Daylilies forum: Q & A: How to Trim Potted DL Roots?

Page 1 of 3 • 1 2 3
Views: 1684, Replies: 40 » Jump to the end
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
chalyse
Aug 1, 2013 10:24 AM CST
This will be my first year where I need to re-pot some DLs and trim up their roots so that they'll make it another year in their pots. Would love to hear how others do it - which roots do you trim (outer, lower, etc) how do you trim them (at the top stem where they connect to crown, or cutting off lower end of the bulb-root?), how much to you trim (half? one-third?), do you have to treat the newly cut roots in any way (soaking?) or just get them back in the pot? Photos would be a boon ... and I will try to take some this fall as I also start taking pics of the roots systems. I'm hoping others will upload root systems to the DB someday ... showing what type of roots a cultivar has (multiple fans on one crown, multiple independent but entangled crowns, feeder shoots, etc).


Thumb of 2013-08-01/chalyse/8fdad7

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
OldGardener
Aug 5, 2013 11:55 AM CST
I was hoping some one had suggestions? Many of my dl's are over running 7 gallon pots and it sure would be nice to trim and re-pot rather than bumping them up to 10 gallon homes or dividing them further (I already have way too many pots and need to scale back the number to make room for new plants). I'm all ears!
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
[Last edited by OldGardener - Aug 5, 2013 11:55 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #461231 (2)
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
tink3472
Aug 5, 2013 3:09 PM CST
I usually just trim them to fit the pot. That means the little ones, fat ones, and anything in between will get cut. I don't pay attention to how far up or what have you that I trim, I just trim them until I feel they will have growing room in the pot.

I sometimes will soak them in Banrot if its a known possible rotter or it's hotter than I'd like it to be just to be safe.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Aug 5, 2013 3:21 PM CST
I had no idea this was even possible -- this place is such a wealth of good info!
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
(Zone 7a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
dormantsrule
Aug 5, 2013 5:48 PM CST
tink3472 said:I usually just trim them to fit the pot. That means the little ones, fat ones, and anything in between will get cut. I don't pay attention to how far up or what have you that I trim, I just trim them until I feel they will have growing room in the pot.

I sometimes will soak them in Banrot if its a known possible rotter or it's hotter than I'd like it to be just to be safe.


I do the same and also am soaking in Banrot.
Editing to add that I use 1/4 teaspoon per gallon.

Photo used in avatar purchased on istockphoto.com
[Last edited by dormantsrule - Aug 6, 2013 7:36 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #461520 (5)
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
OldGardener
Aug 5, 2013 10:58 PM CST
Thank you so much! Thumbs up
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
chalyse
Aug 12, 2013 3:34 AM CST
Awesome tips! Any recommendation on home-remedy concoctions to substitute for banrot? Do you think a mild mix of hydrogen peroxide (or something else) with water would work as a dipping solution?

Sounds like it will be okay to cut outer roots from the sides (snipping at the top of them to remove) and it may also work to cut some in half horizontally at the bottom so that the root ball is shorter to fit in a pot? That would make sense for needing a dip to treat the opened ends of the wider roots at the bottom....

I have a potted one that I'll try this out with and will post pictures to document how it fares! Thanks so much! Group hug

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
tink3472
Aug 12, 2013 6:33 AM CST
You could use a 10% bleach water solution. I'm sure the peroxide solution would be good also. Another thing that can be done is to put the daylilies in a shady spot to let the fresh cuts dry for a day. The wounds will scar over and this helps to keep bacteria out.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Aug 12, 2013 6:41 AM CST
chalyse said:Awesome tips! Any recommendation on home-remedy concoctions to substitute for banrot? Do you think a mild mix of hydrogen peroxide (or something else) with water would work as a dipping solution?

Sounds like it will be okay to cut outer roots from the sides (snipping at the top of them to remove) and it may also work to cut some in half horizontally at the bottom so that the root ball is shorter to fit in a pot? That would make sense for needing a dip to treat the opened ends of the wider roots at the bottom....

I have a potted one that I'll try this out with and will post pictures to document how it fares! Thanks so much! Group hug



Tina, once you're done, and have taken lots of pics, you might consider doing an article. An article gets a wider audience than our wonderful little DL forum does, and there are probably folks out there who have DLs but don't belong to our forum. Just a thought... Whistling
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
chalyse
Aug 12, 2013 7:52 PM CST
Thanks Michele and Mary!

