After a successful waterlily cross, when the seedpod starts
to grow, I wrap the pod in a piece of black panty hose. The black
color absorbs heat nicely to hasten the ripening of the pod.
A pod takes three weeks to a month to ripen. When the pod matures,
I pick it, place it in a container of distilled water, and keep
it in the shade. I shake the jar daily.
In about a week, the pod bursts with all seeds confined within
the jar. Eventually the seed covering decays and the seeds settle
to the bottom. It now becomes a simple matter of pouring off
the debris. Next, I rinse the seeds several times, and then strain
the seeds using a coffee filter. After this, the filter and the
seeds air-dry for about a week.
I plant seeds in 45-gallon (198-liter) heated tanks in the
basement. A heater maintains a constant 90F (32C) water temperature.
They receive supplemental lighting 16 hours a day. When our winter
eases and the sun starts to get higher in the sky, about late
March, I repot the seedlings to a greenhouse tank where they
remain until they bloom. Germination usually requires two weeks.
Typically, it takes nine months from sowing the seeds to first
bloom. Remember, this is the frigid northeast.
The photos below show tropical waterlilies that I produced
by crossing two different hybrids.