants produced from a single mother plant and, ultimately, increase the income from that plant. Unfortunately, a single plant of 'Lisa My Joy' that had four scapes which produced a total of 14 proliferations in 1996 might not produce any proliferations in 1997. Applying Lanolin-BAP-1 AA paste to scapes to force proliferations or to get multiple proliferations is possible (Pickles, 1997 and Druse, 1997)

TISSUE CULTURE

Scientists have successfully grown daylilies from tissue culture (Apps and Heuser, 1975; Heuser and Apps, 1976; Heuser and Harker, 1976; Krikorian and Kann, 1979a, 1979b, 1980; Krikorian et al 1981; Meyer, 1976, 1979; Pounders and Garton 1996; Smith and Krikorian 1991; Stoutemyer 1976a, 1976b) but it has not become a favored method of propagation because some propagators had difficulty producing identical plants from a single source in early attempts to tissue culture daylilies and to some extent the demand for new daylily cultivars was not at levels that would justify changing propagation techniques. Krikorian and Kann (1980) and Krikorian et al (1981) showed they could produce identical plants from aseptically cultured tissues. The demand for new cultivars and large numbers of a single cultivar for mass planting now has several growers propagating plantlets by tissue culture.

Basic procedures for tissue culturing daylilies are illustrated in the publications of Krikorian and Kann (1979a) and Meyer (1976, 1979). Once the plantlets are produced in tissue culture they can be rooted relatively easily using standard conditions provided for daylily proliferation rooting.

OTHER TECHNIQUES

There are other techniques that can be used to propagate daylilies. Individual ramets can be cut into pieces that have some shoot and some root tissue. If handled in a sanitary manner these ramet cuttings will grow and after approximately 6 months growth can be made into cuttings (Foret and Nelson, 1967). Traub (1936) reported that the ramets should not be cut into "divisions" or "cuttings" smaller than 1/4 the original ramet.

Another technique is to cut the top off crowns and apply growth regulator compounds to force production of offshoots that can be excised and rooted. Apps and Heuser (1975) and Kirby-Smith and Kasha (1981) experimented with applying kinetin and kinetin-auxin mixtures respectively. They both had success, but care is required in carrying out the procedure and the method has not found favor with commercial propagators.

It should be noted that the standard "Ditch Lily", Hemerocallis fulva and it's cultivars are stoloniferous (Most daylilies are considered tuberous roots which are Iris-like, enlarged fleshy roots with shoots produced at one end and roots produced at the other. Hartman, et al. 1997). Those wishing to propagate H. fulva, or any of it's relatives, can cut the rooted offshoots that occur at the end of the stolons.

While division will continue to be the most popular form of propagation for daylilies, tissue culture will make a significant contribution in the future by ensuring that deserving new cultivars get to the market place and the large numbers of plants used by the landscape industry are available.

Table 1. Cultivars produced by rooting proliferations at the UKREC.

BEST OF FRIENDS
CANTIQUE
CHUCK WHEELER
CLASSIC ROSE
CORAL CRAB
EVENING BELL
FAIRY TALE PINK
GRANITE CITY TOEHEAD
JAMBALYA
JANICE WENDELL
LAVENDER PATINA
LISA MY JOY
LULLABY BABY
MAD MAX
MARY SHADOW
MILADY GREENSLEEVES
MILANO MARASCHINO
MILANO VIOLET MARK
MY SON BOB
NETTIE DOWNING
OCTAVIAN CHERRY DOLL
OCTAVIAN EXOTIC MARBLE
OCTAVIAN MARBLE MODEL
OCTAVIAN ORCHID
OPEN HEARTH
PRAIRIE BLUE EYES
PURPLE ODDITY
ROSELLA HENSEN
ROSETTA SHERIDAN
ROYAL PROMISE
RUFFLED MAGIC
SILOAM CINDERELLA
SILOAM SUNBURST
SILOAM RED TOY
SILOAM TODDLER
SPECTACULAR
STELLA DE ORO
SUNFLARE
TOP HONORS
WHITE TEMPTATION
WINDS OF PEACE

Literature Cited (and References):

American Hemerocallis Society. 1991. Daylilies: The Beginners Handbook. AHS Publications, Bells, TN.

American Hemerocallis Society. 1990. Rapid Vegetative Propagation of Daylilies. AHS Publications, Bells, TN.

Apps, D.A., & C. W. Heuser. 1975. Vegetative Propagation of Hemerocallis - Inducing Tissue Culture. Proc. Int'l. Plt. Prop. Soc. 25:362-67.

