Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Growing Canna Lily Seeds

Last year my Canna Lily grew very big and I collected seeds. I guess the japanese beetles just weren't around that year. I grew two of the seeds out of curiosity to see what it was like. The little red one died during winter but the green one returned in spring. I put it in the ground to give it more space to grow. I'm hoping it'll bloom this year so that I can see if it takes the same color as the parent or not.

Then I found the plastic baggy full of Canna Lily seeds. I figured that because the canna lilies in the backyard are doing wonderful again this year, that maybe...  I decided at the spur of the moment that it'd be fun to try to grow all of the seeds!

May 27, 2014 - Used a toenail clipper to nick each seed
The first step is to nick each seed until you reveal a tiny bit of white. So I had to dig up a toenail clipper to work on each seed. It was a pain in the butt but I managed to get all of them.

Then, the interesting thing is, several people mentioned that they pour hot water on their canna lily seeds and they enjoy the 'popping, cracking' sounds the seeds make in the water. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to do that but they swore by it. I put all the seeds in a bowl, boiled some water, and when the bubbles stopped coming up, I poured that hot water over my seeds. I didn't hear any popping, cracking, etc.

May 27, 2014 - After an hour of soaking
May 28, 2014 - A day later
May 29, 2014 - Planted the seeds
50 seeds were then planted in a greenhouse kit. The remaining seeds were put in an old seed kit. So then the waiting game (I was wondering if I might have boiled my seeds to death.).

June 5, 2014 - Canna Lily seedlings popping up

A lot of seeds starting germinating. Pretty excited about that.
June 6, 2014 - Canna Lily seedlings
June 7, 2014 - Canna Lily seedlings

I was surprised at how fast they were coming up and out. I'll admit I didn't look this far ahead into my plans so I didn't really have anything to put them in. I was also worried their roots would start growing into each other. They got a tad bigger so I got some big pots and lots of dirt....

June 12, 2014 - Canna Lily seedlings
I moved over 30 seedlings, 5 for each pot. They'll probably just grow in there for a bit until I figure out where to plant them.

The funny thing is that as soon as I started growing the seeds, the japanese beetles have shown up in great numbers. I got one of those traps out there that's supposed to lure them over and it seems to be working so far. So we'll see if the canna lilies can survive this or if they'll go back to being chewed down before they have a chance to bloom again.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Charisma selfed Amaryllis

Oops! I thought I posted the rest of the Charisma selfed blooms! There were five buds that came up and one bud aborted so a total of four of them came up this year. I posted about the first flower opening here; and these are the other three that followed suit.

May 13, 2015 - Charisma selfed #2

May 14, 2014 - Charisma selfed #3
May 15, 2014 - Charisma selfed #3 (other flower)

May 15, 2014 - Charisma selfed #4
And to answer a question!: "selfed" means that the original Charisma Amaryllis was selfed by its own pollen. Some seeds were given to me and I planted them in 2012. Five of them (even though the last one aborted its stalk) bloomed this year, which is pretty quick, I think!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hybridizing Hippeastrums - Pink/White NOID x Red NOID

What do you get when you have a Pink White NOID mother and Red NOID father? I think ... ugly flowers?

Pink White NOID Mother
Red NOID Father
I had no idea who Pink White NOID Mother had crossed with in 2010 until last summer when late into the season a flower popped up, revealing that it was fathered by a Red NOID. It was unimpressive and the petals formed big gaps.

This late spring, seven flower stalks came up in the Pink White Mother/Red Father section of the amaryllis bed. I would like to take the opportunity to apologize for the horribly overgrown weedy appearance in the pictures. Mother Nature is laughing at me for putting a very big bed up against the fence where I can not access it from the other side to fend off the vines and weeds that are having a merry old time coming in. This bed is a loss and I'm going to be digging everything up and moving them elsewhere.

On with the pictures. And I apologize for the junk pictures as well. I was obsessing over taking pictures that I guess I didn't realize how many had turned out to be blurry or dark.

May 11, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #1

May 11, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #1
I have to admit that my reaction to the first flower opening was that it was ugly. I was disappointed. I was more impressed with the backs of the flowers. Why couldn't that design be on the petals?

May 12, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #2
This seems to be a repeat from last year except this one has five petals. The other flowers on this stalk had the same 'defect' and I didn't focus on this one much.

May 15, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #3
This one was pressed up against the fence. Lacked white. I really thought I went back to take pictures of the other flowers when it opened but it seems I totally overlooked this one.

May 16, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #4

May 17, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #4

#4 caught my attention. I really liked that a good amount of white was showing through in the flowers of this one. I also liked the little red marks in the throat as well.

May 20, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #5

May 20, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #5
The fifth was pretty much red. And then when one of the flowers opened later on, it revealed another 'gap' in the petal arrangement. Seems to 'run in the family'.

May 23, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #6
Another one with a bit of white in the picture.

May 26, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #7
And the final one opens.

I won't be tossing these even though I'm unimpressed with a majority of them right now. PinkWhite NOID really hates setting pods and the fact that this is crossed, it's something different. Maybe next year I might get something more interesting from the other bulbs there.

I tried cross-pollinating PW/R#1, using Charisma selfed pollen on two flowers, and Intokazi pollen on two flowers. Charisma selfed failed. The two pods fathered by Intokazi are still there but not doing anything.

I tried PW pollen on PW/R#4. Then I took pollen from PW/R#4 and put it on PW. Ultimately my thought was that I wondered what would happen if PW/R#4 was pollinated by its mother, would the offspring bring forth more white? As for putting PW/R#4 pollen on PW, I just did that out of curiosity, to return the favor while going out there to cross flowers.