Michele, I know from experience that scarring over before replanting is key, for example, with cacti, and so your advice makes sense in the realm of DL roots, too. I would never have made that intuitive procedural jump on my own though! Hurray!

I'll try both bleach and hydrogen peroxide mixes on some different DLs, as well as the shaded drying, and do a pictorial article to show my results. I love experiments like this, so thanks also to Mary for the nudge! Group hug
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
chalyse
Aug 13, 2013 3:12 PM CST
Final Edit: 8/14/13

Okay ... here is a link to the posted article!

http://garden.org/ideas/view/chalyse/1423/Potted-Daylilies-T...

If anyone else has tips or comments to add, please feel free to post them to this thread or to the comments section of the article at the link above. There is always new information/pictures that can help someone trying something like this for the first time. This process was an entirely new experience for me, and I am so very grateful for all the instructive help everyone contributed!
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
[Last edited by chalyse - Oct 18, 2013 10:55 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #465482 (11)
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Aug 13, 2013 4:45 PM CST
I like it!
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Aug 13, 2013 6:19 PM CST
I agree nodding
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
tink3472
Aug 13, 2013 7:45 PM CST
SPECIFIC QUESTIONS REMAINING:
- I soaked in solution after trimming, and they will dry for 24 hours ... but should they only solution-soak _after_ they are dried, and not before?
- If its good to solution-soak them right after trimming, should I also solution-soak (or just water-soak) after drying for 24 hours?
- Should I trim all the foliage back to about 4-inches in length (I'd prefer not to, unless experience says that leaving long leaves on will stress the plant...)?

If you plan to soak them then you would soak them BEFORE drying right after trimming. I personally would not soak them in anything after drying unless for some reason they have gotten overly dry.
The foliage trimming is a debatable issue (just as is the roots). Some say if the roots get trimmed so should the foliage while others say not to. Unless the foliage is so heavy that it makes the plant not want to stay planted/centered then I wouldn't cut it; it's going to die anyway and be replaced. I personally trim all my foliage but I do it to make the plant easier to handle. I do this before I even unpot the plant.


It looks really great.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Aug 14, 2013 4:01 AM CST
As I pondered this last night, I'd add one more thing to the article. Start it out with a "WHY" --- Why am I re-potting my DLs, or why am I digging them up to pot, etc. Just a quick couple sentences to catch someone's interest and give them a reason for reading further. That's what would go in the little box at the top of the article on the front page of the site, etc.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
chalyse
Aug 14, 2013 4:57 AM CST
Very helpful feedback!! Hurray!

Michele, your advice about the foliage is very well taken, thank you so much! ... I can see the leaves are already very limp and not only would they just crease over, crack, and die off, but they may make the root ball unstable, especially in windy areas, since fans will be planted with the crown so close to the top of the soil. I'll re-do the photos to explain and represent that.

Mary, those are such good pointers, and I'd love more feedback about when, why, and considerations about the best timing for re-potting! I'll include some more questions for everyone to respond to, if possible, so that people can get the best chance at success from the git-go.

NEW QUESTIONS:

- I'll be posting updated photos of the dried fans, and though I'll repot later this morning, I've no clue if they may be Too dried out and in need of some water-only-soaking or not ... if anyone has thoughts after seeing the photos, I could get them into water before re-potting if needed.

- I know for garden-to-pot diggings there are both professional and hobby hybridizers who, after initially placing a display/fan in the field/garden, decide to bring it back in under shadier conditions to ensure better pollen production and pod setting (very difficult over 90 degrees in-ground). Any other reasons or reasons-not-to? These might include advice about a plant that is struggling or diseased (like possible early stage root rot) that the owner wants to tend to more easily and directly, or cautions against it?

- What are some visual signs that a potted plant needs re-potting (water runs right through the pot, roots growing out of drainage holes, pale or rapid browning of foliage, pot soil dries out rapidly, etc)? For fans already established in pots, is it better to take the plant out to check on roots if one is not sure about it needing dividing, and/or is it best to divide before that root-bound stage is reached? Three to five years between dividing established potted plants is a good rule of thumb, but with such variety in size, growth-rate and time-to-increase, it would be great to hear some thoughts on other ways to evaluate when dividing is called for.

