2019 Lycoris Seedling Development - One Year Update

2019 Lycoris Seedling - One Year OldIn 2019, I made some Lycoris crosses and also collected bulk open-pollinated Lycoris seed, then I actually followed through and potted all crosses and some otherwise collected. I had not done this for ten years, but, then, only in the last couple did the crosses I had previously made receive enough evaluation to take the next step.

The seeds were planted in 3.5" pots, up to 16 per pot, and in flats, up to a rounded number of 250 per flat. That early winter I put the pots in an outdoor cold frame with supplemental infrared heat. During the winter the electricity tripped a couple of times, and I know I let them get too cold at least once. There was also the burden of manual venting, so I am certain I let them get too hot way too often. I never saw any activity in all the planted seeds, so I expected I had killed the seeds.

In the spring of 2020, after I was venting the frame 100% of the time, I inspected the drain holes at the bottom of the pots, and I carefully "dumped" a few pots to inspect for life, reinserting the soil medium, unbroken, back into the pots. Lo and behold! I found roots and/or bulbs. With this new knowledge, I removed the plastic from the cold frame and covered it with shade cloth for the remainder of the summer.

Enter November! I started noticing a leaf emerging here and there. Having acquired some more reliable (I hope) LED grow lights that promised to use less electricity and put off less heat, I transferred the pots and flats to my growth chamber. Very quickly leaves started to materialize, and the featured photo is how things looked this past Friday, December 11, 2020, approximately one month after transfer.

It is important to note that most of my crosses are spring foliage crosses, and Lycoris in this group generally don't begin to push foliage until early March. The picture of the flats is entirely this type, so, for now, I have to speculate that the current conditions in the growth chamber are encouraging early emergence, OR, things did not go exactly right last Spring, so the seedlings are desperate to accumulate energy. A few of the pots have fall foliage crosses or fall foliage open-pollinated selections, and some of these were the first to show leaves in early November.

Not pictured, because there's nothing to see, yet, are my 2020 crosses and collections, but they went straight into the growth chamber after planting. I am curious to see if any of them give me foliage in the Spring, which would prove to me that my 2019s experienced a measure of duress that may have delayed development. We shall see.

1 comment

# [Member]   on 03/11/21 at 06:53

This weekend will be three months since I posted this blog, so I thought I would provide some more pictures. These seedlings are in a temperature-controlled room receiving 16 hours of light every day. I can’t guarantee that these conditions are ideal. If I had my “druthers", the light cycle would have mimicked winter-time day lengths, and I would have kept the room cooler. It never got above 68°F and never below 34°F. You will notice a combination of more seedlings and also spent seedlings, but what might be harder to see is that I’m still seeing new emergence, though the surge in emergence was in January. Most of these seedlings are spring-foliage Lycoris, so the new emergence is actually what I would have expected from most of it. (Click picture to see larger image)

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