Daylilies forum: Daylilies CAN bloom in dark shade!

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Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Mar 31, 2014 6:42 PM CST
Moving stuff around in the back yard this evening and I see lemony yellow blossoms peeking from under 8" begonia leaves in a clump of plants that had been placed together under the huge live oak tree (LIve oaks have leaves on all year long) and then covered during freezing weather. While the covers had been taken off, the plants hadn't been re-located. (And I had been thinking I was missing a pot of daylilies...)

Sorry about the color quality, this is really a sunny little guy, and I'm totally amazed it could bloom under such conditions.


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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Mar 31, 2014 6:51 PM CST
Xenacrockett,
I would love to know the name of that little daylily, I have been asking for daylilies that can tolerate shade.
Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Apr 1, 2014 5:12 AM CST
Seedfork said:Xenacrockett,

I would love to know the name of that little daylily, I have been asking for daylilies that can tolerate shade.


I think it is "Happy Returns."
I got it from a big box store (before finding The Lily Auction, etc) and it may have been mislabeled as "Little Missy" because is sure isn't pink, but a lemony yellow.

Don't know how it would do in forever shade though; I moved it out for some sun.
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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chalyse
Apr 1, 2014 6:07 AM CST
I think Happy Returns is also used locally here to create "ground cover" in all of our parks ... often under very deep shade of evergreen stands of trees. It does very well and blooms all summer long.

The ones in my garden that have done well under 50-75% shade, and that either tested well for rust or have lineage that scored well, are:

All about eve
Darker shade
Dixie land band
Happy hooligan
Little Liza Jane
Party popper
Ransom note
Sings the blues
Uninhibited
Vintage Bordeaux
Whooperee

In some cases, the deep shade caused the scapes and blooms to come in larger than those in sunny areas (sort of like how foliage can get more "leggy" in the shade, too), and there were a few less blooms overall, but still a very good show and very healthy plants.

This thread title lends itself well for repeating an archived list of shade-tolerant daylilies maintained by the horticulture net:

http://www.hort.net/lists/shadegardens/aug98/msg00026.html
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
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philljm
Apr 1, 2014 6:15 AM CST
Part of our family river property in western PA used to be a daylily farm. These day lilies have been growing wild for about 4 decades. Although they originally were named varieties, over the years they have grown and hybridized with the help of Mother Nature..

Many of these day lilies are growing well in the woods that has sprouted up. Mostly tulip type trees and some large wild cherry trees with the occasional misplaced pine tree. Every summer they bloom away in the shade.

These simple dips seem to do fine. I imagine that they are probably slower to take off and grow and bloom. The ones I have transplanted take at least two years to bloom here. But these day lilies have adapted to being in mostly shade. Hardy plants for sure.

It's not that they can't grow in the shade, it's that they perform better in sunlight.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 1, 2014 6:51 AM CST
chalyse.
I watched a video by Dan Hanson that mentioned that hybridizers sometimes grow their plants in the shade for that very reason. It makes the scapes grow up to (35 per cent?) taller, gets the blooms up out of the foliage. But then, when the plant is actually planted out in the garden in full sun, the blooms are on the shorter scapes and are hidden down in the foliage. He was talking about things to watch out for when visiting a daylily farm(shade cloth over blooming sized daylilies). Thanks for the list of shade tolerate, rust resistant daylilies. I tip my hat to you.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 1, 2014 9:15 AM CST
My mom has some dl planted along her house on the front and they get leggy and grow out toward the light, sort of a curved or bowed shape to the scapes. They do get full sun for the afternoon. They tend to get top heavy and fall over sometimes since the scapes are not as sturdy.
I do think some of the richer red colors do better with some afternoon shade, dappled shade, so the red colors do not fade as bad.
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
Apr 1, 2014 5:21 PM CST
But, over time, they will dwindle ...... as I have found this out the hard way. Yes, they will survive and yes they will have some blooms. Many do well at first, but over a period of years, you will see a decline. But the shade plant is a poor facsimile of the same plant planted in full sun. As the shade has increased in a few areas here over time, I have been moving those plants to other areas as room permitted, and will continue to do so.
They survive, but don't thrive. When you can, move them to areas that have more sun OR take down trees or limb them up if that will help.


Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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chalyse
Apr 1, 2014 7:39 PM CST
So the hunt is truly on to see if we can find some cultivars that, like EMOs, sunfast, colorfast, etc., will not only hang on but be contented long-term with their sheltering awning of trees. Of the ones I listed, three stood out for not only a great blooming season and vibrant performance, but have thrived (so far) for three summers and two winters in the shadiest spot of all:

Dixie Land Band - performs basically the same as the one on my sun porch
Party Popper - very vigorous, but also grew and bloomed a bit bigger than its sun garden twin
All About Eve - most consistent and just kept blooming away

I always plant one fan in the sun, and one in the shade, so I can compare and note how they fare. The more evenly they perform, the better the long-term potential seems to be for the one in the shade.

