Johan Mak Seedling Mix (6 bulbs)
Spicy fragrance, 3 to 5 Feet. July / Early August flowering.
Price is for PACKAGE OF 6 BULBS
This is your OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME to add to your garden magnificent mixed seedlings from World Class Breeder Johan Mak at a fraction of the cost of similar named varieties.
Coming from the same gene pool as selections such as 'Kon-Tiki', 'Umbra mi Fu', 'Cosmic Gumdrop' and all the others, these are seedlings that normally would have been tilled under and destroyed following the selection process. “Tilled in and destroyed”??? You might react in shock and say “why”? The reason is, breeders make their living from hybrids coming from the gene pools they have developed, in Johan's case, some 50 years of work. To just let that work go out to the public means that the breeder gives his competitors a jump forward to capitalize on his years of work without expending the time and effort themselves.
Why, you might ask, is Johan now releasing such valuable material to the public? Well it boils down to simple mathematics. As the production schedule shown below shows, from seed to a crop of a dozen or so bulbs takes 8 years. For greater numbers, it means time in a tissue culture lab and several more years in the field now making it up to 12 years. At age 75, it means that anyone starting out in the Spring of 2024 would be looking at the year 2032 to 2036 before they could possibly bring something to market in competition with Johan being then 83 to 87 years old. In the life of a plant breeder, time is the greatest enemy.
These bulbs will all be hand dug in October and November of 2023 and will go into cold storage for Spring 2024 shipping. Sold in groups of 6, this is a field run mix, requests for specific colors can not be honored. 3 to 5 Feet. Late July / Early August Flowering. Sweet Fragrance.
We asked Johan to give us a timetable for greenhouse / field production to show our customers just what goes into bringing a selection from seed to market. It is a long and arduous project. Back in the days when we were still displaying at the spring garden shows, one of the most common questions was “Why do lilies cost so much more than tulips or daffodils?" My reply always was “time”. You are paying for years of effort and hard work just to bring something to market.
This is just a brief breakdown of the steps involved. It does not take into account the individual planting of each and every seed (numbering often times into the thousands) by Johan's wife, Ria, followed by their first harvest and again, placing by hand, each and every resulting bulblet into nursery flats, one at a time.
Re. from seed to a clone/variety.
Year 1: Most crosses (99%) are made in the greenhouse. After the harvest and cleaning of the seeds, they are packed in moist fine peat and receive a warm and after that, a cold treatment.
Year 2: After the cold treatment (early June) the bulblets are planted in flats in a custom (secret) growing mixture blend spending their first year in a growing house.
Year 3: Seedling flats are now moved out to the field and placed on top of well prepared and amended soil where the roots are able to go through the bottom of the flats to “look for” the nutrients they need to continue growth. While this causes a problem in separating the flats from the soil in the fall, the resulting bulbs are much larger and stronger than straight field planting.
Year 4: This is the first year where bulbs are actually field planted. While many will produce their first flower this year, there are not yet enough flowers to make selections.
Year 5: The second year in the field and time to start making selections. The following year, selections are moved to the greenhouse in preparation for scaling.
Year 6: Last year in the field for making final selections. Bulbs that are not selected are rototilled and a cover crop of grass is planted. The newly selected bulbs are then scaled.
Year 7: 2nd year in the field. When growing season(s) are cooperative, (meaning spring is warm and pleasant rather than the new norm of being cold and wet) about 35% of planted varieties/clones will be large enough to be offered for retail sales.
Year 8: 3rd. year in the field. The rest of plantings will have grown to be commercial size bulbs usually 12 to 15 from the originally scaled bulb.
For large scale production, a bulb now goes to a tissue culture lab for another year and then those bulblets go back to the field and will yield a crop three years later meaning you now have 12 years of your life invested in that bulb before a single sale is made.
Bulb Size - Our standard for bulbs of this Oriental Hybrid Lily Bulb cultivar ranges from Premium-size (16/18 cm) to Exhibition-size (over 20 cm).
Classification: Oriental Hybrid Lily (USDA Zones 7b-9, lows to +5 F. Winter mulch recommended in the colder climates)
Stock #7300 - 'Mak Breeding Mix' - Oriental Hybrid Lilys