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This season has been great for Lycoris breeding evaluation. Bloom was especially good this year with all my spring foliage species and hybrids, I have selected over 60 plants for further evaluations and use as breeding stock. All selections are from established plots and mainly show species variation with some natural crosses that would have occurred before I acquired the stock. These will be dug, hopefully this week, and either given special plots or potted until a suitable site can be established. Additionally a number of primary and cultivar crosses were performed, making for the second year of organized effort in developing new hybrids. Seed stalks have been harvested and will be allowed to fully mature in the packing room. The seed will then be harvested and immediately planted. So, how does one properly germinate a shiny, black, round Lycoris seed?

  1. Sow immediately after harvest (if the seed coat starts looking dull, germination becomes more difficult).
  2. Prepare a seedling flat or pot with seedling medium or standard potting soil. Alternatively, prepare a seed bed in a location that is shady and protected from above ground and underground rodents; a cold frame with wire mesh barriers 4-6″ under the ground, for example.
  3. Wet the medium thoroughly then press the seeds into the medium, but only enough to stabilize the seed in the location; do not bury in the medium. I do successfully use 1/4″ of granite grit over the top of this setup with excellent success because it helps with moisture control.
  4. If using pots or flats, provide a “terrarium” environment making into a mini greenhouse. This can be done with clear plastic storage bags and even cling wraps. Sometimes a support might be required using bent wire to make mini hoops. Open ground will need regular light moisture.
  5. With the seed flat/pot setup, watering should only be necessary minimally through the fall and winter. If condensation quits developing on the surface of the clear plastic, it is too dry.
  6. If the Lycoris seed you are planting is fully hardy in your area, additional protection should not be required, but I like to have a location that can be kept above freezing. This will be a necessity for fall foliage Lycoris.
  7. Finally, as an emphasis to point 2, KEEP POTTED SEEDS OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Leaving them in direct sunlight will create a little stove that cooks the seeds.

All viable Lycoris seed will send down a root within a few weeks after planting. Fall foliage Lycoris may get a single leaf at this time, too. Spring foliage seedlings will only send up a leaf the following spring. Once the seedlings have gone through a foliage “cycle", they can be treated like other Lycoris, but, being young, it is especially helpful to avoid hot/cold extremes and protect from rodent damage. It can take anywhere from 3-5 years, under ideal conditions, to see a seedling flower. Afternoon shade is always a good thing. So, my Lycoris plots have been the bulk of my focus this season, besides trying to spend more time with my family. I expect to be digging and replanting a number of flower bulb species and varieties by the end of October, which could bring on a special sale from Bulbmeister.COM. Current customers and notification requesters will be alerted if the opportunity arises.

1 comment

Comment from: meister [Member] Email
At this point, things are not looking so good for a special sale in October/November. Weather has been so wet, that it is difficult to imagine ground will get dry enough to make new beds. I'll keep my eyes open for opportunities, nonetheless.
10/13/09 @ 14:11

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