Daylilies forum: What characteristics deem desirable blooms on a hybrid daylily?

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Oct 14, 2013 11:00 AM CST
I have a question that I have wondered about for years (since I started growing daylilies). I hope some gardeners here will be kind enough to add their opinions/knowledge. Thanks in advance!

Is this an individual gardener/grower preference or are there certain characteristics of a bloom that make it stand out from others? I grow a lot of daylily hybrids but I do not know much about what is considered a "winner".

I don't have "named" daylilies. All of my daylilies were grown from seeds which grew to be No Name hybrids. I received most of my seeds in trades or as a gift for postage by some very generous folks and from those seeds I've been blessed with what I think are some really beautiful blooms. But I honestly don't know what makes a bloom/plant desirable.

What characteristics do judges look for annually in a hybrid?

One of my hybrids:
Thumb of 2013-10-14/beckygardener/3cf1bc

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[Last edited by beckygardener - Oct 14, 2013 11:04 AM (+)]
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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Oct 14, 2013 11:31 AM CST
Well, what I look for in a garden plant is....Early morning opener, late day closer, colorfast(this is a big one), flower opens completly and doest get hung up, rebloomer, positioning of flower on stem (flowers that point straight up you can see that well), good substance ( not tissue papery), scape height ( doesnt bloom in the foliage) Strong scapes, so the flowers dont fall over.
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Oct 14, 2013 12:14 PM CST
characteristics in really in the eye of the beholder and you need to go with what YOU deem desirable. There are so many different things people like for instance some want a VERY HIGH bud count (40 or 50) but others would rather have a lower bud count 25-30 and some will even accept a lower bud count as long as the plant reblooms.

But for me I want something that looks proportional. I do like a good bud count (25-35 is good) but it needs to have a good scape with well spaced branching for it to look good to me. IMHO what goods is a 20" scape with 6 way branching and a 40 something bud count, either it is really top branched and crowded or the branching (and blooms) goes way down into the foliage.
Reblooming is a top priority as well especially since I have a long growing season and I don't want a plant to bloom for say 1 month and then I'm left with a clump of foliage for the other 6 months of my season. Most plants here will rebloom 3 times. Now my dormants and lates usually only rebloom once, maybe twice if they get an early start.

So I guess to sum it up would be

Scape height (doesn't bloom in foliage)
Strong scape (won't flop over)
well balanced branching on scape
reblooms
good substance (as pam said, not tissue paper)
flowers open well
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Oct 14, 2013 2:03 PM CST
Have to go along with Pam (Gardenglory). Since a daylily is just that - a bloom that lasts for a single day, it should be colorfast (or close to it) and sunfast. If it fades out or whimps out by mid afternoon then it's only a half-a-daylily. Good bud count and rebloom capability are up there too, but if I get home in the afternoon or early evening and the daylily bloom is just a bleached out blob on a stick, why would I care about it doing the same thing the next day?.....BTW, your hybrid looks very pretty. Good combination with the Zinnia. Congratulations.........Maryl
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Oct 14, 2013 2:12 PM CST
Absolutely right on Michele.

I like high bud counts, fertile daylilies that will set pods, good branching and I prefer them to be on the tall size, preferably over 26". I also like the flowers to do well and not melt in the hot sun or change color drastically. Good strong scapes is definitely a plus. I would like rebloomers to actually rebloom in my zone.
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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Oct 14, 2013 5:10 PM CST
Sturdy - Scapes that stand up is definitely right up there for me!
Fragrance - A very fragrant daylily, no matter what color or form, will get my attention.
Proportionate - I prefer daylilies that are proportionate. Preferably a 30" scape with a 6" bloom.

That purple hybrid of yours is gorgeous!
Vickie
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Oct 14, 2013 7:00 PM CST
I appreciate all the great answers you each have shared with me. I really had no idea! I do have some great plants that seem to fit many of the qualities listed of a desirable daylily. When I see all the different photos of registered daylilies, I only see the blooms. I always thought they were created for their colors and patterns. I never even considered other outstanding qualities of dayliles as a whole plant. Thanks for educating me, everyone! Very, very enlightening!

I also did not know that some daylilies have a scent. I have never noticed a scent on any of mine. Can someone share the name of a scented daylily? I might be tempted to purchase such a plant just to see what it smells like.
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Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
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Betja
Oct 15, 2013 12:47 AM CST
And of course I can't think of any names at the moment, but it seems like there are a lot that have fragrance. And it is a truly wonderful fragrance, sort of like honeysuckle, and maybe you need to stick your nose down into a bloom at first to get a good whiff. I notice it most during the heat of the day but before it gets too late, and I would think that in Florida your humidity would really bring out the fragrance. Also, I grow lots of daylilies in pots on tables, so many of the blooms are closer to my nose than would normally be the case if they were in the ground, and I notice fragrance a lot.

