Daylilies forum: Reblooming question

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Feb 5, 2016 10:10 PM CST
OK all you daylily afficionados... could you explain what reblooming means? I have only a few daylilies. The first one I ever got was a chunk from a friend, who told me it was just plain Stella. Whenever I read about Stella D'Oro, the main attribute seems to be the reblooming quality. I am unclear what exactly that means. Two distinct bursts of bloom? Keeps blooming on the same stalks? What? I am beginning to wonder if my Stella is even Stella... The color and shape seem OK, but mine is taller than usually described (not unusual in my region for most plants) and the reblooming thing further confuses me. Strangely (I have several clumps), here's the only photo I could find, which is not the best - the white edging is not really there, just a trick of light.

Thumb of 2016-02-06/Bonehead/6d0898

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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Feb 6, 2016 6:19 AM CST
Usually after blooming the plant will rest a bit and then in a few weeks will develop more bud stalks (scapes). Some of the newer cultivars keep sending up new scapes for what is referred to as instant rebloom. Hybridizer Karol Emmerich is breeding for that quality and I understand many of hers do that. I don't normally get a lot of rebloom living in the north but last summer was the exception. I had more rebloom than I have ever had in the 20 plus years of growing daylilies.
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rob4952
Feb 6, 2016 6:35 AM CST
It might be noted that the rebloom scape is coming from the same fan that had already bloomed. Karol does have some nice rebloomers. My Utmost For His Highest is one of my favorites.
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
Feb 6, 2016 8:34 AM CST
Yes, a second set of scapes with new blooms, and in some areas with a longer growing season with the right conditions even a third (maybe a fourth) set of new scapes. Anyone ever get four sets of new scapes?
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Feb 6, 2016 9:22 AM CST
If my memory is correct, one of the hybridizers in Florida indicated a fourth set or almost continuous rebloom on one or two cultivars in the last ten years of introductions. I imagine that required optimum or luxuriant growing conditions - high maintenance conditions.
Maurice
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Feb 6, 2016 9:51 AM CST
Thanks. I will try to pay better attention this year. Per my notes, I usually have blooms for about a month, from mid June through mid July. No clue if they are sending up new stalks or not and all my plants are way too thick for me to figure out if they are coming from the same fan or not. I have never noticed any lag, it just blooms until it's done, then I wait until the stalks turn brittle and pull them out.
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Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Feb 6, 2016 10:15 AM CST
Here in my z:5 garden Blackeyed Stella, Apricot Sparkles, Rosy Returns, Endless Heart aka "Earlybird Cardinal", Bitsy and On And On blooms almost none stop until the frost gets here. Endless Heart an evergreen is always one of the first two to bloom here. Usually around the latter part of May.
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Feb 6, 2016 11:35 AM CST
all my plants are way too thick for me to figure out if they are coming from the same fan or not

If each cultivar is a thick clump then chances are that you have much less rebloom than you could have - possibly none at all.

Weeds growing in daylilies compete with them and reduce their growth and flowering. However, in a thick clump of daylily fans, even when kept well-weeded, the fans compete with each other - called self-competition.

Munson, in Florida, presumably had very good rates of fan increase (probably 8 to 1 per year) and recommended that clumps be divided very year otherwise their performance suffered. I don't expect that most locations or growing conditions get that sort of increase but I would strongly recommend dividing clumps that are approaching 20 fans in size if one wants good rebloom (and of course fertilizing well for strong growth rates, etc.)
Maurice
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Feb 6, 2016 12:22 PM CST
Bonehead said:OK all you daylily afficionados... could you explain what reblooming means? I have only a few daylilies. The first one I ever got was a chunk from a friend, who told me it was just plain Stella. Whenever I read about Stella D'Oro, the main attribute seems to be the reblooming quality. I am unclear what exactly that means. Two distinct bursts of bloom? Keeps blooming on the same stalks? What? I am beginning to wonder if my Stella is even Stella... The color and shape seem OK, but mine is taller than usually described (not unusual in my region for most plants) and the reblooming thing further confuses me.