I'll also mention Darker Shade which was just stunning in the shade and bloomed so well, though it had a little more access of an hour or two of direct sun each day. The other three are completely shaded by trees with limited indirect sunlight (zero-lot lines, 2-story walls on either side, and notched into a corner of the house under two very thick trees that never lose their leaves). I'll be interested in seeing if we can collectively come up with a few that really seem to break out of the mold and give daylily lovers a new facet to explore.
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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[Last edited by chalyse - Apr 1, 2014 7:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 1, 2014 8:01 PM CST
chalyse,
'Darker Shade', now was that named for the color or for the fact that is can take darker shade? I think I will start looking for sources for these right now, I would love to have some more color in the shade. I just planted some Astilbe plants, but I think shade tolerate daylilies would be so nice.
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
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chalyse
Apr 1, 2014 8:23 PM CST
I wouldn't be surprised if it was an intentional play on words for that name, seed, as so many darker daylilies fade or even melt in the sun. I'm putting on my pith helmet and getting ready for a new season of evaluating the fans in my shade garden. We can all compare notes here as time goes by.
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 - Apr 1, 2014 8:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Apr 2, 2014 6:34 AM CST
Seedfork, "Blueridge" have Darker Shade on the LA right now. It's a instant buy. He also have Dixie Land Band and All About Eve. He is pretty generous with bonus plants and he does send big healthy plants. Finders fee ?? Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Apr 2, 2014 6:42 AM CST
Seedfork, I have Darker Shade and Dixie Land Band, both are two of my absolute favorites. shaded most of the afternoon. Not as much as the conditions you are describing, but both are doing very well.

Darker Shade
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Dixie Land Band
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If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 2, 2014 7:49 AM CST
Hazelcrestmikeb.
Thanks, looks like some of those are triple fans also.

lovemyhouse,
I was just thinking about those dark colors in the shade, they should be beautiful. I will also need some lighter colors to brighten up the shaded areas.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Apr 2, 2014 7:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Apr 2, 2014 8:10 AM CST
To give you some ideas, all of these get at least half a day of shade in my yard:

Beautiful Edgings
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Black Eyed Stella (one of the few here to get any direct overhead sunlight, but only in the mornings)
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Bonanza
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Cleo
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Exotic Rings
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Happy Returns
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Lemon Lily
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Magic of Oz
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Pink Charm
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Sun Silk
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If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
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floota
Apr 2, 2014 10:18 AM CST
I should have qualified my earlier statement! My comments regarding shade were based on what I have observed over a period of years in my own garden on the edge of zones 6/7.
However, based on what people around the country have told me, I would comment that people who grow daylilies in more southern zones, such as zone 8 or 7B or higher, would likely find that daylilies in those climates could tolerate more shade than those of us who live in the Mid-Atlantic and lower zones.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 2, 2014 2:40 PM CST
many dl will do ok w afternoon shade, or dappled shade, but there are many that will not open in the morning like they should if they do not have sunlight directly on them in the mornings. Most dl do not like cold mornings either. If you need to plant dl in morning shade, buy varieties that open in the evening.
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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chalyse
Apr 2, 2014 3:23 PM CST
I agree Warmer climates seem to get more ambient light and warmth to coax performance from shaded daylilies. I suppose that any we might find that work well in southern shade might also be good for northern indoor pots as we are seeing people do now. And, Jan's encouraging info that even some northern planted cultivars can also hang in there if just more slowly and less profusely, is encouraging. So, may help to focus on higher-bud count, EMO like Frilly mentioned, etc., to offset the energy or light needed to perform. Just some rambling thoughts.

I have also had good luck with Debra's mentioned Beautiful Edgings in the shade. Thumbs up
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 - Apr 2, 2014 3:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 2, 2014 8:25 PM CST
Something I had not considered but which might apply in chalyse's case, here is a quote from Olallie Daylilies about growing in the shade!
"Daylilies will not bloom well in the deep shade of trees. exception: Daylilies on a shady side of a house may bloom very well in the indirect light that is reflected off of the building."
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Apr 3, 2014 2:43 AM CST
That is good to know about Beautiful Edgings! I have quite a few King Lamoni in the shade. They flower well. In fact I just noticed this evening they are reblooming now in autumn with two scapes coming up. Water, fertiliser does amazing things. The plants are not as big as those in full sun however. Blooms are an okay size.

KING LAMONI November last year.
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[Last edited by Gleni - Apr 3, 2014 3:56 AM (+)]
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