Daylilies forum: What is happening on these leaves?

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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Aug 23, 2015 4:10 AM CST
Hi everyone!
I have one DL that has very weak new leaves. They bend a lot. Another leaf is a bit "ruffled" at the edge.
We had very hot and dry days (at least two months) but now temperature has lowered and we're having some rain. All the DLs showed chlororis so some week ago I gave them some chelated iron, the new leaves are much better now, but maybe this DL needs some bit more? Or something else? It's Caracas Candle. I only saw one bloom and the scape was very short. It got transplanted in the ground this spring, before it was in a pot. Many thanks for looking!

Thumb of 2015-08-23/cybersix/94ad2f
Thumb of 2015-08-23/cybersix/cbfcf9

Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Aug 23, 2015 5:12 AM CST
It's not unusual for the middle leaves to bend over temporarily, so not a problem as long as they eventually straighten up and don't become soft and start to shrivel. I don't know what causes it but I do see it here, and in fact a daylily I had indoors for the winter did it and eventually straightened up. I wouldn't give any more iron until you need to based on either the package instructions or a return of the chlorosis.

Bear in mind, though, as I mentioned in the other thread, you are only fixing one nutrient deficiency (iron) whereas several other nutrients are potentially limited by the high soil pH also.

A single wavy leaf, is not, in my opinion, something to be concerned about.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Aug 23, 2015 10:04 AM CST
Thanks Sue!
I see this only on Caracas Candle so I was wondering if it's a trait or if it's a "weak" plant.

Now all DLs seems to be a lot better, but I check foliage everyday and if I see something I don't understand I ask on here or I check that wonderful PDF file someone shared on my thread on chlorosis.
The PH is about 8 I read many consider this a "slightly" alkaline soil, nothing to worry about, but I'll keep things checked. I was planning to order a kit for soil analysys, they are not too expensive.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Aug 23, 2015 10:43 AM CST
Sabrina - You are going to become an expert on growing daylilies before you know it! Lots of great questions you've asked!

Sue - You are wonderful to help Sabrina and others with your answers to their questions! Thank You!
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: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Aug 23, 2015 10:45 AM CST
beckygardener said:Sabrina - You are going to become an expert on growing daylilies before you know it! Lots of great questions you've asked!

Thank you Becky, I'm hoping to learn enough to help my DLs. I never had any plant to take care of so it's really all new to me!

beckygardener said:Sue - You are wonderful to help Sabrina and others with your answers to their questions! Thank You!

You're right! Sue you're so helpful and patient!

Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
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
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sooby
Aug 23, 2015 11:03 AM CST
cybersix said:. The PH is about 8 I read many consider this a "slightly" alkaline soil, nothing to worry about, but I'll keep things checked. I was planning to order a kit for soil analysys, they are not too expensive.


A pH of 8 is actually above the "slightly alkaline" range and is considered "moderately alkaline". The pH scale is logarithmic so a pH of 8 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 7, and a pH of 5 is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 7 (I might have explained this in the other thread, not sure, sorry if I'm repeating myself Blinking )

Were any of the "many" talking specifically about daylilies, because different kinds of plants have different preferred pH ranges - at pH 8 you'd have real problems growing azaleas or rhododendrons for example. Daylily cultivars differ in their tolerance for higher pH's so some will get interveinal chlorosis at a lower pH than others.

There is no published research information on preferred daylily pH ranges but Sinclair Adam, who did some research on daylily nutrition a number of years ago, recommends a range of 5.5 to 6.5 in this article
http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/pubs/oh33.htm )

Waaay back in the 1950's in a book about daylilies (Daylilies and How To Grow Them), Ben Arthur Davis wrote "If an exact standard of soil acidity could be set up for daylilies, it would probably be around pH 6.5.........A soil showing pH of around 7 (neutral) will ordinarily give fair results..................If, however, the soil is definitely alkalline, aluminum sulphate or sulphur should be used to bring about the necessary change............That is, if the pH is, let us say 7.5, the amounts of acidifying materials suggested above would be necessary to bring it down to 6.5......"

Because there are other factors that can influence a plant's response to soil pH, we removed a recommended pH range from the AHS FAQ, relying instead on the fact that the plants will tell you, as yours did, if they're not happy.

A soil test kit will tell you what's in the soil, but to find out what nutrients the plant is actually able to acquire from that soil needs a leaf tissue analysis. That's primarily what the PDF article you mentioned is about.