Betty
[Last edited by Betja - Oct 15, 2013 12:49 AM (+)]
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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Oct 15, 2013 2:56 AM CST
Becky, you probably already have some that are fragrant. With most daylilies though, you will get pollen on your nose while sniffing Big Grin If they are tall enough so you don't have to bend too far down to smell them, all the better!

But there are some that you can smell from a distance. I have 'Spanish Fandango' that has that wonderful honeysuckle smell and I can smell it several feet away.

I forgot to mention that one of my desired traits in a daylily is one that blooms above the foliage.

p.s. While checking out the new AHS awards on that site, I found a list of awards for the "most consistently fragrant dormant daylily". Since they are dormant, I'm not sure if that helps or not.
http://www.daylilies.org/LErnestPlouf.html
Vickie
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[Last edited by blue23rose - Oct 15, 2013 4:37 AM (+)]
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Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
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philljm
Oct 15, 2013 6:04 AM CST
Beautiful flower Becky!

Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Oct 15, 2013 6:31 AM CST
Becky that's a pretty flower. One thing that was not mentioned above was good increase. A plant that have one or two fans for a few years or more is not enticing. http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/fan.html
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Oct 15, 2013 8:25 AM CST
I agree good increase is important!!!
Lighthouse Gardens
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Oct 15, 2013 9:48 AM CST
I like diamond dusting
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Oct 15, 2013 9:34 PM CST
Vickie - Thanks for the link to the fragrant list of daylilies. I have honestly never smelled a fragrant daylily bloom. So none of mine apparently have a scent. I will have to keep an eye out for a good deal on 'Spanish Fandango'. Would love to have a fragrant daylily such as what you describe that one to smell like. Thanks for the name!

Mike - I agree ... a good increase does make a daylily stand out among other daylilies. I have a few like that and just love them. Lots of blooms every year, too! I am finding out that some more northern daylilies do not do well here. They might grow and bloom for a year or so, but then they seem to disappear forever. (Probably didn't survive my climate.)

Frillylily- What is "diamond dusting"?
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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Oct 16, 2013 7:58 AM CST
Dont get your hopes up on the frangrance thing. I am a nut about fragrance, if I plant something, it must smell great. Im not sure how I ever got started with the daylilies, but Ive deduced that the heat must have something to do with the fragrance, and they dont like to emit odor when hot. I have never had a daylily that had what I would call true fragrance, but people up north will go on about the same daylily smelling great in their area, that has no smell for me. Every now and then I get one that if you put your nose in has a kind of a smell, but I would not call it fragrance. Ive always wanted something that when a good gust of wind comes up, it fills your senses. No such luck for me.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Oct 16, 2013 9:06 AM CST
Once in awhile the fragrance to me smells like catelope.
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Oct 16, 2013 10:02 AM CST
Well, Pam ... that is what I have concluded here in FL. If there is a fragrance, I've not ever smelled it. Though I will say that one of my prolific daylilies does indeed have a light scent. I thought I was imagining it, but it did indeed smell nice. A very light "linen" kind of scent, but not anything to get excited about.

Cindy - Cantalope scent? That's totally different from what I would expect. Neat!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Oct 16, 2013 5:19 PM CST
That's what I was thinking... canteloupe? I will have to keep that in mind next year!
Vickie
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Name: Ed Burton
NE Wisconsin
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EdBurton
Oct 20, 2013 12:05 AM CST
My preference in a daylily is one that opens well, has good foliage, and resist thrip damage.
I personally dislike treating any daylilies for any type of disease, "I don't live in the rust belt" which is another thread all in itself.
I'm looking at bud count, the more the better, but not so many that the blooms mash into each other so that can't open properly, well spaced branching, on scape's tall enough to properly display the blooms, I also prefer pod & pollen fertile, but if it's a good garden plant I can live with it if it isn't.
I need a good cold climate hardy plant here in NE WI
A good robust plant that can handle a little diversity without going into a funk that causes it to shrink or not bloom the next year.
Now we look at the bloom itself, is it pretty? open well? is it something that you like? are the colors pure and crisp? how long of a time period does it bloom? I had some beauties that flamed out in a week, pretty mass of blooms, but not a good garden plant.
When I look at my seedlings after second bloom year I think to myself "would I buy that?" or even better "would I be willing to sell that?" if I tell myself yes I know I have a winner.

seedling pic's some new, some old
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Ed Burton

seed seller "gramps"
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Oct 20, 2013 12:48 AM CST
Wow! Those are absolutely lovely, Ed!!!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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