Shovel-pruning daylilies

katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)July 24, 2007

Okay I have decided today to shovel prune my four Stella De Oro daylilies. These four plants were blooming like crazy all spring/early summer and stopped on a dime a few weeks ago. All four plants have TONS of unopened buds. That never open. I have checked for thrips, spider mites, overwatering, underwatering, and I have officially given up. They get plenty of sun and are in very decent soil. Those buds just sitting there unopened for weeks are really driving me mad.

So my question is, if you were going to have space for four new perennials this late in the season what would you plant? I prefer something long flowering (or with really good foliage) that can take virtually all day sun. They will be located in a bed that will receive very limited amounts of water. Size is not really critical but prefer to keep it until three feet ideally.

Thanks.

Kate

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robynpa(5/6 Pgh)

Are you sure they are buds not seed pods? My friend has some and was saying how she was disappointed that they never opened. I asked her to show me and they were seed pods not buds.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 3:59PM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

Oh, robynpa...I'll bet you're right!

"...stopped on a dime." And, "...tons of unopened buds."

Kate, had you been deadheading during the initial bloom? If not, then what you're seeing is almost certainly seed pods & not new flower buds. Even 'Stella d'Oro' requires a few weeks before setting the next round of scapes depending on your location (less time the warmer your climate).

If what you're seeing is on the same scape as the first flowers were on...then they are buds. If what you're seeing is on a brand new scape growing from the crown of the plant...then, those would be buds.

Tricia

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 4:36PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Robyn:

Well thanks to your and Tricia's posts I had a major awakening! I had no idea there was a difference between seed pods and buds. I opened the pods and they have black seeds in them. If these are pods and they do seem to be I only have pods, no buds. Will there be (in theory) new scapes with actual buds on them and will cutting off the pods hasten that process?

Tricia:

The pod things are growing on the same scapes flowers were once on. I think. Should I cut them off? I was deadheading pretty religously, several times a week when I had blooms.

Thanks.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 4:50PM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

Yes, cutting off all of the old blooms should hasten new scape formation...maybe. Actually, plants are DNA controlled to require a certain number of days, depending on temperature, light, etc. to make new flowers. But, cutting off the old flowers and/or seed pods will "trick" the plant into believing it should make new flowers to propagate itself since the first ones were not successful.

Also, I goofed when typing my first response. My last sentence should have been..."If what you're seeing is on the same scape as the flowers were on...then, they are SEED PODS".

Since you opened your "pods" & found seeds...looks like you've answered the question! Yippee, I love it when questions find answers!! :)

Have you already dug the Stellas?

Tricia

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 4:58PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Hi Tricia:

That information about the pods is great. I feel very smart and informed now. Thanks to you and Robyn. I will definitely cut them off tonight and no the plants have not been composted yet. Your posts saved the Stella's from premature extinction:-) I'll do some trimming and hope for another flush. They have been incredible performers up until a few weeks ago.

Again thanks for your time.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 5:04PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Kate, when you say you were deadheading, perhaps you were just "blossom removing" and not removing the potentio seed pod behind. That faded raggy flower does not hinder new bloom formation although it looks awful...
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 9:09PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Just an update. I went out last night and cut off all the pods and that really made me feel tons better. Felt I might be doing something to hasten new flower formation. At that time I also discovered that some of the scapes were indeed new and had buds and not pods on them. There were just so many of the old scapes with pods I did not see them. So with any luck I will soon have more blooms.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 1:18PM
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bean_counter_z4(Zone 4, Rkfd,IL)

And they look soooooo much better when you remove those old scapes and pods.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 1:55PM
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xmpraedicta(3b Saskatoon)

I know stella is a very prolific bloomer, but is it an everblooming variety? Otherwise I don't know whether removing the seedpods will really do anything, especially this late in the season...but I'm an noob at growing daylilies so I'd be interested in knowing what happens!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 2:20PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Hi Calvin:

I'm afraid I am quite inexperienced when it comes to daylilies so I don't have a real definitive answer. The plants are three years old and this is really the first they have bloomed with abandon. I have read they are meant to bloom all season but I presume this means a major flush at the beginning of the season followed by some flowering as the summer progresses.

