Past Plants of the Day forum: Daylily of the Day: Gentle Shepherd

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jul 25, 2016 6:01 PM CST
Background history:

'Gentle Shepherd' is a semi-evergreen diploid introduced in 1980 by Yancey. No additional info is available about this hybridizer.

Gentle Shepherd is an early to mid-season bloomer. It has earned the following AHS awards: JC: 1981, Honorable Mention: 1984, and Award of Merit: 1987. It is both pod and pollen fertile with currently 100 registered children: http://garden.org/plants/parentage/5002/

This plant can be found in the NGA Plant Database at:
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Gentle Shepherd') .

Please join in, if you own this plant! We would love to know more! I award an acorn for performance information posted to this thread.





Also, please consider adding a "Local Report" to the NGA Plant Database! Thank you!

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Gentle Shepherd')
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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jul 25, 2016 6:29 PM CST
I do love the gorgeous near white flowers of Gentle Shepherd. I have very few near whites in my garden which makes me cherish it even more. Unfortunately, it isn't very happy in my garden. Each year it gives me a handful of blooms and it hasn't increased much either. I know EV and SEV daylilies find my winters and Springs tough if they aren't well established (4-5 years). I'm hoping Gentle Shepherd can hang on that long because I really don't want to lose it.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Jul 25, 2016 6:35 PM CST
I agree with everything @bxncbx stated.

My Gentle Shephard, if I still have it, doesn't like the spot where it is growing. I don't even know if it bloomed this year. I might have to dig it up in the fall, when we have cooler temps and move it to a better spot and hope for the best next year.
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jul 25, 2016 6:44 PM CST
I love Gentle Shepherd! Its beauty lies in its simplicity and purity. One of my favorite whites and a wonderful bloomer.


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Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Jul 25, 2016 6:45 PM CST
Gentle Shepherd has been in my northern garden for at least 20 years and has survived many harsh winters, so it is reliably winter hardy in my zone. It blooms well for me in a challenging spot under a pine tree where it competes with the pine for moisture and sun. It is the whitest daylily that I grow, and I always appreciate the cool white appearance of this daylily.




[Last edited by touchofsky - Jul 25, 2016 6:53 PM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 25, 2016 7:57 PM CST
I have now bought Gentle Shepherd (GS) four times. It does not do well in my zone 4 garden. This year has been a rough year for most of my daylilies with the drought causing a majority to simply abort their scapes before ever blooming even one flower. That is what most of my GS has done. It does survive my zone 4 winters (we have good snow cover) but it is a very poor bloomer with few scapes and few buds per scape. It does not increase well. Although I do not lose it due to winter, I want to use it for test crosses and since it flowers and increases so poorly I have tried purchasing enough fans to produce the necessary flowers. I am not having much luck so far with just one scape surviving with a handful of buds this year. I have seen one flower so far this year.
Maurice
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jul 25, 2016 8:36 PM CST
I had it for a couple of years but the leaves got paler and paler and eventually it didn't survive a winter. Do those of you where it does well have an acidic soil?
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jul 25, 2016 8:46 PM CST
here's a video on just how white it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6AmmHoW6Sw
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jul 25, 2016 9:03 PM CST
My soil is probably neutral or just slightly acidic. Gentle Shepherd does very well for me though it was slow in getting established. This is its third year and it has formed a nice clump. I don't give it any fertilizer, just shredded leaves. So sorry to hear that it does not do well for you Sue, Maurice, Elena, and Marilyn.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Jul 25, 2016 11:32 PM CST
@kousa

You should submit your pics to the database. Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Gentle Shepherd')
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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 26, 2016 5:37 AM CST
Gentle Shepherd is a mid-season variety in my garden this year (2016) and is performing well, but isn't very bloomy yet.

