Daylilies forum: A frustrating seedling

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 23, 2016 8:52 AM CST
I don't know what to do to make it turn green. This has grown well enough considering it spent a lot of early life in overcrowded conditions and has increased to three fans. But it just looks starved for something it's not getting. It's potted in the same mix as other plants and they are green enough. This has lived through two winters and has been re-potted twice. I'm considering dumping it out of the pot and washing everything off and just putting it in potting soil and nothing else. It's true that the seedlings of this pod parent have a tendency to do this (one looks like an albino but is also 2 years old now - I keep that one out of curiosity), but still think this is a nutrition deficiency some how, some way. Any suggestions? It's had Miracle Grow, Epsom salt, 13-13-13 fertilizer, alfalfa via tea and pellets, I think a bit of Azalea food, over the time it's grown. When it get hot, it turns a bit greener but not like the other plants.
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Donald
Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
Apr 23, 2016 9:26 AM CST
You got me. I have no idea what could be wrong with that plant, if
anything. May be a natural phenomenon.. I do recall reading that
the addition of iron will green up plants if they are deficient, but
just a thought on my part. Others may have an answer for you
that is helpful.
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Apr 23, 2016 9:41 AM CST
Since you've thrown everything at it except the kitchen sink, my guess would be that it's genetic. In Japan and China, Clivia breeders have rigorously selected strains which exhibit various "chlorophyllic abnormalities" and charge premium prices for them. Search on keywords Clivia, Akebono, Light of Buddha, Painted Face for examples.
As far as vigor goes, has it kept pace with its green siblings?
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
Apr 23, 2016 9:51 AM CST
I have to feel it is genetic also. If it is growing and if the other plants around it are darker green consistently and it does look healthy(including the roots) I just would have no other guess. The fact that is is multiplying also makes me think it is genetic and not for the lack of something in the soil.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 23, 2016 2:04 PM CST
CaliFlowers said:Since you've thrown everything at it except the kitchen sink, my guess would be that it's genetic. In Japan and China, Clivia breeders have rigorously selected strains which exhibit various "chlorophyllic abnormalities" and charge premium prices for them. Search on keywords Clivia, Akebono, Light of Buddha, Painted Face for examples.
As far as vigor goes, has it kept pace with its green siblings?


Yeah, like a lot of plants that have chartreuse leaf color. Lots of Hostas, Sedum 'Ogon'. I generally don't much care for the look because it makes them look like sick plants to me. 'Ogon' is nice when it's really healthy, but there's always an exception for me. I do think it probably has a genetic component to the color, but this plant has been greener than it is now. I'm ready to try the kitchen sink on it Big Grin . It has grown reasonably well, but my treatment of seedlings doesn't happen all at the same time. Those crowded seedlings only get free when I accumulate or free up a container to accommodate them. Here's the sibling which almost looks like an albino. From the same pod, also lived through two winters. Not much to it. I was sure it would die but it keeps hanging in there. That's only a 6" pot it's in. It's barely tinted green and it bleaches from there so the lower leaves tend to die. It has anthocyanin pigment in it. It obviously does not keep pace with the other seedlings. I expect it will die naturally sooner or later, but I'm curious about it. As a pod sibling, it may be an indication there is a genetic aspect to the paleness, but I think they both might green up more with the right diet. The little one grows in dappled shade, but the bigger plant gets lots of Texas sun.
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Donald
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 23, 2016 2:35 PM CST
I know of someone who had a seedling that was always pale, so I'm inclined to also think it's just the way that one is. If it is some mutation that causes a problem with nutrients, the nutrient looks like it would be one that is not mobile in the plant because the older leaves are green and the younger ones are pale. I can't see from the picture if the chlorosis is interveinal or not but you might want to try giving it some iron. Some daylilies have issues with manganese but that's a harder one to experiment with than iron so I would do that first if you want to out of curiosity. When I wanted to test a pale daylily for iron deficiency I got a human iron pill and crushed it in water (didn't dissolve very well but it worked) and poured it over some of the leaves. Within two or three days those leaves had turned green while the rest of the plant was pale. If you have any iron for plants, though, that would obviously be better. If it's deficient the amount of iron in Miracle Gro etc. may not be enough. You could also plant it in the garden and water it with a teaspoon of vinegar to a litre of water once a week and see what that does (it frees up the iron in the soil - won't work with a soilless mix hence the garden). Another option would be Milorganite because that has 4% iron.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Apr 23, 2016 2:42 PM CST
I use human iron pills crushed in water on some of my roses that develop yellow leaves from iron deficiency, and it greens them up. It would be worth a try as Sooby suggested.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 23, 2016 3:16 PM CST
I'd like to try Milorganite sometime, but it's not available locally and I haven't found it available when I've remembered to look for it in the larger cities. I may be able to order it online and have it shipped to a store that's near, though. I haven't checked for iron here. Generally this area isn't deficient in available iron so the local stores may not carry it either, but maybe. I guess the iron pills would be available at the drug store? The plants do look like they suffer from chlorosis to me. Some of the leaves on the larger seedling show it as interveinal on the older leaves with the new growth coming along smooth and pale. On the little one, it's the opposite. The older leaves lose even the pale green and turn creamy white while the new growth is a very pale green and that plant has never had any interveinal chlorosis showing. I'm going to try the iron. I had thought of that, but since the potting medium is mostly purchased material comprising pine bark and potting soil (probably Miracle Gro but occasionally I've picked up some Bacto) it didn't seem as if that would be too likely. I would say it can't hurt, but when I lived elsewhere and some plants needed iron it was highly beneficial to some that needed the iron and lethal overnight to others. I actually eliminated a noxious weed in the yellow lawn using it, but drifting mist also nearly eliminated a couple of plants I wanted. It was miraculous on the yellowed plants. I used it very carefully after that.
Donald
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 23, 2016 3:46 PM CST
Yes, you should be able to get the iron pills at the drug store. Plants can still get iron chlorosis in bought potting medium if the plant is particularly demanding, it may be that that plant has a problem getting enough for some reason (a "defect" as it were). If the pattern is reversed and the older leaves go paler on the other one we may be barking up the wrong tree but it's an easy thing to try. If you killed other plants with iron previously is it possible you applied too much? It's easy to do that with micronutrients. If you just pour some of the iron in water onto the leaves that should get the quickest result and if the leaves are damaged by it it won't kill the plant (although it doesn't look like it has a whole lot to lose at this point).
[Last edited by sooby - Apr 23, 2016 3:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 23, 2016 4:07 PM CST
Well, I sure applied too much for the plants that died outright or were badly damaged, but the target plant that was showing chlorosis did great. So several different plants responded to the same solution in an extreme way both positive and negative and there were some that showed no effect. It was the fastest result I've ever had using a chemical. Because that area tended to not have available iron that plants could take up, it helped a lot. I actually used it as a herbicide on some plants that didn't like it and had been really hard to eliminate. The Saint Augustine grass got thick and healthy and very green. It was exactly what it was needing. If these daylilies don't need it, it could go either direction or have no effect. Nitrogen hasn't corrected it.
Donald
Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a)
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javaMom
Apr 23, 2016 4:11 PM CST
Donald,
Lowe's and Home Depot has Milorganite (I bought it in Lowe's but with Home Depot's price they match when I show it in my phone) and I know they can ship it to you...
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Apr 23, 2016 4:33 PM CST
needrain said: Nitrogen hasn't corrected it.