Deb,

Rebloom is variable, it can come in the form of "instant rebloom", where a single fan of a daylily will push a primary scape and a secondary scape. This secondary scape will sometimes start blooming before the primary scape finishes. Sometimes these are followed by a third, or more, although I have only seen a third scape in my garden a couple of times. As I remember, instant rebloom wasn't that common back in the early 80's. The rebloom I remember seeing back then was a secondary scape which would emerge later in the season, most of the time so late that the last few blooms were cold-damaged. Some cultivars would do this fairly reliably, with others it was a random event which seemed to be dependent on culture. Then, in the mid-to late 80's some cultivars started coming out of Florida which were throwing instant rebloom, and even a third scape from the same initial fan. I think the first time I saw this in my garden it was from My Darling Clementine and Ed Brown. This extra "vigor" may have been the result of a trend among Florida hybridizers to discard seedlings which failed to bloom within 9 months of sowing. I put vigor in quotes because some of these plants will markedly decrease in size over the season, I assume because they've thrown a lot of energy into flower production.

Stella was the first, or maybe the first notorious "continuous bloomer", and it was commonly assumed that it simply kept reblooming throughout the season. As it became more widely grown, people started to pay more attention to how single fans of it performed, and someone advanced the theory that Stella only rebloomed once, but that even small, new divisions were capable of blooming and reblooming as well, so what we're seeing with Stella is a bloom scape, rebloom from that scape, division, and as that new fan matures, bloom and rebloom again. This theory fits in pretty well to what I have seen—a lull in bloom after the first display.

As to what is and what is not Stella de Oro, it's really tough to tell any more. Stella clumps tightly, and reseeds generously, and the seedlings look so much like Stella, that it would be difficult to tell them apart. Also, Stella de Oro might be the most tissue cultured daylily ever, and some people feel that tissue-culture increases the number of mutations in propagation. Stella was such a hot commodity that many unscrupulous nurserymen would slap the name "Stella-something" on any old reblooming yellow or gold daylily, or would sell something similar, saying "it's just as good as Stella", a bit of information which might be soon lost or forgotten as the plant was handed over the fence to a neighbor.

Your image—if it accurately represents what you see day-to-day—suggests that you don't have the genuine article. Heck, I bought the genuine article (not tissue cultured), and it's been in a clump so long that I wouldn't swear that I don't have seedlings in it as well. One thing breeders used to say about breeding with Stella de Oro was, 'You tend to get a lot more Stella".

If your picture is representative of what you see on a regular basis, I'd say there's a good chance you have something else. Several of the images in the ATP database look suspect as well. More than most other plants, climate can significantly alter the shape and color of a daylily, so unless a database image is obviously wrong, I wouldn't suggest removal, but what I will do is link to the ones that look the most like the Stella I grow. My evenings are typically cool, and the flower will open differently in warm, humid regions, but there are a few idiosyncrasies that help identify it. For me, the petals are fairly wide, and have a tendency to recurve, so as soon as the petals clear the sepals, they fold back, but the midrib area is fairly stiff, holding the end of the petal "up" a bit. The very tip does recurve though, resulting in a distinctive, blocky petal shape. The scape will be thin and wiry, with all of the buds clustered at the tip. And the flower's definitely gold, not yellow.









Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Feb 6, 2016 3:02 PM CST
Biologically I think there is only one way that all daylilies rebloom. That is because the scape in daylilies is what is called a bostryx. A bostryx is a sympodial inflorescence and what that means is that the apical meristem is terminated when a scape is produced and growth is continued by one of more axillary meristems. The apical meristem is consumed to make the scape.

I begin by looking at a daylily when it is still small, immature, a juvenile fan & crown that cannot bloom. There will be a vegetative meristem (growing point) - the shoot apical meristem, in more or less the centre of a one fan crown. It grows (increases in size) and while doing so splits off part of itself as new leaves - first on one side and then on the other and then back on the first side and so on.

