Clay Higgins, New Jersey

Evaluation of Seedlings

March 22, 2017

Categories: American Daffodil Society, Breeding, Daffodil Enthusiasts, Displays & Specialty Exhibits, Fertility, General, Growing Daffodils, Hybridizer, Hybridizing, Seedling, Weather and Temperature

Download PDF

A question to hybridizers.  How do you evaluate your seedlings on a year when they have summer weather in February followed in March by three weeks of extreme cold and storms with 35-40 mph winds whipping them.  My daffodils  that I purchased from others in which many have had excellent results are looking like someone took a weed-wacker to them, including spindly petals, crooked, and have numerous nicks and cuts as if they had been in a fight, as well as many have blown down.

My hybrid seedling have suffered the same fate.  How do you tell the good ones from the bad ones when evaluating?  Specially when some that you marked last year to be eliminated at the next digging, look better this year than some that you wanted to keep.

Across my garden the colors have been enhanced, could be the cold.  ‘Holme Fen’ for instance seems to have a slight orange rim on the cup and I’ve been raising the same ones I got directly from John Pearson years ago.



2 Responses to Evaluation of Seedlings

  1. David Adams, New Zealand
    March 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Clay,

    Sounds like the flowers after HWT. Evaluating seedlings is not easy. Some flower them once and throw the bad ones out. Some, like me, keep them for years in hope and they become a burden when they take up space. I have the view that those closest to the poets do not like moving and develop with age and give show flowers when left in one place. Others are good first year then never produce another show flower.
    As to what you do this year. Accept that the season has not been conducive to good results and pray that next year’s climate will be perfect for growing perfect daffodils.

  2. Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    March 23, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Thanks David,

    You hit on what I have been telling myself. I told Richard Ezell yesterday in an email that I’m in the wait to next year mode already. Sort of what the Washington DC Redskins fans say every year at the beginning of training camp.

    I like to watch them for several years also. Twice I was going to throw ‘Nikki KoKo’ out, but the way it fades to pink starting on the inside of the cup is just fascinating. It now is a show flower. I find that when I leave the bulbs down 5 or 6 years they begin to rot and die. I recently had one that won several Rose Ribbons and I thought was the next coming of Ice Cream, and when I dug it in 2016 every bulb was rotten.