Daylilies forum: Question about struggling Daylily

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Name: Gale
CentralWa (Zone 6a)
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GDJCB
Jul 30, 2015 10:00 PM CST
I purchased Eye On The Sparrow last year and planted the 3 fans, it did send up 2 scapes and had my favorite blloms of 2014. This spring only 2 fans came back, and they were tiny, it has since added 3 more fans, but 4 of the 5 are still smaller than most of my seedlings planted in early June, the other is bigger, but also on the small size. I have six other Daylilies planted in the same mound, purchased and planted at the same time, that have all grown into medium size clumps already and had lots of bloom. This is an Emmerich Daylily, so should do good here, gets plenty of water and fertilizer, I don't understand why it has struggled. Any ideas and or suggestions?

Thanks,
Gale
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 31, 2015 5:53 AM CST
Hard to say. I have an Emmerich, Filled to Overflowing, that does the same for me. It started out as 2 very nice fans and they have dwindled down. I only have one fan now and it bloomed much later this year than it normally does. I also thought that hers would be very hardy in my zone. I have had others do that too. Seagull's Heaven is barely hanging on. It did well for 2 years and this year it looks like a miniature, very small fans and super tiny. Mine have also been fertilized and have had lots of good rain water. I purchased Dragonfly Dawn this past spring and I am wondering if that one will do the same thing, if it even makes it through my winter here.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 31, 2015 6:32 AM CST
Is it possible that they suffered from spring sickness?
Maurice
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jul 31, 2015 6:39 AM CST
I don't have named ones, but I do have an occasional seedling do that. Could it be heat stress? Or a hard dormant? If I am not mistaken (I need to verify this), I think all the seedlings that have done that had a dormant parent (or both), so I just assumed it wouldn't survive here in the south.

But then again, one of mine is a seedling I bought from Rich. It bloomed this year and was doing great and now completely devoid of leaves. I haven't dug it up yet to check for roots. Summer dormancy? That particular plant is in a partial shady area that gets watered regularly. It's sibling is doing fine as are all the other plants in that area. I wonder what is going on....

Ok. I just checked. My seedling from Rich does not have dormant parents. One is an evergreen and one is a semi-evergreen. So .... now I am really at a loss.

What could slowly kill a seemingly healthy daylily plant?

@sooby , @admmad , and anyone else ....

Are you hearing about this kind of situation from others or have you experienced it yourselves?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Daylilies Dog Lover Irises Region: United States of America
Region: Wisconsin
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philljm
Jul 31, 2015 6:40 AM CST
I have about a half dozen day lilies struggling this year. Most of them are ones that exploded on me last year and were phenomenal. Then we had a very cold winter, and I thought I lost them. But slowly they are coming back. They won't bloom, look like seedlings.

For me, I am just going to put it down as stress, give them a little extra TLC, and leave them alone. I will probably make sure they stay well mulched this fall / winter and see what happens next year. ~J
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jul 31, 2015 6:41 AM CST
Maurice - We posted at the same time. Spring Sickness. I need to look that up ....

http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/spring_sickness.html

http://web.ncf.ca/ah748/sstf.html

Hmmmm ..... possibly ...
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
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 31, 2015 6:42 AM (+)]
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 31, 2015 6:48 AM CST
Doesn't look like they have spring sickness. Fans look nice and green only very tiny and barely growing.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jul 31, 2015 6:56 AM CST
I didn't see those chewed up leaves, but the one that is missing appears to have had some pest issues looking through the few photos I have of it. Maybe mine just was overwhelmed and the blooming was too much for it. I had seed pods on mine, too.

Can a plant become so stressed that it just drops all it's leaves and/or dies? I know the answer is obvious. But this seedling was a good sized single fan. Not a tiny one like some of my other seedlings. I set a lot of seed pods on most all my seedlings that bloomed. This plant was bigger than most of mine. I harvested pods on most everything, yet this one now appears missing.
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
(Zone 7a)
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dormantsrule
Jul 31, 2015 7:28 AM CST
Hi Gale,

Different issues come to mind - 1. Are the tips of the leaves brown? I have had some that dwindle which have crown/root rot.

Thumb of 2015-07-31/dormantsrule/893b05 Thumb of 2015-07-31/dormantsrule/89034a

2. Did you buy on LA from a southern or greenhouse grower? The southern grown fans that look like leeks are pumped with water and will dwindle when acclimating.
Greenhouse grown are also going to be bigger and re-adjust.

3. We had a hail storm here in May 2014, just when scapes should poke up. The newest plants all dwindled in size and still haven't really recovered. Example is Karol's "Not Guilty" arrived looking great with a nice root system and still looks like seedlings today.