Apps, Darrel. 1995. Daylilies Worthy of Commercial Production. Proc. Int'l. Plt. Prop. Soc. 45:529-531.

Benzinger, F. M. 1968. Propagation of Daylilies. Amer. Hort. 47:194-196.

Creveling, Beth. 1997. Proliferation Poll of Daylily E-mail Robin. AHS Daylily E-mail Robin. (available below).

Druse, Ken. 1997. How to use Lanolin-BAP-1AA Paste: Practical Instructions. AHS Scientific Committee E-mail Robin (available below).

Dunwell, Winston C., Dwight Wolfe, and June Johnston. 1995. First-Year Performance of Daylilies in the Field. Nursery & Landscape Program 1994 Res. Report, SR-94-1:60-64.

Griesbach, R. A. 1955a. The Nature of Dormancy and Seed Germination in Hemerocallis, Thesis, University of Chicago.

Griesbach, R. A. 1955b. Some Aspects of Hemerocallis Seed Germination. Amer. Hem Soc. 1955 Yearbook: 26-29.

Griesbach, R. A. 1956. Cold Temperature Treatment as a Means of Breaking Seed Dormancy in Hemerocallis. The Hem. J. and Yearbook - 1956: 85-90.

Griesbach, R. A. 1957. Some Notes on the Harvesting and Storing of Daylily Seeds. Hem. J. and Yearbook, 1957: 58-60.

Hartman, H. T., D.E. Kester, F. T. Davies, Jr., R.L. Geneve. 1997. Propagation by Specialized Stems and Roots. In: Plant Propagation: Principles and Practices. 6th Edition, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, pp.520-540.

Hill, Lewis, and Nancy. 1991. Daylilies: The Perfect Perennial. Storey Communications, Inc., Pownal, VT.

Heuser, C. W., and D. W. Apps. 1976. In vitro plantlet formation from flower petal explants of Hemerocallis cv. 'Chipper Cherry'. Can. J. Bot. 54:616-610.

Heuser, C. W. and J. Harker. 1976. Tissue Culture Propagation of Daylilies. Proc. Int'l. Plt. Prop. Soc. 26:269-272.

Foret, J. A., and Ira S. Nelson. 1967. Propagation of Hemerocallis by Ramet Cuttage. Hem. J. 21:44-49.

Kirby-Smith, John S., and Michael Kasha. 1981. Propagation of Hemerocallis Offshoots by Cytokinin-auxin Treatment of Sheared Ramets. Daylily J. 35(4):90-99.

Krikorian, A. D., and R. P. Kann. 1979a. Micropropagation of Daylilies Through Aseptic Culture Techniques: It's Basis, Status, Problems, and Prospects. Hem. J. 33(1):44-61.

Krikorian, A. D. And R. P. Kann. 1979b. Clonal Micropropagation of Daylilies. Pp. 835-836. In Plant Cell and Tissue Culture: Principles and Applications. Ed. By W. R. Sharp, P.O. Larsen, E.F. Paddock, and V. Raghaven. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

Krikorian, A. D., and R. P. Kann. 1980. Mass Blooming of a Daylily Clone Reared from Cultured Tissues. Hem. J. 34:35-38.

Krikorian, A. D., S. A. Staicu, and R.P. Kann. 1981. Karyotype Analysis of a Daylily Clone Reared from Aseptically Cultured Tissues. Ann. Bot. 47:121-131.

Meyer, M. M., Jr. 1976. Propagation of Daylilies by Tissue Culture. HortScience 11:485-487.

Meyer, Martin M., Jr. 1979. Rapid Propagation of Hemerocallis by Tissue Culture. Hem. J. 33 (3):20-23.

Munson, R.W., Jr. 1989. Hemerocallis, The Daylily. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Nau, Jim. 1996. Ball Perennial Manual: Propagation and Production. Ball Publishing, Batavia, Illinois.

Pickles, Lee. 1997. Forcing, Growing, and the Ethics of Proliferations. The Daylily Appeal, Spring/Summer 1997: 22-23.

Pounders, Cecil and Stephen Garton. 1996. High Frequency Adventive Regeneration in Daylily Tissue Cultures Stimulated by Thidiazuron (TDZ). Proc. SNA Res. Conf. 41:In Press.

Ruter, John M. 1999. Fatten your Daylilies with fiber: Copper treatments improved plant growth. NMPRO 15(9):61-63

Schott, Casey. 1995. Personal Communication. Co-Owner, Schott Gardens, Bowling Green, KY.

