Converting Diploids to
Tetraploids with Colchicine
(procedure per demonstration of George Doorakian)
Warning: Please note
that these chemicals can be dangerous. Colchicine in particular is
very toxic and the addition of DMSO means it can be absorbed into
your tissues very easily. Take all neccesary precautions to prevention inhalation or skin
absorption or eye splash. Neither the webmaster, George Doorakian
nor the Patriot Daylily Society take any responsibility for injury to you
or your plants from using this info
1) make a stock solution of colchicine:
500mg colchicine powder (95% pure) plus
37 ml Kinetin solution (10 ml has 1mg in distilled water)
This can be stored at least 6 months in a refrigerator
2) On day of use, take 10 ml of your stock solution and add 10 drops of
DMSO (99.7%. strong solvent)
3)You will be using 4 drops of this solution into the cut crown
(webmaster note: since there are about 20 drops per ml. this recipe should be able to do
over 150 treatments)
The healthy plants must be potted using a well draining potting
mixture containing a liberal amount of coarse perlite. It should be in
the pot a minimum of two weeks or more before the conversion and it should
be watered frequently, especially the evening before - - - but not
watered the day of the procedure. The plant should have a crown diameter
of 3/8” to 1/2” minimum (the bigger the better) with each plant having
more than one fan attached (mini clump) being desirable, but not
necessary. A week before conversion, the top soil should be removed
exposing all of the crown with just minimal soil covering the top roots.
As well, the soil from the crown to the side of the pot should be sloped
downward towards the side of the plastic pot with the highest point being
at the crown area; however, all roots need to be covered with soil.
1) Cut off rim of pot to just above soil level for easier access to plant
2) Measure 3/8" up from crown and use a straight razor to cut off one fan.
(Make a flat horizontal cut like a table). Leave one fan intact if
possible, it can be removed or converted after the treated fan grows
about 4", and it provides nourishment to the treated plant till it
3) Using a Speedball type linoleum cutter( the blade has a c-shaped
cross-section so it can scoop tissue), cut out the center of the
daylily down to where the tissue feels harder and is a different color,
about 5/16" down. (see photos)
4) Use edge of paper towel to draw out any liquid that seeps out
5) Instill 4 drops of the prepared solution (see chemicals above) into
6) Keep plant in shady area protected from rain for 7 days. On second day,
wick off any more liquid on cut surface of plant with paper towel again,
but do not dry center cavity. Repeat 1-2 times daily as needed. If
soil gets dry, water just the soil carefully, covering the crown with a
paper cup while watering.
7) Return to full sun after a few weeks when freely growing.
© copyright George Doorakian and Patriot Daylily Society 2006
Webmaster addendum: Check pollen the following season with a 100x microscope
with a measuring reticule lens. ( I found one cheap on E-bay).
Dip pollen is 80-120 microns while tet pollen is 110-170 microns.
Not all conversions are successful. Even with a good conversion,
there is likely to be a mix of dip and tet pollen produced