4. Air pockets when planted.

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[Last edited by dormantsrule - Jul 31, 2015 10:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Gale
CentralWa (Zone 6a)
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GDJCB
Jul 31, 2015 8:07 AM CST
Thanks everyone for all of the responses. Mine are just like Cindy's, very green and healthy looking, but tiny, and appearing to just not be growing. I received them from a northern state home garden, all the others received from her are doing great and have at least doubled in fans, and are planted in the same mound. I have shown pictures of them all on here. I guess I will just hope that it does better next year, if not, find it a new home. It's amazing how it's the plant that produced my favorite bloom last year, that struggles. I did have all the plants that I purchased from one person this year die back and then come back with fewer tiny fan/fans, that also don't seem to be growing. Every other order I have gotten this year has done well. It is still a learning process for me with these plants, thanks for all the help.
Name: Kevin Smith
INDIANA (Zone 5b)
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kssmith
Jul 31, 2015 11:25 AM CST
Daylilys can funny things at times. Three years ago Always Afternoon put on a real show for me and the next year i thought it was dying out because it down to small fans. I then moved it to a less than ideal spot on the side of the house and this year it made a great comeback with many blooms.
Last year Chicago Apache was small ,short and anemic so i moved it to partial shade. This year it is bigger and taller then i have ever seen this plant get with strong scapes and a multitude of large blooms. Go figure. If something does not work try something else is my maxim.
Sometimes it really is location,location,location.
SO MANY DAYLILYS, SO LITTLE LAND
[Last edited by kssmith - Jul 31, 2015 11:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 31, 2015 11:59 AM CST
The symptoms of spring sickness.

The plants do fine, flower well, grow properly perhaps last year, perhaps for many years in a row. Then after winter, in the spring they sprout and look fine at first. Later they begin to look sickly, stop growing and die back. Then later all the die-back disappears and the fans resprout and look fine but they are much much smaller than they were last year. Typically they are the size of seedlings and typically there are more fans than there were to begin with in the spring. They recover and no longer show any evidence of having had spring sickness other than their size - they may bloom in the same growing season.

The fans will look nice and green even if they had spring sickness earlier in the year, by now; in fact they will have looked normal but very small quite some time ago. So one cannot usually tell if a plant had spring sickness by looking at it now. One has to watch the plant as it starts to grow in the spring and observe it once a week or more often for many weeks to be able to identify the problem as spring sickness.

I had three clumps of different cultivars with spring sickness this year. All recovered quite some time ago. All have much smaller fans than they did last year. One clump will not flower. One clump has flowered but not nearly as well as last year and the third clump will flower soon. All have had normal green leaves for some time.

The symptoms of growing and flowering well for one or more years in one location and then reducing in size to small fans matches the effect of spring sickness.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Jul 31, 2015 12:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jul 31, 2015 2:34 PM CST
The same thing happened to some of my daylilies this year. It might have been Spring sickness but I know that none of them died back. I was having a snail problem & once I controlled them the plants started to recover. But by then the surrounding daylilies had grown so much the poor plants were mostly in shade. I just thought they couldn't compete after their setback. Now I'm wondering if I should follow my plan of digging them up and putting them in pots by themselves. If it was Spring sickness I probably don't have to. Any thoughts, because a couple are irreplaceable (I can't find them for sale anywhere).
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 31, 2015 3:02 PM CST
Was there some sort of barrier (or other difference) that prevented the snails from eating the surrounding daylilies?
Maurice
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jul 31, 2015 3:40 PM CST
No, but I find they seem to prefer some plants but not others. Not just daylilies but other plants too. Could be the plant is already damaged and they are attracted to that. I'm not sure.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 31, 2015 4:10 PM CST
Daylilies can also suffer from summer dormancy. I have had two daylily cultivars (out of several hundred) that sprouted normally in the spring, grew normally, produced scapes and while the scapes were developing all the leaves died back. The end result was a scape all by itself blooming. But in other years, when I have mulched the plants they did not go summer dormant. One of the daylilies that went summer dormant did return as smaller fans. The other one returned normally with fans that grew to their original size (which however was not very large).

Arisumi found that daylilies do not grow well at constant high temperatures. He wrote "At 85° and 95° the plants grew rapidly during the first 3 to 4 weeks and then became progressively chlorotic and the older leaves dried prematurely."
Maurice
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Jul 31, 2015 4:37 PM CST
Maurice - I am seeing a couple of mine that are progressively chlorotic. Those are very noticeable in my raised seedling bed. Is this one likely summer dormancy?

Chlorotic daylily (pink arrow):

Thumb of 2015-07-31/beckygardener/db3cf7

Tiny (failure to grow) seedling (pink arrow):

Thumb of 2015-07-31/beckygardener/243ea2

Seedlings that have disappeared (pink "x" where they used to be):

Thumb of 2015-07-31/beckygardener/d2b440
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: Meredith
New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Cat Lover Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeper of Poultry Roses
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Meredith79
Jul 31, 2015 4:44 PM CST
This has happened to me with a few daylilies too. It did happen with one from a local garden center and some from a southern grower. I just assumed the ones that it happened to don't like being in the north although one of the ones I still have barely hanging on is Beautiful Edgings which I thought was popular around here.
[Last edited by Meredith79 - Jul 31, 2015 4:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Louise Alley
Central Maine, Waterville (Zone 5a)
BillAlleysDLs
Jul 31, 2015 4:48 PM CST
Hi Gale,
When plants don't thrive for me I move them to another place in the gardens and give them winter mulch. No rhyme or reason but it often works for me? Louise
Name: Meredith
New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Cat Lover Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeper of Poultry Roses
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Meredith79
Jul 31, 2015 4:56 PM CST
That's what I did, it seemed to help some but not all. I also remember using bags of compsted manure in the planting beds to ammend the soil. I don't use that anymore

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