Daylilies forum: I would like your opinion

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Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
Sep 2, 2010 9:16 PM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

We were discussing this on the iris cubit.

Why are new intros of daylilies so much more costly than new intros of say, irises?

Now just don't tell me it's because daylilies are so much better, LOL. But some of us on the iris cubit were discussing it, and we'd like your thoughts.

Top new intro for an iris goes about 50 up to maybe 75 dollars. Daylilies soooo much more.

How come?
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Sep 2, 2010 11:47 PM CST
Great question Polly.

I am not touching this one.... as Admin here, I am taking the fifth.
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Name: Fred Manning
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spunky1
Sep 3, 2010 3:45 AM CST
I think it must be because of the demand and whats being done with daylilies. I know very little about irises because we can't grow most of them in the deep south, which also could add to the price of daylilies. Just my opinion, maby someone else has a better reason.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Sep 3, 2010 6:11 AM CST
I think alot of the price has to do with how fast they increase, and how much of a plant there is to sell. I know NOTHING about iris either, so I cant compare that. But to think with daylily not growing true from seed, EVERYONE who is buying that intro, the seller had to keep increasing off the same fan. Chemicals to keep daylilies happy are very expesive too. I think like Spunky says...its just supply and demand. Also keep in mind the hybridzer has probably been mesing with that plant for a good three or four years before getting a cent.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Sep 3, 2010 7:27 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

LOL, Juli!

Thank you Fred and Gardenglory.

In my garden, daylilies increase faster than irises. Seeds don't come true on irises either, so all the increases are off the one origional plant. I wold say a hybridizer would grow an iris for at least four years before getting anything. Irises are coming a long way, a lot of new colors and forms.

I think supply and demand is the big factor, and you are probably right. I wonder if the daylily hybridizers introduce theirs sooner, and therefore have less to introduce. Maybe the iris hybridizers have more plants to introduce when they first introduce them?

Someone suggested I contact Mr. Maryott, as he has hybridized both?

Name: pam
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gardenglory
Sep 3, 2010 7:43 AM CST
I will say this. If a daylily stays expensive. I am very leary of it having good plant habits. I feel if it had good plant habits and increased well, then there should be enough out there to have dropped the price.
Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
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Betja
Sep 3, 2010 7:56 AM CST
Yes, Bill Maryott used to be an iris hybridizer, and his last iris was THAT'S ALL FOLKS. Then he totally switched to daylilies a few years back. His website is:

daylilygarden.net

and his email:

bill@daylilygarden.net
Betty
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Sep 3, 2010 8:07 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

Same with an iris, gardenglory. That's why I normally wait a couple of years on the intros. Of course, some I just have to have, but here again we're talking 35 to 40 dollars on the siberians, compared to hundreds on the daylilies.

In beardless irises, the new intros are usually 35, next year 30, next 25, and on down. But a Japanese iris lake Effect intro'd in 2004 is still at 25. I have that in my garden, and it's the slowest growing one I have (although one of the most beautiful), so your advice is right on.

Thanks Betty, I have already sent an email off to him. I hate to bother a grower this time of year, but he sure sounds like a nice guy, so I think he will give an opinion, hopefully.

Good discussion. Thanks everyone!
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Sep 3, 2010 8:57 AM CST
well I would think dl would be cheaper at introduction because they increase quickly, or should. I know iris, at least for me are much slower to increase, and more prone to rot or heaving up in the winter ect.
They also tend to set stalks and then freeze off too early in the spring, don't have that problem w dl. So to me the iris would be more expensive, more trouble to grow.

Even daylilies would have to test 2 or 3 years before intro.
It is true that iris won't grow in the south well, but many of the frilly lilies are EV and don't do well in the northern areas. Also I think it odd that everyone knows what an iris IS, but when I sell the dl at my yard sales, I have many people ask what dl are. I guess they don't realize they are all colors ect?

I too wonder about dl that start at 100 or even 200 and then are still that high 10 yrs later. I would automatically think slow increase? I REALLY love the "Heavenly" daylilies and have drooled over the pics, but for the life of me I can't figure out why they are so pricey, and I guess I won't have any Sad
they never get any cheaper it seems
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Sep 3, 2010 8:59 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

Hi Frillylilly, fancy meeting you here, LOL

You said it better than me. That's exactly what I meant.

Now, I have to look up the Heavenly daylilies. Geeze.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Sep 3, 2010 9:22 AM CST
http://www.daylilynet.com/__all_intros_daylily_gallery_heave...

