Daylilies forum: trimming fibrous roots?

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PA (Zone 6a)
pinkruffles
May 18, 2016 8:56 AM CST
Is it a good idea to trim off some of the very long fibrous roots from my bare root daylilies before I plant them? Thanks so much for your help!!
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
May 18, 2016 1:52 PM CST
I don't trim the roots when I plant, unless they are damaged or broken. I dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the roots, then I add my amended soil, and build a little cone and sit the crown on the top of the cone with the long roots draped down over the cone, then I gently add soil all around the roots and make sure there aren't any gaps under the crown. I add soil until the crown is covered, but not deeper than 1 inch. Then a thorough watering, and I am done.

Others may have more suggestions, but this is what has worked for me!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
May 18, 2016 6:20 PM CST
Valerie's suggest is what I do also.

But, daylilies are tough. If you have to trim some of the roots, I would make it minimal.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
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Casshigh
May 18, 2016 6:27 PM CST
Don't trim the roots, as that is where the plant gets its nutrients. I think that you'd delay their adapting to their new home. The fat roots have the energy stored in them that the plant needs for a while and the smaller roots (including ones that are really small) are the ones which absorbs the water and other nutrients. As they have stated, water well after planting. We soak the ones which have been shipped and out of soil for a few days. Superthrive or a similar additive would help them rebound.
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
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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 18, 2016 6:58 PM CST
I forgot about Superthrive! Thanks for mentioning that Doris! Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
May 18, 2016 7:07 PM CST
David Kirchhoff used to trim the roots to 3". I would squawk and make noise and he would keep trimming. Do what makes you comfortable. The daylilies will grow.
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
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Mayo62
May 19, 2016 3:58 AM CST
florange said:David Kirchhoff used to trim the roots to 3". I would squawk and make noise and he would keep trimming. .


Really??? wow.. wouldn't expect that!

In my (very limited) experience DL's with a lot of roots and no leaf will thrive, but DL's with leafs and no roots will struggle Whistling


Mayo
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
May 19, 2016 5:13 AM CST
It depends on what kind of shape they're in.

There is a school of thought which holds that a daylily will shed all of its existing roots soon after shipping and replanting. I've not found this to be true, however there's no point in planting a bunch of obviously dead roots either.

If they've been grown in a highly amended soil, especially if frequently divided and pushed hard in a fast-turnaround nursery, daylilies will tend to have a high proportion of fibrous roots. When shipped in a dry condition, these are the first to whither.

I'll comb through the root mass with my fingers and pull off anything that's limp and obviously dead. If the plant hasn't dried too long, or was shipped slightly moist, a lot of the fibrous roots will be in pretty good shape.

Sometimes the ends of the tuberous roots will have shrunk to the point where they won't recover, and I'll trim those, but in general, I try to leave as many of them as possible, because a network of new, fine, "feeder" roots will quickly grow from them.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
May 19, 2016 5:29 AM CST
I do exactly the same thing Ken. I don't cut roots but like Ken said, I run my fingers through the roots and if there are any loose ones, they will come off.
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