- Is it best to leave all repotting until a certain time of year or temperature range, if possible, or are DLs generally hardy enough to handle repotting year-round as long as temps are not extreme?

- I'll also add a photo of the likely tools needed at the top of the article in case people like to assemble everything first - if you see something else to include (common household or gardening supplies) let me know. As well, I'll add in that the bleach- or peroxide-solution might be used after soaking the fan/s to clean and disinfect the tools and the new or re-used pot.

- What about blooming or re-blooming? Will trimming always mean that it will be a year before you see another bloom? If repotting a rebloomer variety after a first summer bloom is already done, might you see a rebloom the same summer, or will it take a few months or a year to re-establish the foliage and send up a scape?

- Do you fertilize after repotting (slow release or mild liquid solution or just use new amended/soil, etc) after re-potting?

You've all been so patient, helpful, encouraging and wise ... I feel like I'm beginning to have a better handle on how to manage potted daylilies and that is just *priceless* information! Hurray!
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
[Last edited by chalyse - Aug 14, 2013 6:07 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #465757 (16)
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
tink3472
Aug 14, 2013 6:19 AM CST
NEW QUESTIONS:


"I've no clue if they may be Too dried out and in need of some water-only-soaking or not "

You will know if they are too dried out. Usually 24 hour drying in the shade will not over dry them, but if they look like the daylilies that come in the plastic bags (from big box stores) then they probably are too dry


"- I know for garden-to-pot diggings there are both professional and hobby hybridizers who, after initially placing a display/fan in the field/garden, decide to bring it back in under shadier conditions to ensure better pollen production and pod setting (very difficult over 90 degrees in-ground). Any other reasons or reasons-not-to? These might include advice about a plant that is struggling or diseased (like possible early stage root rot) that the owner wants to tend to more easily and directly, or cautions against it?"


I have taken a daylily that was in ground that had crown rot issues and after I soaked it potted it up. One reason is I did not want to replant in the same area for the rest of the season and another is so I could easily keep drenching it with the solution and I knew it would go into the soil with the roots and crown instead of maybe running off away from the plant.

Some people decide to pot theirs up so they can be moved around. Fred (spunky1) does this with his display area daylilies (or did), they are in pots that are in another pot in the ground. That way if he wants to change them out yearly or whatever he just grabs the pot out and puts another one in.



"- What are some visual signs that a potted plant needs re-potting (pale or rapid browning of foliage, pot soil dries out too rapidly, etc.)? For fans already established in pots, is it better to take the plant out to check on roots if one is not sure about it needing dividing, or is it better to divide before that root-bound stage is reached? Three to five years between dividing established potted plants is a good rule of thumb, but with such variety in size, growth-rate and time-to-increase, it would be great to hear some thoughts on other ways to evaluate when dividing is called for. "

I find that if a plant gets root-bound the soil that is in the pot (which the roots are usually all wrapped around) cannot get ample water and if you take the daylily out and un-bound it you will usually find the soil is bone dry. That is why a lot of times the pots need to be watered to get the soil moist and then gone back and re-watered so the soil soaks up the water. I'm sure most people have seen this when a pot is watered and it just seems like the water runs out the drain holes and doesn't get to the plant at all. This is either the soil is way to dry or it is root-bound. Usually the result of this is yellowing/browning foliage, plant shrinking, looking like it is going dormant (summer dormancy for the non-dormant)

It really depends on the growing zone on how long a plant can stay in a pot. If I start out with say a DF and put it in a big 5 gallon pot (keep in mind I use the black nursery pots) I may can go 2 years without messing with it but normally I really would need to divide and repot EVERY year here unless it is a really slow increaser. I have had plants in pots that I was giving to my club and what I have noticed is if it is to root-bound or too crowded fan wise then the fans tend to shrink and there is less scape production.

