Daylilies forum: Seedlings not Growing

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 1832, Replies: 29 » Jump to the end
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Feb 16, 2015 12:26 PM CST
I have some daylily seedlings in 6-inch pots and they have not been growing much in the spring and summer. (They are semi-dormant right now.) I've been growing them for probably 5 years, maybe longer. One did bloom last summer (or maybe it was the year before) but on the whole they are not growing very much. They are too small to put in the yard where the lawn mower will eat them. Should I move them to 1-gallon containers? Should I water them more than once a week? Should I feed them more than once in a blue moon?
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
Image
Natalie
Feb 16, 2015 3:04 PM CST
I can't imagine being able to leave a seedling in a 6-inch pot for that long! There must be no room for the roots at this point. At least that is what I would think. I'd put them in gallon containers, if it was me. I would expect a seedling to bloom for you in the first year, considering where you live.
Natalie
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Polymerous
Feb 16, 2015 3:55 PM CST
5 years in a 6 inch pot? Seldom fertilized? Watered once a week?

Yes, I do think you need to change your approach.

Water is extremely important. If you are only going to water once a week, maybe they might be better off in the ground (if your soil retains moisture). If they have to be in pots, you can grow a seedling to bloom in an 8" tall tree pot or a 1 gal pot, but only if they are well watered and adequately fed (think time release fertilizer with occasional liquid supplemental feeding).

My seedlings (most of which bloomed last summer) are growing in 8" tree pots which are packed into a plastic box (one of those under-the-bed storage boxes), which *always* has water in it. (In the picture below, the seedlings in 1 gal and #1 pots were selected seedlings recently potted up from the 8" tree pots, so I can evaluate them a second year. Some of the tree pots have larger plants, which did not bloom last season (with the ones just potted into the larger pots). Some of the tree pots were just planted earlier this week.)

Thumb of 2015-02-16/Polymerous/425d5b

Water is important, maybe even more so than fertilizer. If you are worried about mosquitoes (if you use a box like I do) then you can use mosquito dunks.

For fertilizer, use a time-release one with the proper ratios of NPK, such as this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071E238A/ref=oh_aui_detai.... (Per Dan Trimmer, the proper NPK ratio is 18:6:12, so you will probably want to use more of this product than their recommended application rate. There are 18:6:12 fertilizers available, but I couldn't find a time release one that did not also contain sewage sludge, which I will not use.) At the start of the season, also (per Dan Trimmer) add something that has iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Good luck with your seedlings!
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
[Last edited by Polymerous - Feb 16, 2015 4:43 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #790936 (3)
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Seedfork
Feb 17, 2015 8:19 AM CST
Your zone completely throws me, "Where summer is Winter", I thought zone ten would be where summer is hotter than... well very warm. Six inch pots for daylilies for over a few months I would think would be stretching it. Small pots in zone 10 , I would think, would need watering twice a day in warm weather. I was also confused by the mention of planting them in the yard for fear the lawn mower would run over them. I have never seen daylilies planted in the "yard" is that meaning "lawn" that you would normally mow? Or by "yard" did you mean garden? I would love to see photos of those 5 year old plants.
I think Polymerous gave good advice, and I would pop at least one of those plants out of the pots and examine the roots, if those pots are not just jammed packed full of roots those plants have to be severely undernourished.
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Feb 17, 2015 9:01 AM CST
'Where summer is winter' refers to the fact that we get our bad weather in the summer. Winter is mild but summer is blistering. Also, in the wild, many plants go dormant in the summer.

Daylilies in the lawn refers to daylilies in flowerbeds adjacent to the grass. DH gets a little too aggressive with the lawnmower and can't tell the difference between daylilies and grass.

I used to have some daylilies in a shallow section of the pond but they eventually died out.

The 5-year old plants are semi dormant now but I'll try to remember to take a picture when they start growing again.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Seedfork
Feb 17, 2015 9:15 AM CST
Ohh...I understand about the lawn mower now. Sounds like some type of border is needed so your DH can "color inside the lines". Yes, it gets hot here in the summer and even some of the daylilies do go dormant during the very hot periods. I need to water more than I do, but when it gets so hot and dry it just seems a hose can't make much difference sometimes.
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
JWWC
Feb 17, 2015 10:08 AM CST
I'd bet that if you potted up your daylilies into 1 or 2 gallon containers (I'd go with 2 gallon myself for the depth) they would start to grow. I can't imagine you being cold enough to really set them into being dormant for any reason other than water and want of space. Stick the pots in the shallow part of your pond so that they are in 1-2 inches of water and they will likely take off. In your neck of the woods they would probably benefit from some afternoon shade as well.
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
Image
florange
Feb 17, 2015 10:32 AM CST
I agree with James about repotting in 2 gallon containers. If you look closely, some of the alternative pots are 1.7 gallons and some are 1.9 gallons. I use the 1.9's all the time with small daylilies. They need room to stretch their roots. I would not even consider the 1 gallon size. Too small for encouraging growth.
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Feb 17, 2015 11:24 AM CST
JWWC said:Stick the pots in the shallow part of your pond so that they are in 1-2 inches of water and they will likely take off. In your neck of the woods they would probably benefit from some afternoon shade as well.