I'll save you the bother, here's a link LOL
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Sep 3, 2010 9:30 AM CST
O man...were did I miss that H. Sudden Impact. Sold out...guess Ill miss it awhile longer ;-)

Name: Juli
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daylily
Sep 3, 2010 9:51 AM CST
I try to only buy daylilies after I actually see them in person, growing in my region. It is amazing how different they look in real life than they do in photographs, either online or in catalogs. One good thing about this method is that by the time I see some of the popular ones in person, the price is down quite a bit.

Supply varies on new intros for more reasons than poor increase. I think it is different in the south, but up here, you plant a seed outside in the fall, you are lucky to see it bloom in 3 years. Then, you select it, move it to another bed. Then, it might be 2-3 years before it grows enough and settles enough to evaluate branching, plant habit. Then, you line it out. May take another 2-3 years to get 15 fans to intro. So, you might have 7-9 years of care into that first year of intro if you are field growing. Some, like Jamie and Richard Norris use a greenhouse to speed that process along several years. I have heard that in the south, they bloom at 9 months to a year, and with good culture, you can have 50 fans in 2-3 years. I don't know for sure. So, one reason some peoples plants are still higher priced a few years later, or harder to get than others are that fewer are put out for sale in the beginning. Has nothing to do with poor increase. For some plants, Dottie Warrell will only have 8 pieces to sell the first year. Your not going to see that plant for sale very much for a few years. Others have greenhouses, do tissue culture, or split crowns, or do BAP prolifs and other methods can have many more plants ready to sell even up here in the north.

Also, the few people that do get those limited intros may be using them for breeding and not willing to break them up every time they increase a fan to sell. Some of Curt Hanson's that were hard to get a hold of, I kept for years without breaking it up, no matter how bad people wanted it. Had nothing to do with poor increase. Had to do with how much I loved it....
Name: Suzanne
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Sep 3, 2010 10:10 AM CST

Plants Admin

I agree Jules.
Too tired to write more LOL. Hope you hear from Bill soon, I am anxious to know his take on it.
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Name: Charlie
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hementia
Sep 3, 2010 11:49 AM CST
After introducing 263 intros it looks like the Durios have given up on daylilies and still hybridize iris
I couldn't find a single listing of daylilies on their web site,only iris and tropicals..At one time I had 37 of their daylily intros and still have a few of their La. iris
http://www.durionursery.biz/iris.htm
Check out my daylily seedlings Daylily forum page 4
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Sep 7, 2010 5:11 PM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

And here's Mr. Maryotts kind response.

Hi Polly,



We’ve been super busy shipping large quantities of daylilies but today I finally have a few minutes to respond.



You bring up interesting questions but the answers are not quite as simple.



I’ll try to give you some thoughts on two different subjects. The first is why daylilies sell for more than iris, the second is what’s happening with the breeding of iris and daylilies.



First is price. I think the formost issue is that daylilies are not really easy to divide. They look much better in an established clump and trying to pry some fans of the side of an established clump is not easy. Folks, in hems, tend to tell their friends “hey if you want this super new variety, I would suggest you order it” In the iris world, they say “hey, if you want to super new variety, I’ll snap you off a fan this summer and give it to you. If you don’t get it planted for several weeks, no problem. That is not the case with hems.



I think there is also a sort of “group think” that occurs. “Daylilies are expensive, always have been expensive and always will be expensive. If you want a $5 daylily, you can find folks that will supply it, but understand it is now pretty much outdated. There certainly are lots of $5 daylilies sold because most folks just want color and not necessary the best. Now with iris, the “group think” is different. The general attitude is “any iris should be cheap. Maybe $40 or so the year of introduction, but everyone will have it in two or three years so I’m not paying much for it.”



The iris growers send lots of plants to regionals and nationals to get exposure, but would rarely ask for anything to be returned. “Just keep it, spread it around so everyone will see it” and that doesn’t help the commercial growers. Daylilies sent to conventions will almost always be named cultivars and it may not be unusual for them to ask for the stock to be returned. Some dayilies will hold prices above $50 for ten or more years like FORESTLAKE RAGAMUFFIN.