I will let you know how much if any more activity the Stella's have this year.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 2:27PM
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robynpa(5/6 Pgh)

I deadhead Stella everyday when in bloom because the plant looks so much better that way. However, after the first set of blooms it really does not put on much of a show after that. I have more luck with Happy Returns and I like Happy Returns better anyway. I am slowly getting rid of Stella as I replace with better bloomers.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 3:51PM
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covella

I agree with you robynpa. For so long the industry pushed Stella as THE reblooming daylily and everybody has it. I haven't even looked but I think Happy Returns is a lighter more lemony yellow - prettier in my opinion than Stella.
I have a lot of Black Eyed Stella also - they are pretty much the same as Stella but I do like them better to look at.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 4:07PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Robyn:

I am thinking of ordering a 'Happy Returns' from Marietta Gardens. Just for fun to try something different. I'm wondering also if Alyrics was referring to Black Eyed Susan. Found her on the Marietta site and it is very pretty. Link below.

Thanks.

Kate

Here is a link that might be useful: Black Eyed Susan

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 4:54PM
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dannie(3b NWO Canada)

I love Happy Returns! It has a lovely lemon yellow colour. I gave away my Stella as it had a peachy tone that I didn't like.

Danni

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 5:40PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Danni:

Does 'Happy Returns' bloom all season?

Kate

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 5:43PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

Stella does bloom longer & rebloom more than most daylilies, at least here in the north. The problem is that she is a very fast grower and daylilies stop/reduce blooming when they get crowded in the center of the plant. Stella needs to be divided regularly. You also need to rejuvenate the soil if you are using the same planting area. I could see a noticeable difference with those divided and planted in new areas versus the remains left in the same bed.

I found that to keep mine blooming they needed to be divided every third year. Mine were gotten before they were in every yard & gas station in the neighborhood and after many years had pretty much gotten to the point of a single flush of blooms even with dividing & I wasn't about to start dividing every other year.

So I dug them out, figuring that they were just old and past their prime, pretty much just hacking them apart . Some were really just a couple of fans. A co-worker asked me if she could have them so I gave them to her. She was very happy with them and they have bloomed very well for her over the past couple seasons. But eventually they will slow down too.

As for Happy Returns, I much prefer the color & it is much easier to use in the garden than the harsher bright yellow of Stella. I never got quite as much bloom out of her as I had with Stella, but others have told me that she did better for them. The plant itself was less vigorous for me and did not need dividing nearly as frequently as Stella.

Rosy Returns, although a somewhat muddy color at times, has actually bloomed better for me than either of the other two. It starts to bloom around here much later than Stella. But keeps on blooming until very late in the season. Another very fast grower, but seems to keep blooming a little better than Stella even though crowded. The plant itself is quite a bit larger, although not a real big dl, with less grassy leaves.

If there are any true all season blooming daylilies that will grow like that in Michigan, I don't know what they are. It is easy, however, to have daylilies in bloom for a 6-8 weeks here by carefully planning. I do not own any EE (Extra Early) or VL (Very Lates) at this point, but my ditch daylilies (H. fulva) started June 10th, the earliest hybrid started on June 19th this year, and my last one just opened its first bloom on July 26. I will also get some very moderate rebloom on a few of them. BTW, I had a flower stalk on Rosy Returns in mid-October last fall, when we never got cold here until the holidays, not the usual thing here.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 3:03PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Leslie:

Well what a crime you could not share a little bit of information with us about daylilies:-) I'm kidding of course! Thank you so much for all those great facts about Stella, Happy Returns and Rosy Returns. That was fascinating. To say that you sound very knowledgeable would be an understatement I believe. On that note, have you ever tried some of the more unusual ones like Bela Lugosi or Halloween Masquerade? I'm not absolutely hung up on those but I do have the four Stella's and this summer I picked up two more yet unidentified but kind of a burgundy/purplish color. I will take a picture of my most recent acquisition. It is really tall and a lovely deep pink/burgundy.

I'm just thinking that in all likelihood at this point I will heed your suggestion and divide the Stella's. So that will leave me daylilies that are that color and two that are burgundy in color. So I want to supplement those with another contrasting or complimenting color.

Thank you greatly for all of the above.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 3:28PM
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jkunkel(zone 7)

Halloween Masquerade is expensive! But very pretty. Post pics of your DL's mabey I can help. Or post on the daylily forum, we are pretty good at guessing over there. -Jessica

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 5:26PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

Bela Lugosi in upper left corner with Moonlit Masquerade (light cream/white with purple), Border Lord (cream/tan with purple & a bit later to bloom) & Indian Giver (bright purple with thin white edges) & Gaura Whirling Butterflies. All wonderful growers, widely available, & fairly cheap.