Looking again at this picture of interveinal chlorosis in a daylily (while the next one to it was quite happy at the same pH), this was manganese deficiency caused by high pH. Like iron, there can be ample manganese in the soil but the pH blocks it from being used by the plants and that's what leaf analysis and soil analysis showed in the case in the picture (not my daylilies but I was involved in the diagnostic process):
http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/chlorosis.html
There was plenty of iron and manganese in the soil test but the leaf test showed that the plants were unable to utilize the manganese because of the pH although they were managing to get enough iron. The lab recommendation was to lower the pH with sulfur and that fixed the problem last I heard (this is going back quite a few years).

Anyway, this was a long-winded way of saying that while a pH of 8 may not bother some other plants, there are daylily cultivars that may well find it quite a bit too high. This is not an uncommon problem with daylilies.



[Last edited by sooby - Aug 23, 2015 12:24 PM (+)]
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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
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sooby
Aug 23, 2015 12:35 PM CST
cybersix said:
You're right! Sue you're so helpful and patient!


I tip my hat to you. *Blush*

These links may help.

With this one, note also their link on lowering soil pH (there comes a point where it isn't practical to lower it, but you need an accurate soil test to determine the pH first):
http://www.extension.org/pages/13064/soil-ph-modification#.V...

This one gives a list of examples of the preferred ranges for specific plants, just to illustrate how individual plants vary in their optimum pH range:
http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/pubs/oh34.htm

This one also includes daylilies in the list, although for certain cultivars in some soils even this range may be a bit on the high side:
http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p2571.pdf

The last one includes a suggested test for free lime:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/222.html

Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Aug 23, 2015 2:28 PM CST
Thanks again Sue! It's almost bedtime here so I gave a quick look to all the links, tomorrow I'll read them carefully.
I know some plants want an acid soil, but I have a rhododendron (it was hear well before we came in the house) that is beautiful, it grows and blooms in this clay soil, with little water and plenty of sun.
So I guess I'd better stop guessing and see if I can have some test done. Maybe I'm worrying too much, but if I test soil and plants I know for sure.
Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Aug 23, 2015 4:16 PM CST
A lot of good advice so far in this thread.

Another thing to check is the ph of your irrigation water. Most domestic water supplies are ph adjusted to 8.5+. This is for health reasons, so that the water does not leach harmful chemicals from the delivery system piping. (I always laugh when I see specialty "alkaline" drinking water being sold at premium prices.)

This high ph irrigation water keeps most of my daylilies in a state of stress, and when the fall rains come, the clean, neutral-to-acidic rainwater releases all of the locked-up nutrients that I've been applying all summer, and I get flushes of deep green, healthy growth and a lot of scapes. Since you recently received some rain after a lengthy dry period, the soft growth you're getting might be from the same phenomenon.

Ken
East S.F. Bay Area
USDA Zone 9 - Mediterranean
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
Aug 23, 2015 7:01 PM CST
Ken - You are so right! My plants love the acid rain and look awesome the next day. My well water leaves a lot to be desired. Sad
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: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Aug 24, 2015 1:24 AM CST
Ken - many thanks! Domestic water has a high PH. We filter it for drinking with an apposite pitcher because it taste not so good, is full of limescale and many many debris. I used the water from the pitcher for the coffee machine and the cats' fountain too, otherwise pumps break after short usage.
But I cannot filter the huge quantity I need to water the garden. The filtered water has a PH of 6,5-7.

It's raining a lot, and it's slightly cold too, the plants are all producing new leaves but they were doing it before the rain too. I know they like rain water but this summer we had none so I had to use domestic water!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Aug 24, 2015 2:40 AM CST
sooby said:

I tip my hat to you. *Blush*

These links may help.



Sue, I read everything, many thanks for finding the time to collect them for me.
I really think it's time to have things sorted down. I'm afraid of seeing problems everywhere too, so I need to calm down Rolling on the floor laughing .
Will check the soil, and plants.
I'm going to test soil in a small portion of the garden too, where I plan to put some more DLs (hopefully my sprouting seeds). I'm going to remove sedum, so I'll know if I have to amend the soil before planting DLs (when should I remove and amend? autumn? spring? new plants will be planted in spring).
I also read to use lemon instead of vinegar to lower water PH because citric acid is stronger than acetic acid. For now I placed a bucket outside to see if I can catch some rain water. But I don't have many containers to keep lots of rain water and use it when needed.
I also have to amend the soil in an another portion where it's still all clay, there I can use some peat moss or manure to make the soil lighter, again I don't know when, now or next season?
Many thanks!!!!! Thank You! Thank You!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Aug 24, 2015 3:22 AM CST
sooby said:

The last one includes a suggested test for free lime:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/222.html



Did the test, it apperas there's no free lime in the soil.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
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
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sooby
Aug 24, 2015 8:26 AM CST
There are various different acids that commercial growers use to lower the pH of alkaline irrigation water, but the reason I suggested vinegar in the other thread is that it is often already in the house or is at least easy to get from a supermarket so more convenient for a small test. That (the teaspoon of vinegar to a litre of irrigation water) was really just for an initial trial on a plant or two to see if they would respond by producing greener new leaves than the untreated ones.

