Daylilies forum: Die back or cutback

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Name: Chuck
Gorham Maine (Zone 5a)
Hummingbirder Daylilies Garden Ideas: Level 1
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dogwalker
Aug 24, 2015 4:04 AM CST
A question for those of us that live in colder climates. For your daylilies, after the blooms we allow the plants to replenish their root system in preparation for the coming cold weather. But before the first of the cold weather do you;
Let the foliage just die back?
Cut back the foliage for easier clean up in the spring?
And is there any advantage to either way?
Chuck
Life is a journey of adventure and discovery, sail bravely into each new day.
[Last edited by dogwalker - Aug 24, 2015 4:06 AM (+)]
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Name: Heidi
CT (Zone 5b)
Always find the awesome in your day
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mom2cjemma
Aug 24, 2015 5:04 AM CST

Great question, I would love to hear feedback too. This year, mine are all getting at least trimmed because I am redoing my flower beds and splitting some of my bigger clumps.

In the past, I have done both. Never paid attention to how they ultimately did. Keeping some dead foliage at least at helped me identify where my clumps are while doing spring cleanup..... Because no matter how much fall cleanup I do, I still end up with tons of leaves to remove in the spring!
Heidi
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 24, 2015 5:12 AM CST
Everybody has their own preferences but here in the north I let mine die back to serve as a sort of natural mulch for the daylily. Those who live in the south often cut them back.
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Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Aug 24, 2015 5:50 AM CST
I totally agree with Cindy and let mine die back, plus I usually mulch with shredded leaves in fall.
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Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Aug 24, 2015 6:21 AM CST
I cut all mine back to about 10" in late September, and I add my alfalfa pellets around each plant. We then fill the beds with oak leaves which would be impossible if we hadn't cut the plants back. In the spring I clean up what's left over and put down the Milorganite before the deer get a chance to eat anything.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
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Mayo62
Aug 24, 2015 6:53 AM CST
mom2cjemma said:
. Keeping some dead foliage at least at helped me identify where my clumps are while doing spring cleanup..... Because no matter how much fall cleanup I do, I still end up with tons of leaves to remove in the spring!


I agree
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 24, 2015 8:12 AM CST
dogwalker said:
Let the foliage just die back?
Cut back the foliage for easier clean up in the spring?
And is there any advantage to either way?


The advantages for the plant versus the advantages for the gardener may not quite amount to the same thing. Letting the leaves die back on their own schedule allows the plant to keep making food to use or store for as long as conditions are suitable (think photosynthesis), which may help it get through the upcoming winter. When you cut the leaves you're potentially diminishing the plant's food manufacturing capability and if you do it too early it may try to regrow using food it was planning to store instead. Presumably also the plant may be extracting mineral nutrients from those leaves as they turn yellow and die. It's quite easy to remove dead foliage in spring, it pulls away more easily than in fall.






Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
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cybersix
Aug 24, 2015 8:18 AM CST
I let all DLs die back.
Stella de Oro disappears completely, the others kept some leaves they didn't die completely.
Must see the next winter if it will be cooler than the past how do they "die"
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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gargoyl52
Aug 24, 2015 8:40 AM CST
I have always let mine die back so they can be used as a bit of mulch for the winter. Then I put an inch or so of more mulch and pile a couple of feet of snow on top for insulation.
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
Aug 26, 2015 6:22 PM CST

Moderator

I'm a cutter, too. In fact I've already started. Years ago an early winter put an end to my garden clean up and I thought it wouldn't make any difference to clean the sections that were left in the spring. The weeds for the next few years in those sections were a nightmare! Most will regrow new foliage as they stop blooming refreshing the garden after the somewhat ratty looking foliage of late summer has been removed. The left over 10 -12" from cutting and the new growth seem to do a well enough job of protecting the plants over winter, unless they are tender to begin with. While removing the foliage I also notice slugs and snails of various sizes being taken out of the garden in those leaves.

Plants are cutback as I restock the sale beds and I just continue right into the display areas as I move things around. All but the new spring planted sdlgs get trimmed. One advantage of trimming the other two sdlg areas for me ( I have 3 areas that rotate) is that I can see the cross tags and pods making it easier to find them. Seedlings are planted very close together making it difficult to find pods with all the foliage and different sized plants mixed together.

I agree with sooby though, cutting them is more to my advantage than the daylilies.
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
Aug 27, 2015 9:06 AM CST
I have done both. Does not seem to have made a big difference that I have noticed. I like trimming them up for a neater look and it makes putting the leaves on in the late fall a little easier I try to do my trimming as late as possible. If a larger plant is getting moved or divided I trim the for easier handling and try to do that as early as possible. I trim them no shorter than 10-12 inches.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Aug 27, 2015 11:28 AM CST
I too have never noticed that trimming in late fall impacts the plants in any way. If they get any healthier I may have to dig new gardens, lol.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Kevin Smith
INDIANA (Zone 5b)
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kssmith
Aug 27, 2015 6:22 PM CST
Die back for all the reasons previously stated. Like to cut scapes right after blooming because i do not cross them yet. Maybe someday.
SO MANY DAYLILYS, SO LITTLE LAND

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