One sure way to tell if a plant needs to be repotted is the roots are busting out of the pot (I have had this happen) or the sides of pot are bulging. I have had to actually cut the pot from around the roots because I could not get it out. I know some pots will not do this since they are really sturdy and thick walls. If in doubt, I would lift the plant from the pot (if possible) and check the roots. Most of the time people will be able to tell without this due to poor performance, etc. After awhile you will just know which ones need to be done when. Another way to check is if you can stick your fingers down into the pot (in the soil) with no problem they should be ok. I have had some pots that I couldn't even get the plant marker into the pot because the roots were so bound.


"- Is it best to leave all repotting until a certain time of year or temperature range, if possible, or are DLs generally hardy enough to handle repotting year-round as long as temps are not extreme?"

Usually it is best to do this in the fall. We do all of our potting starting in Sept. Sometimes we may need to do some a little before that but if we do we try to sit them in a less sunny spot and we definitely soak them first. Now some people in colder climates who don't want to chance losing any to winter may want to do it in early spring or even in the summer if their temps are NOT extreme. Some zones don't get over 80 in the summer so it would be ok to do it. I wouldn't advise doing it in 95 degree or higher temps unless they will be put in the shadier spot. The hotter the temps the greater chance of rot issues (in my experience).


"As well, I'll add in that the bleach- or peroxide-solution might be used after soaking the fan/s to clean and disinfect the tools and the new or re-used pot."
GREAT IDEA Hurray!


"- What about blooming or re-blooming? Will trimming always mean that it will be a year before you see another bloom? If repotting a rebloomer variety after a first summer bloom is already done, might you see a rebloom the same summer, or will it take a few months or a year to re-establish the foliage and send up a scape?"

No it does not always mean it will be a year before you see bloom. I really think it depends on what zone you are in and when it is done. There is 2 sides to this and some will say that trimming the roots affect the growth and blooms while others say the ones that they trimmed the roots did better than the ones that they didn't. Someone ( I can't remember who) said that short roots equal short scapes so you may end up with shorter scapes on first bloom scapes. Of course I see this anyway even without cutting roots so who knows.
Some plants will send up a scape right after being divided and roots cut while others wait until the following season. I can't tell you how many plants we divided last Sept that sent up new scapes about 2-4 weeks after being potted. usually these will of course not be full size scapes or the full bud count, etc, but some will surprise you. I'm sure there are zones that it will take a year to get re-established and may not see bloom for 2 years but I really don't know.


"- Do you fertilize after repotting (slow release or mild liquid solution or just use new amended/soil, etc) after re-potting? "

YES YES YES--- we add all the things to the pot that we feed the daylilies. We add alfalfa pellets, chicken litter (dry processed chicken manure). slow release fertilizer, and a quick release fertilizer. We usually go back and add Epsom salt as well. We will then continue with our regular fertilizing schedule of water soluble fertilizer (Miracle-Gro, Daniels Plant Food, or the likes). We re-use our soil but the nutrients are pretty much depleted when we get to the point of potting.


[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Aug 14, 2013 6:58 AM CST
I have 2 primary reasons for potting DLs: (1) I just got a bunch of bare-root plants and haven't finished building the bed yet, and (2) I'm re-vamping my beds and use the pots as a holding area.


One caveat -- don't try to make one article the end-all/be-all source of information. If it's too long, some folks won't read it.

You might think about having a series of smaller articles. For instance, in this one, you could just have it as:


Things to think about when potting/repotting daylilies

* roots/foliage
* planting medium
* food
* watering


then have a different short article on


how do I know when it's time to repot my DLs? and maybe include "can daylilies really live in pots?



then a totally different tip on preparing tools/pots for planting (your bleach/peroxide idea) -- tip rather than article.

Here's a "roots" photo for you...it would never have occurred to me to trim these before putting them in a pot, if you hadn't started this thread.

Thumb of 2013-08-14/fiwit/e92616 Thumb of 2013-08-14/fiwit/018981

Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
tink3472
Aug 14, 2013 7:14 AM CST
I agree


And this has given me an idea for a "we don't have a speaker" club meeting. I could do a powerpoint presentation on this Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Aug 14, 2013 12:27 PM CST
Oh... the other thing I thought of is that if you did take my suggestion about more, smaller, articles, the "how to trim roots" could still be its own separate article. Think of it as a "part 1, part 2" kind of thing.

Just a thought.... Whistling
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...

Page 1 of 3 • 1 2 3

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Daylilies forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"