How to Self-Pollinate Day Lilies


Self-pollinating day lilies is the act of manually transferring the pollen from one day lily to the pistil of another. Many day lily gardeners treat this as a hobby and enjoy the beautiful and unique new day lilies they create from this process. To increase your chances of successful self-pollination, you may wish to grow your day lilies in a greenhouse or under a 30 percent shade cloth. Day lily pollination is best performed in temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees F and with little wind.

Step 1

Select several day lilies to cross-pollinate. By pollinating several flowers you greatly increase your chances of success.

Step 2

Gather the pollen from the ends of the stamen of one flower with your finger or a cotton swab. The best time to attempt self-pollination is in the morning, between 10 a.m. and noon.

Step 3

Rub the pollen onto the pistil of another day lily. The pistil is the single, protruding part of the flower surrounded by the stamen.

Step 4

Wait for the pollinated flowers to die off completely. If the pollination was successful there will be a small, green seed pod at the end of the flower's stem.

Step 5

Allow the seed pods to dry, on the stem, and split. Remove the seed pods once they have split open and let them air-dry overnight.

Step 6

Place the pods in a resealable plastic bag and place the bag in the refrigerator. Store the pods there for four to six weeks.

Step 7

Plant the seed pods. Make holes 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and 4 to 12 inches apart. Place the seed pods in the holes and cover them with soil. Water the seeds thoroughly. Plant when the soil is warm; late summer to early fall is ideal.

Step 8

Water the seeds regularly to keep the soil moist. This encourages germination of the seeds.

Step 9

Apply a liquid fertilizer to the soil regularly to encourage growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • If a seed pod should fall from the flower stem shortly after the flower dies, pollination did not occur.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swab (optional)
  • Plastic bag
  • Liquid fertilizer


  • OFTS: Six Step Beginner's Approach to Hybridizing
  • Day Lilies: Day Lily Fertility Tips

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Daylilies
Keywords: pollinate day lilies, cross pollinate daylilies, breed day lilies

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.