I can't put them in the pond anymore. Raccoons knock over all of the pots. The pond is full sun anyways. I will water them more often and see if they come out of dormancy. This happens every year. I am afraid they are dead but they come back. They only do that in the winter so I think they are going through genuine dormancy. I saw a little bit of new growth on a plant today.

They are getting afternoon shade.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
Image
Natalie
Feb 17, 2015 12:59 PM CST
I think it would be fine to repot them now, even if they are going through dormancy. The roots need room to grow, and this will help. Even without any green, the roots are still trying to expand, and they can't in those tiny pots. They may have just shut themselves down because of the cramped conditions, and will start growing with more room.
Natalie
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Feb 17, 2015 3:30 PM CST
O.K. I'll do that soon.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Polymerous
Feb 17, 2015 5:07 PM CST
If your daylilies were in a shallow section of the pond, it could be that their crowns were down in the water. That would probably cause them to rot, especially given that your climate is even warmer than mine. (I'm in N. CA, you are in S. CA.) My 1 gal, #1, and tree pots in my plastic boxes all have their crowns well above the water level.

One thing to be aware of is that even in our climate, potted daylilies can be subject to rot. I've learned the hard way that daylilies in those black 1 gal pots in the full sun, if kept too moist and/or having too much fertilizer, can rot. (Alternately, if dry, they may simply bake.) During the summer and/or when temps are high, I keep the daylilies in the smaller or darker pots in at least part shade. Daylilies in larger pots, 3-5 gal, seem to do better... as do those in pots that are not black. (If you buy perennials or shrubs and get them from the nursery in white or light colored pots, save those pots. I've collected a fair number of white and tan 1 gal pots, and pink 1.5 gal pots (from carpet roses) over the years. Even green pots are better than black.)

(Speaking of pots and too much summer moisture, what is curious is that none of the daylilies in my plastic boxes, which get full sun (or almost so), have rotted. Why this is, I don't know. The pots are all black and they certainly have fertilizer (from the spring; I don't fertilize in the summer), and the seedling roots certainly are moist. It might be that the water surrounding the pots moderates the temperature somewhat. Confused )
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Feb 17, 2015 9:59 PM CST
James said: "I can't imagine you being cold enough to really set them into being dormant for any reason other than water and want of space."

I wonder. I'm a complete novice with daylily seeds, but I had huge numbers of seedlings seemingly go dormant which are now showing new growth. I actually thought they were dead, but it appears that next to none were. Their growth is corresponding to the dormant daylilies outside, but I didn't let the seedlings get exposed to cold (at least freezing cold). Seemingly, they went dormant anyway. Now, like the mature plants, they have started to grow again. Probably half, maybe a bit more, of the seedlings did this. I was looking today and many of the seedlings are corresponding to the parent(s) growth habits. Of those where both parents are known and dormant, all appeared to have died and now are growing. Where both parents are evergreen the seedlings have maintained green fans except for one or two exceptions (and some even grew Smiling ) and others where the seedlings had parents that were one of each, some seedlings stayed green and some siblings appeared to have died and are now waking up. I'm surprised I didn't toss a lot of pots with seedlings, but usually there was one visibly with a touch of green so I just kept treating all of them the same. I really thought a lot had just died but I think now very few actually did. If it's a dormancy situation, it wasn't triggered by being subjected to freezing temps. The timing of both going dormant and restarting active growth corresponds to the mature plants. I'm somewhat bemused by it all, to tell the truth. The new growth on the seedlings is broader on those coming out of dormancy, too. They look different at this stage than those that stayed green and growing. The latter still have slender leaves which all of them started with. I'm a bit puzzled. The plan was to get a head start by keeping them growing all winter, but they seemed to have taken a nap anyway.
Donald
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Feb 18, 2015 6:30 AM CST
We actually know surprisingly little about what triggers daylily dormancy, unfortunately, or even what kind of dormancy they have (e.g. do they have a "true" dormancy that requires some condition to release it). It doesn't necessarily have to be temperature that triggers it, it could be daylength. It could be a combination of factors. If it is temperature it doesn't necessarily have to be freezing temperatures. I've had seedlings grown in the house on the windowsill go dormant. However, with me there's probably no guarantee they didn't get too dry, I'm bad about remembering to water indoor plants and they were on a warm sunny windowsill. Drought can definitely send daylilies into dormancy! I think quite often dormant daylilies are written off as dead.

