Ted Petit was born near New Orleans and completed his Bachelor and Masters degrees at L.S.U. before moving to the University of Florida to get his Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience. He joined the faculty at the University of Toronto where he continues to work as a Professor. His conducts research on how the brain changes to store memories, and has written two books about the brain.
Ted and his wife, Susan, purchased 25 acres of land near Gainesville, Florida, where they raised their son, Gavin, with Ted commuting between Canada and Florida. Ted had always been an avid gardener, so he soon created a large garden at his Florida home. He soon met Bill Munson, arguably the foremost daylily hybridizer of his time, who lived nearby in Gainesville. Ted fell in love with daylilies, and Bill became his mentor, teaching him everything about breeding them.
Soon, Ted’s garden was filled with daylilies, and his love for the daylily turned into a passion. It has now been 25 years since he first started breeding daylilies, and the gardens have transformed into a major undertaking, including two 30 x 100 feet greenhouses used for hybridizing. Ted has also co-authored 3 books on daylilies, The Color Encyclopedia of Daylilies, Daylilies: A Guide for Gardeners, and The New Encyclopedia of Daylilies, all published by Timber Press. He has also written articles for gardening magazines as well as appearing on House and Garden TV. Read Ted's Blog at http://petitdaylilies.blogspot.com/
His first hybrids were introduced into commerce in 1994 through his daylily nursery, Le Petit Jardin. To date, he has introduced 492 hybrids into commerce, which he sells through his web page (http://www.petitdaylilies.com/) and full-color catalog. His plants have won numerous awards from the American Hemerocallis Society, including 20 Honorable Mentions and 1 Award of Merit. Some of Ted’s most popular daylilies have included Ferengi Gold, Bill Munson, Gavin Petit, Larry’s Obsession, Gary Colby, April LaQuinta, Ted's Tribute to Linda and Blue Eden.
The Enjoy 24/7(TM) Daylilies (three pictured here) are introduced and marketed through Garden Debut(R) and excel in the size and beauty of the flowers, length of bloom season which begins in April and blooms until frost, resistance to rust and short scapes with grassy foliage on plants in the collection. Find out more about this collection on this blog and at the Garden Debut(R) website.
Ted has broken the world record for the most expensive daylily sold at auction three times. Prior to 2002, the most expensive daylily sold at auction for $2,300. In 2002, Ted’s “Lady Betty Fretz” broke this record by selling at auction for $4,200 at the Canadian-American Daylily Meeting. In 2004, he broke his own world record with “Larry’s Obsession” selling for $6,300 at the Canadian-American Daylily Meeting. Ted again broke his own world record in 2008 with “Ted’s Tribute to Linda” selling at auction for $7,500 at the Lake Tahoe International Daylily Symposium. His latest record has yet to be broken. (http://www.petitdaylilies.com/index.php/world-record-breakers)
Photos from top: Dr. Ted L. Petit, Bahama Pink Sky(TM), Key Largo Moon(TM) and Bermuda Peach(TM)