What I've noticed when I pollinated the PW/R flowers was that it shares the same 'personality trait' as the PW. It never seems to detect pollination. The flowers will stay open for days and act as if I didn't do a thing to it. And usually, when time tells, aborts all seed pods.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Iris changing colors, or where's Immortality Iris?

I think I finally understand now why some people are convinced their iris changes colors. There's a lot of rational explanations on why that happens, such as one color didn't bloom for a few years yet their rhizome was so aggressive that it's taken over the area before they decided to finally bloom, giving the illusion the iris had suddenly changed colors.

I purchased Cherub's Smile and last year it bloomed for the first time, revealing a white flower. I contacted the company and they identified this as Immortality Iris. I thought it was pretty cool because I didn't have a white iris.

A friend really liked it a lot that I promised I'd divide it for her. I separated it, sent her six rhizomes and then I re-potted all my iris.

Then it bloomed this year...

May 1, 2014 - Unidentified Light Purple Iris

I looked online to see if anyone shared this experience at all. All I could find were threads that talked about buying Cherub's Smile and just getting whites.

May 2, 2014 - Unidentified Light Purple Iris

May 12, 2014 - Unidentified Light Purple Iris
It seemed eager to set a couple of seed pods, at least. Both seed pods were pollinated by random 'Purple Mom/Black Dad' irises of mine. Then I noticed a second flower stalk was coming up. I thought this one would be my Immortality Iris for sure. Nope. The tip came out very dark purple.

May 14, 2014 - Unidentified Light Purple Iris
The second flower stalk's flower opens, revealing another light purple. I'm not sure where this came from. It certainly isn't one of mine. The only conclusion I can come to is that the bag came with one Immortality Iris rhizome and the other is this light purple.

There was one suggestion that maybe I accidentally misplaced some seeds from last year, when Immortality Iris was crossed with a 'Purple Mom/Black Dad' iris but nope, that's not it either. All my seeds were poured out into this pot and germinated this spring, starting their itty bitty lives for the first time!

May 15, 2014 - Iris Seedlings - Immortality/PMBD1

Oh, and my friend gave me an update. One rhizome is blooming and it's purple.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Red Blotch & Charisma Amaryllis (selfed)

Every few years something is going to come through your garden and wipe out the things you love, and there's nothing you can do but watch it happen.

The past few months, the red blotch (Stagonospora Curtisii) reared its ugly head and ravaged a lot of my cross-pollinated seedlings and bulbs. It was a very cool spring and I guess it just loved the conditions even though I was throwing Thiomyl on them at an alarming rate. Eventually I gave up and decided to let the blotch just devour everything. If there were any survivors, I'd just deal with them.

April 17, 2014 - Charisma x Selfed bud
Then one day I looked around and spotted a bud coming out of my 'Charisma x Selfed' bulb. Feeling somewhat renewed by this, I used up what little Thiomyl I had left on these bulbs to keep the blotch down to a minimum..

May 8, 2014 - First Charisma x Selfed flower opens.

May 8, 2014 - First Charisma x Selfed bloom.

May 8, 2014 - First Charisma x Selfed bloom.
I was really surprised they had buds already. Just two years! I planted the seeds in 2012 after receiving them from a generous member on Gardenweb's Amaryllis forum. I was also surprised that the flower pretty much looked like its parent. Still, I was pleasantly surprised.

After running out of Thiomyl, I purchased another fungicide called Immunox and it boasts that once dried, rain can't wash it off. I have to reapply it every two weeks. I have yet to have any rain since I sprayed the first time so I'm not quite sure how effective it is against the red blotch.

This has taught me one thing; It's not good to focus too much on one plant. Something can come through and wipe the whole collection out, and it's so disheartening.

But I guess that's what happens when you cross-pollinate plants just to see what they might look like one day.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hippeastrum Intokazi, Mambo; Navel Orange seedling

Wow! I didn't think it'd been that long since I last posted!

12/16/13 - Hippeastrum Intokazi
I cross-pollinated the Intokazi flowers. All of the pods failed, unfortunately.

1/23/14 - Hippeastrum Mambo
The amaryllis above was sent to me in a kit labeled "Cinderella". I didn't think it was right so I posted it on the amaryllis forum and it was identified as Mambo.

2/10/14 - H. Mambo seed pods
I cross-pollinated all of the Mambo blooms except for two. The pollen on this plant was so messy that the two un-crossed flowers were selfed. All of the crossed pods had failed except for one(?). The two blooms that were inadvertently selfed had taken and swelled. The pod that was crossed(?) was crossed with Temptation. I guess I hesitate to say it was fathered by Temptation because every single crossed pod failed on both Intokazi and Mambo. Mambo's pollen was so messy that I don't know if this crossed pod was actually selfed or not. I'll be planting the seeds and I'll know the answer .. in about 5 years. Heh!

2/11/14 - Chrissy and Koda playing in the second snowfall
What amazed me is that we had a total of three separate snowfalls this year. Of all the years I've lived here, that has never happened before. I don't know what impact it has had on the plants here. I won't know until spring really kicks in. Weatherman is warning of at least one more frost next week.

3/20/14 - Navel Orange seedling germinating
Back on February 27th, I was eating a Navel Orange and was pretty surprised to find a seed in it. The experience was so bizarre that I decided to save the seed and do some research. I settled on the 'wet paper towel' method. Finally on March 20th, I see life!

3/20/14 - Navel Orange seedling setup
I cut a plastic water bottle in half, found some unused cocoa fibre, and used an old Reveal 60 watt bulb.

3/21/14 - Navel Orange seedling
Seems pretty happy after just one day of being moved!