About My DayliliesHybridizing daylilies is a fascinating hobby. I have decided to keep good records and create web pages displaying daylily parents and their resulting progeny for other would-be hybridizers to get a sense of what may be potentially a great cross, and what may not be.
I have earned a B.Sc. in Botanical Sciences and an M.Sc. in Molecular Biology from McGill University and all my studies, undergraduate and graduate, have focused on genetics, as has my professional experience.
Northern daylily growers are disadvantaged compared to southern growers. A shorter growing season and longer winter stretch the interval between sowing and blooming. We are working with a lenghtened generation time, slowing our progress.
Despite these disadvantages, we need daylilies suited for harsher climates with greater tolerance for prolonged dormancy. But we hunger for bolder, clearer colors, frills, round flowers, and solid garden performance as well. Because buying Southern stud plants is too risky and costly, I prefer to purchase seeds of "like flower" x "like flower" crosses and work with their cold-tested progeny.
A good breeder begins with a goal in mind. For instance, I'd like to see a purple/pink/blue tone flower with great size, many frills, and substance. Unfortunately, most flowers with the desirable color are weak in other aspects. When outcrossing the flowers with the wanted color to the flowers with the wanted substance, the immediate progeny is expected to be inferior to either parents. One then resorts to sibling crosses, or sometimes backcrosses, in the hope that the special combination of color and substance will arise at last.