Daylilies forum: How many is too many?

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 30, 2016 9:33 AM CST
ok the million dollar question, how many is too many? If you were caring for them yourself w mostly no help, how many is your magic number? For me it is 400 but I also have iris, hosta, 2 poodles and kids Rolling on the floor laughing If something doesn't have a good bud count, or if it blooms down in the foliage, I tend to cull it out. Those are deal breakers for me.

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 30, 2016 9:34 AM CST
Oh, I also have to admit that sometimes I grow something just for a few years so I can take pictures of it, then it goes out and I try something new... (pssst, is that normal?!)


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 30, 2016 11:46 AM CST
I have given a lot of thought to that question and the way I grow daylilies my number appears to be around 150-200. That could change, but trying to keep up with dates for scapes and blooms really puts a limit on how many I can keep up with. I am around 150 now. If things should change even a little I would not be able to do that many. If I don't try to keep up with all the data I would be limited by available time and space(not planning on digging anymore beds) and that would be around at a max of 200 also. Of course that is named cultivars, my few seedlings and my NOIDs are a different thing.
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
Apr 30, 2016 11:53 AM CST
There's a limit??????? Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
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: Lisa Klette
Dayton, KY (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Kentucky Hostas Sempervivums
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Lilydaydreamer
Apr 30, 2016 11:55 AM CST
I do not know what the limit is,
but I am sure I am over it for the size of my yard. *Blush*
Love what you teach and teach what you love!
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
Apr 30, 2016 12:03 PM CST
I am growing somewhere between 200-350. I really have no idea at this point because I have not counted yet what has survived to this date. I have young seedlings in cups, seedlings in 4 1/2 garden areas (I am moving the rest from the other 1/2 area), and named/registered daylilies in 2 raised beds as well as pots. I guess I should make an effort to count them all. I'm almost afraid to.

The true story is that I hope most of my named daylilies survive, though I've lost 3 so far since I first started acquiring registered daylilies less than 2 years ago. I've had many, many seedlings, but the majority do not thrive here. (I suspect genetics plays a part in that and less than ideal conditions is the other issue.) So, my thrive vs. struggling daylilies pretty much weed themselves out of my yard.

What I hope it presents in the future .... is the best I can grow here with what I have and then use those in my hybridizing efforts. It's all trial and error for the most part. I have noted that spider forms seem to do well here if they are grown from seeds. Probably due to less leaf area to be fried in summers and/or attacked by pests/disease each year.

I guess I need to do a count. Sticking tongue out
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: Peter
Allentown PA (Zone 6b)
Cat Lover Seed Starter Greenhouse Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Pollen collector
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Nysbadmk8
Apr 30, 2016 12:06 PM CST
I'm around 750...
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
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floota
Apr 30, 2016 12:45 PM CST
Lots of factors are in play here..... I've been growing daylilies for longer than some of you have been ALIVE, for Pete's sake, and this garden has been designated an AHS Display Garden since 2000, meaning there's been this commitment to keeping the garden up to a certain standard, having a variety of forms and types with clearly marked labels, for visitors, etc. When the garden first became a Display Garden, the number of registered cultivars was over 1000 on my little 1/3 acre lot, with plants crammed into every nook and cranny. I didn't have as much experience with daylilies then and had them way too close together. ( yes, I pretty much have had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way, planting on 3' centers was one of those lessons! ) Over the years, literally thousands of daylilies have come and gone through these garden gates. Last fall, I took out another large bed and the number of registered cultivars was under 500, for the first time in over 20 years! Yesterday, when I shipped the last spring orders, the number of registered cultivars in my database numbered 477. There will likely be five or so bonus plants when orders roll in next week, and a few others will be potted up next week to donate to club sales. The goal for this fall will be .... under 450!

Recently I reached my mid sixties, and sometimes life circumstances we deal with make us face reality VERY quickly. When my husband died two years ago I had to face the fact that this big garden and this big two story house will only be maintainable and easy to get around in by me for a certain number of years.... I am foreseeing that by the time I'm seventy, I won't have the stamina to garden the way I do now. Our bodies have a way of telling us when we reach certain "milestone" ages that we can't hoist 40 lb bags of mulch and dig all day the way we used to! Trying to plan ahead, I am trying to gradually reduce the number of cultivars each year. Of course I still love gardening, but am aiming for smaller, perhaps around 250 registered cultivars by the time I'm 70 and hope that I still have good health to continue gardening then! I still love gardening ( and STUPIDLY continue to order a few new daylilies each year!) but keep trying to remove more than come in each year. At the Atlanta convention, I had lunch with two prominent hybidizers whose names you'd all recognize, and we discussed how hard physically digging/ shipping/ and maintaining large numbers is as our bodies age. We all agreed that Claude Carpenter's garden ( at the Atlanta National) was a great sized garden we'd aspire to have as we get older. I think Claude' garden was around 300, and beautifully maintained.

Gardening is hard physical work, as we all know, and, yes it helps tokeep us young, but when the numbers were over 1000, I'd spend over 4 hours a day liveheading each evening in 90 degree weather so that visitors could see a clean garden. What had been fun became NOT fun really quickly! I still livehead each evening during bloom season, but it's a LOT easier with under 500 daylilies, and I look forward to having fewer to deadhead each year as I grow older, and pray that my good health will continue!! Sorry - it's so long, but aging and gardening are subjects I'm passionate about.
[Last edited by floota - Apr 30, 2016 12:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
Apr 30, 2016 12:48 PM CST
I have a small beach lot and grow in boxes. I've had 80 daylilies for the past 4 years. This fall I'm contemplating reducing the number to 75 or below. If they don't thrive and don't put on a show ... out you go beast! My back yard is 35 ft deep and 80 ft across. Half is shade and half is sun. The daylilies have sun, but big palm trees give them shifting shade. I might lose some bloom to shade, but the daylilies certainly grow better! There is a big box in the front and that's included in the total numbers.