One of the major reasons we moved from iris to hems was due to the price. Paying $50 for a new introduction is not fair to the breeder. It ignores the work going into creating seedlings, choosing introductions and growing them until one has sufficient stock to sell. It’s a slap in the face of the breeder. “your work is not that important…if you can’t provide it, then someone else will”



Now let me talk a minute about flower advancement. Both of these flowers were primarily diploids. The iris essentially moved from diploid to tetraploid during the 1930’s and 40’s. By 1950, nearly all of the Tall Bearded iris were tetraploids. The advancement occurred in iris primarily from 1940 to 1980 or so or maybe a bit later. Phenominal cultivars like SKY POWER were created that took blue TB iris to new heights. There have been very few new factors occuring in iris during the last ten or twenty years. This means, in my humble opinion, that the advancement of TB’s has slowed down considerable. Keith Keppel and Barry Blyth and a few other folks are still making a few advancments, but most of the newer iris are “reruns”.



Now the daylily is entirely different. Perhaps 20% of the new cultivars being introduced into commerce are still diploids or recent diploid conversions. There are an entire set of new patterns and features that have not yet been implemented. Examples are complex eyes, applique throats, patterned eyes, engraving or sculpturing, unusual forms, double and triple rims, very dark nearly black flowers, blue eyes and edges, toothy edges and the list goes on and on. The daylilies being created today look almost entirely different than the daylilies created just ten years ago. This flower is in a major transition right now. I would imagine it will be at least another 20 years before all the advancements have been implemented.



I hope this helps a bit. Remember, this is all just my opinion. I’ve been heavily involved in both flower and see some major differences between them.



Cordially,

Bill Maryott

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Sep 7, 2010 5:47 PM CST
I agree that daylilies are harder to divide. But it seems to me that they grow much faster than iris. You know the main root of the iris dies after blooming and the side ones form. (I know I am not using all the proper terms there...)
It just seems to me that iris take a lot longer to form a 'clump' than dl do, so they are more work in that respect.

I have lots of dl that are $5 daylilies and I LOVE them. I have tried 'newer' more expensive dl, and they are not always better. I find myself leaning more toward the old standbys when it comes down to the wire of weeding them out because of space issues.
With that said, the most I ever paid for a dl was $40, Concrete Empire and it died.
Name: Robin Calderon
Garden City, Kansas
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earlybird
Sep 7, 2010 6:58 PM CST
In my opinion (and that is worth just what you paid for it!) daylilies are more expensive in part because they are more distinctive. How many TB iris can you properly identify by sight alone (no id tag) in a strange garden? I'll bet not many. Granted, there are a lot of look alike daylilies, but the daylily has such a variety of forms, sizes & patterns that it boggles the mind! Luckily the daylily community (mostly) have embraced this diversity and continue working with both old & new plants. Whereas it seems the iris community tend to want more uniformity and tend to balk at anything different or weird. When I (a newcomer) asked about 'space age' iris at my first club meeting, I was treated like a leper! Then when I mentioned I liked the broken color iris too, they almost kicked me out! LOL!
Name: Katie
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gonegardening
Sep 7, 2010 7:16 PM CST
It is always interesting to hear opinions on this. Some opinions will vary with experience.

Not that I know, but my take is very simple. New intro daylilies are expensive because that is what they command. It's really that simple (to me). There is a market and people willing to pay. There are various sub-markets. So, there is never a requirement that anyone pay prices they feel are too high (as in anything).

If folks want it and have the money, they will get it (in anything). As to why iris are less, it is the market. I am confident that if hybridizers thought they could command $200 for an intro, they would charge it. Supply and demand.

Daylilies attract people for different reasons and satisfy people at all kinds of levels. There is always the chance that you could make your own $200 intro...not likely, lol, for most of us...but there it is...you could...

It can be hard to see what is going on because we are all at different places....there is no right or wrong. You could have these same thoughts about dogs...lol...why some breeds are so expensive...and whether they are worth the price (to you)....I have two mixed breed dogs that I adore, so you could never convince me why I should be on a waiting list, sign a contract never to breed, and pay mega bucks for a certain dog...but, to each his own.

I will say that, over time, I find I am willing to pay much more for daylilies than I did originally. I still have my limits....and I wish I could just buy ones I have seen in person (I do that....sometimes)...but I can still want one from a pretty picture...lol...

Take care now...

Katie
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Sep 7, 2010 10:13 PM CST
well one of my real knocks against iris is that they bloom for such a short time. A daylily can bloom for weeks, and it seems an iris has few blooms in a shorter time compared to a dl.
Another thing is the iris are more trouble to care for, for me because they don't crowd out the weeds like dl do. I also find the foliage on iris to look ratty more so than the dl.

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