After it has grown enough it stops growing in size and stops producing new leaves and now changes to a reproductive meristem. It now produces the scape and its branches and all the buds. It is no longer growing so it gets used up as more and more of it becomes parts of the scape and flower buds. The fan will still have green leaves and it will have a scape but to produce more new green leaves one or more axillary meristems must sprout.

When a daylily reblooms, what happens is that the axillary meristem grows sufficient new leaves fast enough to produce its own scape in the same growing season. In a daylily that does not rebloom either the axillary meristem does not start to grow in the same growing season or it does start to grow sometime during that season but does not grow enough to produce its own scape. That will usually mean that the meristem will continue to grow in the next growing season - that is, it will produce some green leaves and a scape in the next growing season.

The seemingly different patterns of rebloom appear because of the amount of time that can pass once the vegetative meristem becomes a reproductive meristem and what happens during that time to the developing axillary meristem.

Pattern 1 - this happens in my growing conditions to 'Heavenly Harmony'.

The axillary meristem develops into a bud and the bud does not sprout until closer to the autumn and the leaves of the initial fan yellow and die. There is no rebloom. No new leaves appear after the scape appears but the leaves remain green and their normal full length all summer. All summer there is a fan of green leaves with a central scape.

Pattern 2 - this happens to 'Ophir' in some years in my growing conditions. In other years 'Ophir' follows pattern 1 (for some unknown reason) and if I change the growing conditions it follows pattern 3 (when I supply it with high nitrogen fertilizer).

The axillary meristem develops into a bud but the bud sprouts relatively quickly after the scape first appears. One can then see the long mature length leaves of the first meristem & fan and long mature length leaves of the axillary meristem (now the new shoot apical meristem) separated by one or two short 'leaves' that are daylily bud scale equivalents. The new shoot apical meristem stops producing new leaves some time in July and its leaves remain green until October. There is no rebloom.

Pattern 3

The axillary meristem develops very quickly. It does not develop into a bud. Growth of new leaves continues without an obvious break in time (there may be one slightly longer delay between the last leaf of the first meristem and the first leaf of the second meristem but one would need to be measuring temperatures and the length of delays between the leaves carefully to notice it). There are no obvious bud scale type leaves that are shorter in between the regular leaves from the two meristems. The leaves of the two different meristems appear to have been produced by one meristem continuously. The new shoot apical meristem does not stop producing new leaves until it produces its scape - that is the second scape from this crown and it is a rebloom scape. Although the two scapes appear to have been produced by one fan they have been produced by two meristems and in reality by two different fans.

If there is another rebloom scape then pattern 3 is repeated.

The visible patterns of growth and flowering are determined more or less by how quickly the axillary meristem develops and when it starts to develop in relation to when the shoot apical meristem is promoted to a reproductive meristem. In some daylily cultivars, in some locations and in some growing conditions the axillary meristem has already become a bud in the autumn. In those cultivars one can dig up a crown and look at it late in the year. One will find a bud. If one removes all the leaves from that bud then inside it one will find a central tiny scape (may need a microscope in some cultivars to see it or not if it is late enough in the year) and right beside the tiny scape either one or two tiny buds. Those tiny buds are the axillary buds, one of which will be promoted to sprout in the autumn of the next year in pattern 1. Much of what appears in a daylily growing season for some cultivars in some growing conditions has been prepackaged a substantial time before and is ready to simply unfold.

A daylily fan ends its existence when its meristem becomes (more or less) the scape.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Feb 7, 2016 4:59 AM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Feb 6, 2016 3:17 PM CST
Ken and Maurice, what great botany lessons, thank you both! Sounds like I really should be thinning whoever I do have - they do get to be a really large mounded clumps quite quickly, although that is a bit of a challenge for me to do (the root system can be a bit daunting). For my personal records, I will continue to call her Stella, she's been with me for over 15 years. I'll try to get better photos this season, can't believe I wasn't able to find a better portrait or even a long shot showing the growth pattern.
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