On the first picture the older leaves are darker than the younger, it would be the opposite in nitrogen deficiency because nitrogen is mobile in the plant, so it moves it from the older leaves to the youngest in a deficiency situation, leaving the older ones paler. Nitrogen deficiency is usually all over the leaves rather than interveinal also. I don't think it is a macronutrient deficiency. Since your other one has the paleness the other way around, though, it's a bit of a puzzle. It'll be interesting to see what the iron does.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 23, 2016 4:42 PM CST
The nearest HD is about a 70 mile round trip, so I don't go too often. I've looked there several times and they've never had it in stock. I'm thinking that store simply doesn't carry it. Otherwise, for Lowe's and another HD it's a bit more than 100 miles round trip and I just don't go often. I've looked, but forgot to look more often than not, I think. Here there is Wal-Mart and a couple of other stores where I might be able to order and pick it up easily. The Fort Worth area would be more than a 200 mile round trip and I hate traffic. I'm not used to it anymore. One of the disadvantages of living out in a rural area of Texas.
Donald
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
Apr 23, 2016 5:37 PM CST
needrain,
Call ahead and check, and maybe check a feed and seed store. I went to a commercial daylily garden and they were using a product very similar to Milorganite purchased at a local feed store its granules were larger and I was told it was not processed to the degree milorganite is (don't know for sure it had iron)so, you would need to check and make sure it had Iron in it. Maybe the feed store or local nursery could suggest another source of Iron.
Name: Regina
Warrenville, SC (Zone 8a)
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scflowers
Apr 23, 2016 5:53 PM CST
This has been an interesting thread to read about...

I have nothing to add except that my local Walmart started carrying Milorganite a couple of weeks ago. This is the first time I've seen it there, and the lawn and garden guy said it's just in stock for the spring.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Apr 23, 2016 6:00 PM CST
You can buy iron chelate powder at some nurseries but around here they don't all carry it. It's worth asking though. You can get iron chelate for plants on Amazon also, the smallest size would be best as you'll probably need less than a teaspoonful. I saw one iron chelate product on there in 8 oz. size for $9 just now on a quick look. If I didn't think it might be deemed a suspicious powder and get stopped at the border I'd send you enough for one plant in the mail!

For just a test the more easily obtainable drug store iron tablets might be the simplest solution for the individual plant.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 25, 2016 4:36 PM CST
sooby said:When I wanted to test a pale daylily for iron deficiency I got a human iron pill and crushed it in water (didn't dissolve very well but it worked) and poured it over some of the leaves........................................................... Another option would be Milorganite because that has 4% iron.


@sooby
Not much available locally. I really wanted the liquid iron, but one place had some chelated iron. That didn't work when I lived in a place where many plants needed iron. As I understood it (a long time ago) the iron was actually in the soil, but other structures tied it up so it was unavailable to plants. When you used iron chelate, it promptly was bound up and didn't do what was needed. Liquid iron, on the other hand, was absorbed via the foliage and the effect could be seen overnight. There was another product today called 'Ironite', but it was only 1% iron and there were no instructions for using it other than as a hose-end application plus it had a LOT of other minerals included. I ended up buying iron pills. How much water to a crushed pill? For a spray or drip application to the foliage?

The upside was I found a bag of Milorganite at the lumber yard! I've wanted to try that for a while so I picked it up. But for now, I just want to put iron on those two seedlings and see.
Donald
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
Apr 25, 2016 7:32 PM CST
needrain,
Would it be possible to use the iron pills on one and the milorganite on the other. That would be interesting!
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 25, 2016 8:42 PM CST
Yeah, I could do that. But the nearly all white one is a much smaller plant in a much smaller container than the larger plant. If the iron works, there are some of the older, more established clumps, that show too much yellow. I hope to id what all of them need. Chartreuse foliage just makes me think I'm doing something wrong. Smiling
Donald
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
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cybersix
Apr 26, 2016 3:50 AM CST
I'm interested in using iron pills (for humans) because I have brand new pack of these and I can't use them because they make my stomach hurt.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com

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