Bela Lugosi closeup

Indian Giver clump

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:07PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Leslie thank you for the excellent pictures. Lovely indeed! I enjoyed them all. I was a fan of Bela before but now I have to read more about Moonlit Masquerade and Border Lord.

As for the Guara I discovered it this year also. Have a few of the pinks and bought a couple of white ones earlier this summer. I love them so far. Had not thought of putting them with the daylilies but that's a good combination.

Thank you.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 10:01PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Well thanks to everyone's great feedback on my question and Leslie's daylily enabling I had two developments over this weekend. One my Stella's each have one new scape coming up with buds on it. Considering that I was ready to compost them a few days ago I am pretty excited about that.

Second after checking out Leslie's pictures and doing some reading I ordered two Moonlit Masquerade from Marrieta Gardens. I'm very excited! I hope I did right ordering from them. They seem to be well regarded on this site.

However on that same note my local nursery is having an end of summer sale and with the new daylilies coming and everything I bought today I now need more flower beds:-)

Kate

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 8:16PM
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entling

I grew 'Happy Returns' & 1 daylily not mentioned, 'Pennny's Worth,' a mini with the same yellow flowers as 'Happy Returns' only smaller & grass-like foliage that looked good all season. 'Penny's Worth' was a much better bloomer for me - more flowers & longer season. Unfortunately for me, I had the bright idea that it would look good in a large planter. The squirrels dug it up late in Fall, exposing its roots, & I didn't notice it in time to save it from a freeze.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 12:10PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Okay so my order came today from Marrieta Gardens. I'm very excited. I ordered them I think on Friday night and they came today. Amazingly fast. So the fans look green and healthy and they gave me a free plant on Moonlit Masquerade so that's fun.

My question is if I cannot pot these guys up for a day or two what should I do with them? Soak them in water? Just put them in a cool place in the yard until I can pay attention to them? Not procrastinate and just plant them maybe:-) I have never bought daylilies unless they were in pots so this is kind of uncharted territory.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:08PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

From the Daylily forum:

Posted by xokientx z9TX (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 9, 07 at 11:35
"Inspect the crowns and roots well on arrival. Any mushy tissue or foul smells would cause me to return the shipment.
If it makes you feel more secure, strip the outer two leaves from each fan down to the crown. Cut all foliage between 1/2" and 1" above the crown. Then soak the plants in a 5% bleach solution for for an hour or two. Total immersion.
After soaking, rinse well with clean water.
I soak most new arrivals in a SUPER-thrive solution; 1/2 teaspoon/3 gal water for a half hour or so before planting. Use the remaining solution to water them in. Provides a boost to get them started growing. Don't over water.
Good luck, I'm sure you will be happy with your daylilies. Sorry if all the negative posts have made you anxious.
Ed"

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:43PM
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jkunkel(zone 7)

If you can't plant them right away they will be fine, just keep them cool and dry. I would not keep them out side. Leave them in the box(leave the box open for air circulation) in your house. I would soak them in a bleach solution before planting and remove any roots that are mushy or moldy. Water them well after planting and then don't water them at all, untill you see new growth (a new leaf growing up from the center of the fan). I know the no water after planting seems wierd, but too much water plus heat and humidity is a breeding ground for bacterial soft rot which will kill your plants. When planting in mid summer this is a concern. Spring and fall planting is best for bareroot daylilies. If I plant in the summer I think it is best to put them in a pot, so you can move them around to keep them out of full sun, and keep them dry untill the roots are established, then in fall you can plant the whole thing like a potted DL you would buy from a nursery. They tend to take off better if you do it this way. I have lost a couple this year by just planting them in the ground in full sun. So I have learned my lesson, and wanted to share a better way with you! Good luck with your daylilies, they are wonderful. They only get better with time! I think you will find that you can't just buy a few. Next year when they bloom im sure you will want more! Come on over to the DL forum and post some pics! -Jessica

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 10:59AM
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bizabet(z7 nc)

I know this is late posting to this thread, but if any of you are still reading, Grape Magic is one that blooms on and on as long as it gets watered. I can't get Blacked eyed Stella to rebloom for me no matter what I do.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 11:27PM
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