Do you have a rough idea of when in the year they started to die back, and also what would be the minimum temperature the seedlings were exposed to?

BTW Stout considered evergreen to be dominant in hybridizing.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Feb 18, 2015 6:59 AM CST
My seedlings were new this past summer. I was planting them as they cracked. I planted the first pod on July 22, 2014 and the last one on August 29, 2014. So really new ones. They were in many different sized pots. I don't think they got too dry. The size of the pots ranged from 2" diameter up to 8" diameter. Mostly plastic pots, but a few clay pots as well. With that kind of variation it's always possible some got too dry at times, but I was worrying that they were staying soggy. They were outside, but have been moved in when the temp were predicted to go to freezing or below. The mature plants in big pots have stayed out, the little ones have been moved in and out. The timing of the little ones that appeared to die followed those outside that went dormant. Recently, the little pots have been subjected to slightly below freezing temps a couple of times (the weathermen missed a bit). By then they had already started waking up and those temps don't seem to have stalled that process. The mature plants outside began actively growing and so did those seedlings I thought had died. It wasn't the plan to let the little ones get exposed to freezing temperatures, but since exposure a couple of times hasn't seemed to slow down or damage them, I'll worry a little less. I will try to avoid any spells that get below mid 20sF or hang on for a long duration. They are still in smaller pots for the most part and subject to the soil being frozen as a result.
Donald
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Feb 18, 2015 8:31 AM CST
I don't think my seedlings that went dormant indoors did so because of drought either, especially since some of the batch kept their green leaves even though they had a dormant bud. Just can't totally rule it out. But having said that, I know of other people who've had seedlings go dormant indoors, and Stout had it happen in a greenhouse and presumably he (or staff) didn't forget to water Smiling

I think that my seedlings did this in December. I can't compare with outdoors because outdoors here the daylilies in the garden would have died back from the cold by then regardless. Would yours have died back in December, earlier, later, or don't remember? Just interested in what the daylength and temperature would have been at the time.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Feb 18, 2015 8:39 AM CST
"BTW Stout considered evergreen to be dominant in hybridizing"

That's interesting. It may camouflage the dormant genes or it may result in those that show semi-evergreen tendencies. I ended up with a bunch of pods from Calico Spider which is evergreen and on most of them I didn't have the pollen parent marked. Lillian's Vapor Trail was the 'go to' pollen donor for dips when it was blooming and when the sweat bees hadn't robbed the pollen, so it would be the odds on favorite for the parent, but other DLs were used at times. I ended up accumulating those pods that weren't marked and throwing them all together into a couple of larger pots. Germination was very good, so I have two pots of Calico Spider seedlings that are fairly crowded. Mostly those seedlings retained green leaves like the known parent, but I thought some simply died as would be expected in a crowded situation. However, I was poking among all the mess and there are those that appeared to have died re-emerging. Probably less than 20% of the Calico Spider shut down, but at least some did. If the evergreen expression is dominant or partially dominant it would easily fit the scenario of what I can observe there. However, conversely Grey Witch seeds, no matter who the pollen parent was purported to have been, shut down. That was also true of all the seeds where Milady Greensleeves was the purported pollen parent. I thought crosses involving those parents had simply died. I'll have to track down those pots containing those crosses and see if the other parents are considered evergreen or not. I know at least one cross using two evergreen parents had mostly evergreen seedlings, but have siblings that show dormant behavior. I hope I get time to check it out. Those that have restarted are catching up fast with those that stayed green all along.
Donald
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Feb 18, 2015 8:49 AM CST
We cross posted Smiling . Yes, the mature plants began to die back beginning with the first freeze in November. It's a process for them, with those that go completely dormant getting further along toward dormancy faster than the evergreens. Here it started out really cold for the first freeze and some almost went completely down from the beginning, but each subsequent exposure of freezing temps put the dormant ones with less and less green. By mid December those inclined to stay evergreen were easily distinguished from those who give up the green growth. Not too many stayed in between. Now that everything is actively growing again I guess I'll see what happens during the next freezing spell. Supposed to get really cold (for me) again in the next few days. The freeze we've had overnight for the last 3 days has not impacted the new growth like it did the old growth in place last November.
Donald
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Feb 19, 2015 7:09 AM CST
Thanks Donald. Thank You!
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Feb 19, 2015 11:48 AM CST
I got two plants transplanted into 10" pots. The other five will have to go into one-gallon pots for now because that is all I have.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« 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 Paul2032 and is called "French Marigold"