If you're going to amend the soil with organic material I would tend to do it long enough before planting that it has time to settle.

Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Aug 24, 2015 9:31 AM CST
Thanks Sue, I always have lemon juice in the kitchen, I use it for cooking and to clean spots of limescale, so one or another it's the same.
I was thinking to use something organic, but I'll wait after the test and decide from there!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jan 4, 2016 4:04 PM CST
sooby said:There are various different acids that commercial growers use to lower the pH of alkaline irrigation water, but the reason I suggested vinegar in the other thread is that it is often already in the house or is at least easy to get from a supermarket so more convenient for a small test. That (the teaspoon of vinegar to a litre of irrigation water) was really just for an initial trial on a plant or two to see if they would respond by producing greener new leaves than the untreated ones.


Sue,

I initially started acidifying my water with vinegar, with good results, but a few months later I was advised by an organic chemist/horticulturist that acetates are a vinegar by-product, and could promote rot by encouraging the growth of harmful soil microbes. Since I grow a lot of plants (South African bulbs and cycads) that have their share of problems with root rot, I switched to anhydrous citric acid which I found on Ebay. Because of its concentration, it actually worked out to be far more economical than vinegar. (I also read that sulfuric acid is a popular water treatment used by professional growers) A drawback of the more concentrated acids is that mixing small batches becomes more difficult, if not impractical, due to the precision required.

If the soil chemistry will tolerate it, horticultural sulfur in the form of a product such as GreenAll F.S.T. will work wonders. It also contains iron, manganese and zinc.
http://www.ebstone.org/products/greenall?tab=fertilizersands...

I didn't have a pH test kit at the time, so F.S.T. was the first remedy I tried after reading an article in the Cactus & Succulent Journal about the harmful effects of alkaline water. The results were impressive. At that point I had a wide variety of container-grown plants which had essentially "stalled", despite regular watering and fertilization. Within two weeks after applying F.S.T. there were daylily scapes and new, healthy green leaves everywhere, despite the fact that we were in the doldrums of mid-August. Cycads which had been sulking and surviving with old leaves for at least a year were flushing luxuriantly, stressed cactus & succulents greened up, palm trees jumped back into growth—everything looked amazing. Even though it worked so well, I'd only recommend F.S.T. for yearly application, because of the extra elements it contains.

The C&S article said that the newly-acidic conditions would release the bound-up fertilizers in the soil. It also said that with proper water/soil pH balance, fertilizer applications could be halved. Both of these things appear to be true.

Results with field-grown plants were also positive, only not as dramatic. I think this might be because of the mass and buffering ability of "the earth" as opposed to the captive, artificial and relatively "dead" environment of a pot. I can always tell when one of my container plants has managed to poke a root or two into the ground below - the difference in growth and general appearance is significant.

Ken
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
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sooby
Jan 5, 2016 8:40 AM CST
Yes, there are various things one can use to acidify irrigation water - I just suggest the diluted vinegar because it's something that people often already have to hand, and it's only for a three week test to see if it corrects the interveinal chlorosis. If it does then for plants in the ground the longer term (but not permanent) solution would usually be a soil application of sulfur.

Generally, although deficiencies in the soil can happen, the micronutients that are deficient in the plant due to soil pH are actually plentiful in the soil and only need the pH lowered to enable the plant to make use of them. Chances are it is not necessary to add those micronutrients as well. In some cases the pH cannot easily be lowered and then you'd maybe look at alternatives like foliar micronutrient application to bypass the soil pH, or chelated products.

In the field the ability to change the soil pH would indeed depend on the soil's buffering capacity, which is why you need to apply higher amounts of pH adjusting material to clay soils than to sandy.

Back to the vinegar, I actually saw an old article that was using acetic acid to prevent root rot, worked better than citric acid!
Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Jan 6, 2016 7:24 PM CST

Maybe some used coffee grounds might help this particular plant too?

My Hydrangea stay nice and blue on coffee grounds, and blueberries like it too.

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