Just have to say....my beach sand will not support daylilies because it won't hold water no matter how much organic stuff is added. The organics are absorbed into the sand in less than a year so boxes are the only way I can grow plants that are happy.
[Last edited by florange - Apr 30, 2016 12:51 PM (+)]
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 30, 2016 1:44 PM CST
well there are a lot of variables to gardening. One thing I am dealing w here is the soil-too heavy. And SO much work to haul it out and fill it in w good stuff. At my old place the soil was really good and I didn't have that problem. But I think if I keep working on it for the next 3or 4 years it will improve alot. The better the soil is of course the easier they are to pull weeds out and the healthier the plants grow so there are less problems. Good soil=less work=more ability to have more plants.

Julie, I have had to go the opposite way, I started w 3 ft centers and quickly learned that it left too much room between for weeds, and that by the clumps grew that large anyway, I couldn't physically handle them to dig and divide. So now I am planting 18inches-2ft apart. They can still grow pretty good sized and bloom nice, and I can handle them better. I guess it just depends on how large you want the clumps to mature to and what you can handle.

My iris are root shallow so they are super easy to divide. But they don't crowd the weeds out as well as daylilies.

I do not deadhead, only if I have special company coming or if I am doing photos. Other than that, they do not bother me and it is just part of the plant. I did have a plant once that bloomed so much that the dead blooms were distracting, and I ended up culling it. New Note I think was it.
Name: Hilary Picton
Dousland, Devon UK (Zone 9a)
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Halfprice
Apr 30, 2016 2:52 PM CST
I have around 200 registered cultivars in my rather small garden, they are a bit too close together but what doesn't perform goes. I also have around 150 seedlings in my borrowed area (sharing a kind neighbour's vegetable patch). I must be more ruthless but every year I have to have more. There can't be many other plants that cause addictions like the daylily 😃
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
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touchofsky
Apr 30, 2016 3:00 PM CST
I have around 120 named daylily cultivars at the moment, with about 25 new cultivars coming soon. Most of my daylilies are incorporated in groups in my perennial beds. I have started a lot of seedlings this year, and they will be grown in a dedicated daylily bed that is being prepared for them now.

I appreciate Julie's comments about the aging process. I am lucky that both hubby and I are still healthy and that he loves to work in the garden as much as I do.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 30, 2016 3:21 PM CST
my husband doesn't want anything to do with it. Sad he will help me move things that are heavy, but that is it.

Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Apr 30, 2016 6:39 PM CST
I have to echo Floota. Age has a way of determining how much we can accomplish. When gardening becomes just another chore that leaves you in physical and mental distress, it's time to re-access why you began to garden in the first place. As time goes by the "Little Train That Could" finds itself fast approaching the terminal and one needs to just sit back and enjoy the ride....Maryl
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
May 1, 2016 5:17 AM CST
I also can echo what Floota said. I have about 325 daylilies and find that as I am fastly approaching 70 years old that I just can't take care of the gardens and make them as weed free as I used to be able to do. My goal is to downsize to about l50 which I think would be much more manageable. This is the first year I have had to ask my daughter for help to get the garden cleaned up. Unfortunately, our weather just isn't cooperating. It has been in the upper 40's for the last week and raining.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Chuck
northern IL. (Zone 5a)
hubcap
May 1, 2016 9:56 AM CST
this is a very good topic as I'm up to about 250 or so now not including the ones that I have more than 1 clump of and all the other perennials that I have too. I drive a truck for a living and am gone all week long when I get home on weekends almost all of my free time is spent in the garden getting it back in shape and constantly rearranging it which by the way is what I'm doing again this year. as we are fast approaching 60 I don't want this to become a chore over the enjoyment I get getting out there and working in it. I haven't had to divide to many yet but that is fast approaching and with the added yard work and house maintenance washing cars etc. I need to say enough is enough but like everyone else it's hard to resist buying more, I've stayed off the lily auction this year and it still didn't help as I will be putting about 70 new ones in the garden this year because I've still got a cell phone that I can get a hold of nurseries and hybridizers with and buy from them that way, but if my health stays good I want to be down sized by the time I'm 70 because we will want to be going to a smaller house and yard to make it a lot easier and a lot less stressful. and by the way all of you enablers out there who take these beautiful pictures (Floota) and others are not helping my addiction either but please don't stop lol as I love to look at them and hopefully will learn how to do it myself your gardening friend Hubcap
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
May 1, 2016 9:58 AM CST
I am hoping that by the time that I reach the point I can't handle all the garden work, that any unhappy daylilies are gone and I have a manageable and thriving amount left to enjoy.

So, is 70 the typical age of a healthy gardener to downsize one's garden? I'm early 60s now, so am curious to know.
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: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
May 1, 2016 10:42 AM CST
I am planning on aiming for 80 Crossing Fingers! . I think it really depends on your health.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
May 1, 2016 10:54 AM CST
well I am planning on going full blast until I am 80. After that, I plan to just imagine it is all still there .... my family will think I'm nuts, but that'll be their problem Hilarious!
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
May 1, 2016 11:14 AM CST
Frillylily said:well I am planning on going full blast until I am 80. After that, I plan to just imagine it is all still there .... my family will think I'm nuts, but that'll be their problem Hilarious!


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