Daylilies forum: Scapes on newly acquired daylilies, cut or let bloom?

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
May 7, 2016 11:39 AM CST
I have a question and I read when it was very briefly touched upon in an earlier thread.

When you have recently received a double or triple fan of a cultivar .... both standard and miniature cultivars .... do you cut the scape off or let it bloom?

I had read somewhere that cutting the scapes off will help the plant better established itself via it's roots and new leaves. Is this true?

If so, does it hurt the plant to have one or two of the blooming scapes bloom one or two buds and then cut the scapes? I wanted to see the blooms to verify that I did in fact receive the correct cultivar from the person I received them from (especially purchases!).
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Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
May 7, 2016 11:56 AM CST
Becky, I usually cut the scape after making sure the identify is correct. However, I received 2 plants in March and they have been so big and healthy that I let them bloom. Guess I'll go out and cut now.

Thanks for reminding me!
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
May 7, 2016 12:15 PM CST
I have always let them bloom, because I can't stand not seeing the blooms! I've never once had a problem with the plants when letting them bloom, so if they are healthy to begin with, I think they should be fine.
Natalie
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
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needrain
May 7, 2016 12:48 PM CST
I've never cut one and have had scapes show up after they've only been planted a day or two. I received 'Christmas in Oz' via the LA and planted it on April 28. A double fan and the 2nd of those fans has a scape as of yesterday and the scape on the first one is now about 8" above the cut foliage. I won't cut them. I have had some scapes like that abort naturally, but most go on to bloom, though with shorter scapes and reduced bud counts from what the registration info indicates. I tend to think the plant will do what it can without harming itself. If it's too much, then the plant won't grow it. I've certainly not seen any evidence that leaving the scapes affects future growth or bloom. I'm growing them in containers and even some that have only been there two years have increased enough they probably need thinning.
Donald
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
May 7, 2016 1:07 PM CST
I don't cut scapes either.
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
May 7, 2016 2:25 PM CST
needrain said:I've never cut one and have had scapes show up after they've only been planted a day or two. I received 'Christmas in Oz' via the LA and planted it on April 28. A double fan and the 2nd of those fans has a scape as of yesterday and the scape on the first one is now about 8" above the cut foliage. I won't cut them. I have had some scapes like that abort naturally, but most go on to bloom, though with shorter scapes and reduced bud counts from what the registration info indicates. I tend to think the plant will do what it can without harming itself. If it's too much, then the plant won't grow it. I've certainly not seen any evidence that leaving the scapes affects future growth or bloom.


I agree. Plus, the plants have all summer to recover, if that's necessary.
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
May 7, 2016 5:54 PM CST

Moderator

I've lost plants that have never bloomed, never had pods on them, plants that were new, plants that were in established clumps for several years....
I've never cut scapes on new plants and follow the same thought as Donald - the plant will decide if it can handle blooming. The other thing I do with new plants, if the plant was purchased for crossing and it blooms, I will set pods on them. *Blush* Not knowing if a new plant will survive the winter, come up in the spring with a bad case of spring sickness, get eaten by deer, laid on by Cyrus (he's great about watching his big feet, not so good at laying completely in the paths while napping) my thought has always been that I'm not going to waste that first year, better to get seeds when I can. Can't say I've ever lost a plant or even noticed a set back with them treated my way, there are to many other factors that can contribute to a lost plant/set back.
I've got 5 plants struggling to come up right now, 3 northern bred, 2 southern bred, all new to the garden last spring, never bloomed, no pods, easier than normal winter..... Shrug!
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 7, 2016 7:33 PM CST
Boy! I am soooo glad I asked. Thanks for the wonderful advice!! I "was" planning to cut the scapes (and it sure made me sad to even think of having to do that). Now after reading all the posts above, I am going to enjoy the flowers! Yay!

I got some miniature cultivars recently. Little Rosy Cloud came with a scape forming. And I have 2 scapes forming on Little Jet Setter (2 fans) that I received about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I can not believe they are producing scapes right after transplanting into pots. I have some others that I received a week or two earlier than those and some of them are producing scapes now too. These are all in pots and will be transplanted (again with the current potting mix) when I get the raised beds amended.

It's amazing how just a few weeks ago, nothing was producing scapes yet. Now there are scapes coming up all over the place! I have a lot of seedlings that are also blooming for the very first time. This is my favorite time of year. Lovey dubby Thumbs up

My raised bed soil is not the absolute best, but I do love my potting mix. This may sound weird, but I actually prefer to transplant any new arrivals into pots using that great potting mix. I honestly feel like they get a better start than if I put them directly in the ground or raised bed. Then when I transplant them into the raised bed, I include the potting mix with each one.

Does anyone else do that, too?
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: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
May 8, 2016 9:13 AM CST
In FL, plants do not recover over summer. Some barely survive! Our summers are brutal, and springs can get really hot early. That's why I normally purchase plants in Nov./Dec. so they have time to get established during the coolness of the winter. I'm quite concerned about the 2 plants I bought in March, that's why I'll cut scapes. Planting in March is insanity as far as I am concerned. But I did it anyway.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 8, 2016 9:26 AM CST
Summers here in 'almost' west Texas are also brutal. Often weeks of extreme dry heat starting early and lasting late, often accompanied by stiff winds and very little nighttime cool down. But growing daylilies in containers and being willing to take chances, I've been ordering some from the most northern growers of the U.S.A. That means those growers can't even dig for shipping until my bloom season is under way. I'm still waiting on a couple of orders. Those that I have grown from those growers have mostly grown scapes and bloomed and all, ultimately, have gone on to perform equally as well as those obtained in the fall or earlier in the season from more southern growers. The first blooms are on northern time, but the next year they adjust to the season here. I do try and locate them where they get some extra shade for a week or two after receiving them, but some are moved out into more sun once they are actively growing.
Donald
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
May 8, 2016 9:58 AM CST
Donald, probably part of my problem is that we have year around water restrictions. Watering on Sun a.m. and Thursday a.m. isn't enough for tomatoes, daylilies and anaheim peppers. I can't cheat either. Next door I have an elderly woman from NYC who hates anyone she has lived beside. She calls the city government all the time on me, mostly when I have done nothing. They have given up checking on whether I watered illegally nor not. Unfortunately, the fines are really stiff!
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 8, 2016 10:43 AM CST
We are on water restrictions as well. I think those restrictions will probably be permanent because the recent drought removed complacency about the reliability of the water supply for the population. The result is I have a mosquito farm (love the messy mud swallows). I catch roof run-off and recycle a lot of the water that drains out of a container. I've been known to take a 5 gal. paint bucket into the shower with me. It is one reason for growing daylilies in containers. Those plants aren't having to share water with anything else. So it gives me more control about water usage for them. Most pots are too large to move easily, but newer plants, seedlings and plants with only 1-4 fans tend to be in smaller pots until they outgrow them or are eliminated and those can get put in areas with more shade where less heat preserves the moisture. I also mulch, which makes me a lot more nervous about the health of the plants than them growing a scape. It risks rot forming, I think, but it also holds in the moisture in the dry, windy conditions they have most of the time. A wet, cool and relatively humid spring like we're having this year is making me watchful. I'm hoping I don't let the crowns keep too much moisture around them. It's sort of a trade-off, but so far I've only lost one plant. I don't worry about the roots. I've been keeping some containers in pans where they sit in the water and those thrive. Big Grin I've about decided that daylilies are almost a marsh plant where the surface is spongy but aerated and down below the crown stays pretty wet.
Donald

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