Smith, D. L. and Krikorian, A.D. 1991. Growth and Maintenance of an Embryogenic Cell Culture of Daylily (Hemerocallis) on Hormone-Free Medium. Ann. Bot. 67:443-449.

Stoutemyer, V. 1976a. Tissue Culture Propagation of Daylilies. Hem. J. 30(2):10-12.

Stoutemyer, V. 1976b. Alternative Methods of Propagation of Daylilies. Hem. J. 30(4):20-22.

Traub, Hamilton. 1936. Propagation of Hemerocallis (Daylilies) by Crown Cuttage. Herbertia 3:123.

Traub, Hamilton. 1937. Methods of Propagating Daylilies (Hemerocallis) Vegetatively. Herbertia 4:205-207

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Sunday 2 Feb 1997
From: Beth Creveling
Subject: Proliferation Poll (from message to AHS Daylily E-mail Robin)

Hi, folks--

In tabulating the proliferation poll, I was surprised to find that only about 10 cultivars were mentioned more than once. Also, since some people sent up to 20 names and others send just their best proliferator, the results have to be used for only unscientific purposes. I think you can conclude that any daylily on this list has the potential to proliferate, and little else. Results are probably skewed by the fact that only 25-30 people sent names as well as by the reality that some of these plants are more widely grown than others.

The results are tabulated in two groups, those with more than one vote, and those with just one vote, listed alphabetically:



Those with more than one vote
CANTIQUE--5
ICED CHAMPAGNE--4
PUMPKIN KID--4
SO LOVELY--4
ALMOND PUFF--3
SILOAM BYE LO--3
ARCTIC SNOW--2
DRAGON'S EYE--2
LISA MY JOY--2
RED RIBBONS--2

Those with just one vote
AABACHEE
ABUNDANT
ACCEPTED DARE
AKRON UNMISTAKEABLE
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
ANN GEHRY
ARKANSAS POST
AVANTE GARDE
BAJA
BAMBOO BLACKIE
BEST OF FRIENDS
BETTY TERRY
BIG SNOWBIRD
CARLOTTA
CATHERINE WOODBERY
CHARLES WESLEY
CORAL CRAB
COURT MAGICIAN
CREATIVE EDGE
DARING DILEMMA
DERRICK CANE
ELIJAH
EVENING BELL
EXOTIC ECHO
EYED RADIANCE
FAIRY TALE PINK
FLAPPER
FRANZ HALS
GINGHAM MAID
GRACEFUL EYE
GRANITE CITY TOEHEAD
GREEN GLITTER
HAUNTING MELODY
HOMESPUN LAVENDER SILK
HUG ME BIG
JAMBALAYA
JANICE WENDELL
JEAN WOOTEN
JEDI ROSE FROST
JULIETTA
KILLER PURPLE
LAKE NORMAN SUNSET
LAVENDER PATINA
LILAC HAZE
LIME FROST
LITTLE FAT DAZZLER
LULLABY BABY
MAE WEST
MALAYSIAN MONARCH
MARY SHADOW
MIDNIGHT MAGIC
MILADY GREENSLEEVES
MILANO MARASCHINO
MILANO VIOLET MARK
MINI PEARL
MOONLIT MASQUERADE
MY SON BOB
NAVAJO PRINCESS
NEW YORK FOLLIES
NIGHT BEACON
NIVEA GUEST
OCEAN ICE
OCTAVIAN EXOTIC MARBLE
OCTAVIAN MARBLE MODEL
OLALLIE ALL SUMMER
OPEN HEARTH
OPTICAL DELIGHT
ORCHID CORSAGE
PEACH MAGNOLIA
PRAIRIE BLUE EYES
PRELUDE TO LOVE
PRETTY IN PINK
PRISCILLA'S RAINBOW
PURPLE ODDITY
RADIANT RUFFLES
RHYTHM AND BLUES
ROSWITHA
RUFFLED MAGIC
SABRA SALINA
SALMON SHEEN
SAMBO WILDER
SARI
SCARLET ORBIT
SCATTERBRAIN
SIGUDILLA
SILENT PRAYER
SILOAM GRACE STAMILE
SILOAM RED TOY
SILOAM SUNBURST
SILOAM TODDLER
SOFT REPLY
SPANISH HARLEM
SPECIAL MOMENT
SPECTACULAR
SPRAY OF PEARLS
STOP THE SHOW
STRAWBERRY CANDY
STRUTTER'S BALL
SUNFLARE
SUSAN WEBER
SWEET SANDY
SWEET SHALIMAR
TOOTSIE
TRAHLYTA
TRUE TO WHIM
TUSCAWILLA TRANQUILLITY
VELVET SHADOWS
VISION OF BEAUTY
WENDY GLAWSON
WHITE TEMPTATION
WINDS OF PEACE
YELLOW EXPLOSION
YESTERDAY MEMORIES

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3/6/97 9:18 A.M.

Hello Everyone,

Lately there have been a few inquiries about Lanolin-BAP-1 AA Paste. What follows is a list of "Practical Instructions" from the AHS Scientific Committee that I received from Ken Durio.

Ted White Minot, Maine USDA Zone 5 AHS Region 4



Subject: HOW TO USE LANOLIN - BAP - 1AA PASTE: PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS

Ken Durio, Rt. 7, Box 43, Opelousas, Louisiana 70570

The Lanolin-BAP-1 AA Paste is stable at room temperature, but it is better to keep it refrigerated. We keep ours [Durio's] in the refrigerator until we are ready to begin a treatment and leave it at room temperature during each treatment. We take the paste out of refrigeration one half hour before we use it to make sure that it is soft enough to use. Placing the jar under a lamp or in the sun will hasten the softening process. The jar is returned to the refrigerator after treatment. A regular home icebox or refrigerator works just fine.

This treatment can be used on potted plants or on plants growing in the ground. It can be used indoors or outdoors. Plants should be in active growth and early spring seems to be the best time to begin treatment outdoors. Early winter seems to be the best for beginning greenhouse treatment. Many members report successful use of the paste at other times of the year.

Soil should be cleaned out from around the plants to expose the crown. Daylily fans are then cut off horizontally just above the root line (about 1/16" to 3/8" above the crown) and parallel to the soil line. If you cut too high the treatment is not very effective and if you cut too low you might cut too close to the crown and damage it. A thin layer of lanolin preparation is spread over the cut surface. Scalpels, small plastic tags, knife blades, or even flat toothpicks seem to do the job satisfactorily. If paste washes off because of excessive bleeding or heavy rains it should be applied again within a day or two. Temperature should be warm enough to keep the paste in a soft condition. If the central ramet continues to grow, cut it off and treat again.

No more than three treatments should ever be made and one or two usually prove to be adequate. Plants are cared for in the ordinary fashion until offshoots are ready for harvest. This usually takes about two months. Different cultivars sometimes respond differently with some ready to harvest in six weeks and others requiring three months or more.

When offshoots are ready they are broken off or cut off with a razor blade. We [the Durios] treat the offshoots as we would a proliferation. The base of the offshoot is dipped in Harmodin Powder or Rootone and the top 1/2 of the leaves are cut off. We then plant the offshoot in perlite, sphagnum moss or sand until fully rooted. The rooted plants are potted or planted directly in the daylily bed. Most will clump up and bloom the following spring.

The basal portion of the original plant can be treated again with the lanolin paste and the whole process repeated. Two treatments can usually be accomplished in one growing season with up to 40 or more plants harvested from the original fan. Some cultivars will respond with many offsets and some will only make a few extras. The record was 75 plants that multiplied from a single fan of DEVAUGHN HODGES. Anyone who can butter a slice of bread can easily master this procedure! A jar of paste will treat 70 to 80 fans.

Many members have developed variations and techniques of their own. Some use the paste on top of the ovary and report that it keeps the seed pod from aborting. The bloom is pollinated and is cut off near the top of the ovary about 36 to 48 hours after pollination. They report that they have set pods on "impossible" parents with this method. One person reports "prolifs" formed on top of the treated pod. Some use the paste on wounds which occur when they divide their plants or when they receive new plants in the mail. Others make a "v" shaped cut in the side of the fan and put the paste in this slot. The plants will bloom and multiply also. This method is sort of like "having your cake and eating it too."

Some A.H.S. members are also reporting success in producing multiple proliferations by treating daylily scapes with the paste. Nodes (near lower leaves on scapes) are nicked with a razor blade or emory board and the paste is smeared on the wound. The "wound" or "nick" is situated near and slightly below the very small "bud" which can be found at each node or leaf scar on the scape. Treatment is repeated two or three times if necessary. Prolifs have been initiated on cultivars that never make proliferations ordinarily.

If you have a few choice cultivars that you would like to multiply, give LANOL IN BAP-1AA PASTE a try. You can use the traditional or recommended methods or you may wish to use some of the other methods that adventurous members have been using. For best results your treatment area must be kept warm enough so that the paste (on the plant) stays soft throughout the treatment period.

This product is completely safe for you and for your plants when used as directed. Common sense indicates that we should not ingest the paste or use it as a cosmetic. One should also keep the paste away from children and wash hands after using.

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