I don't think it's my whitest white this year, but it's pretty close. I think it depends a bit on the day; but part of it, too, is that it's petal substance isn't as thick as others, it is a little more delicate and crepe-y. If it were thicker, it might appear a little whiter earlier in the day (although, perhaps wouldn't bleach out as nicely later in the day?) The petals, though, are very pretty if you like flowers that look a little more delicate or ruffled. I would post a picture of it, but it's still waking up this morning and I don't have time to go digging for a previous photo of it just yet. I'll try to post a picture later. Of all of my whites blooming this morning, it is the slowest riser, barely awake and just peeking open at 7:30am.


Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
Jul 26, 2016 5:42 AM CST
I have had Gentle Shepherd for many years in my 8b garden. Some years it will do better than others I guess depending on the weather conditions. I love how white the blooms are on this Daylily. I haven't had much luck setting seed pods on it however. It is a beautiful addition to my collection and I have shared it many times over the years that I have had it. It is one that I made sure I dug up and moved with me when I moved because I like it to much to leave it behind!
Name: Skipper
Hamilton, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Dog Lover Composter Region: Ohio Spiders!
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cottelpg
Jul 26, 2016 5:50 AM CST
Gentle Shepherd is perported to be the purest of the whites; however it is a very week plant. I have had it for seventeen years and it has never done well. I would suspect the site except daylilies growing around it flourish. My Gentle Shepherd sends up two or three spindley scapes each year with low bud count. One year it didn't bloom at all. In my view the blooms are pretty ho hum. I think there are are many better whites to choose from these days.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 26, 2016 6:29 AM CST
Suga said:I have had Gentle Shepherd for many years in my 8b garden. Some years it will do better than others I guess depending on the weather conditions. I love how white the blooms are on this Daylily. I haven't had much luck setting seed pods on it however. It is a beautiful addition to my collection and I have shared it many times over the years that I have had it. It is one that I made sure I dug up and moved with me when I moved because I like it to much to leave it behind!


Suga, I noticed that about the seed pods last year. This year, though, I'm having more success now that it's established. How long has yours been in the spot that it's in? It could just be rebelling that you moved it. He seems to be a little picky about that. Rolling my eyes.

Edited to add: I just went out to count and of the 6-7 blooms I pollinated on him, 6 of them have pods forming! Seems like he just needs a year or two to settle in...
[Last edited by DogsNDaylilies - Jul 26, 2016 6:34 AM (+)]
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Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
Jul 26, 2016 6:45 AM CST
It grew here in my zone 6/7 garden for about 10 years. It was a moderate grower and increaser, but I got rid of it about 10 years ago because it had poor-I take that back- AWFUL - foliage! Yes, white blooms, it was the first white daylily I owned. It had a low to average bud count, but probably the norm for the time it was hybridized, I glanced through the previous messages and am surprised that the foliage hasn't been mentioned. Maybe it was only bad here. To be fair, I didn't have irrigation system back then and we had some drought years. I believe this was the first "white" Daylily ever sold by the big box stores, and it was pushed with buyers. This was back in the early 90's.
[Last edited by floota - Jul 26, 2016 6:46 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 26, 2016 6:56 AM CST
I mentioned the foliage was pale, especially in early spring, Julie, was yours the same or did it do something different? I do remember a number of other people saying it tended to be chlorotic also back then when I had it.
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Clematis Lilies Birds Garden Art Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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floota
Jul 26, 2016 7:02 AM CST
Foliage as what I'd call "ratty" - lots of browning. I don't necessarily remember it being chlorotic, and may not have even known what leaf streak was back in the early 90s. This cultivar and Catherine Woodbery were the first two that I ever culled from the garden because of poor foliage.
Brookline, NH (Zone 5a)
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dc0145a
Jul 26, 2016 7:41 AM CST
Here in Zone 5 southern NH Gentle Shepherd is not a good grower. It has survived for 10+ years from our cold winters, but it has not increased well.
I prefer vigorous, husky foliage; Gentle Shepherd is 'wimpy' in the foliage department.
Name: Mary Anne Jay
Wentworth, NS, Canada (Zone 5a)
Region: Canadian
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Raven
Jul 26, 2016 8:01 AM CST

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Please excuse the hand but this is my only picture of Gentle Shepherd. I have grown it for 4 years now. It was slow to get established but I note that, this year, it has a dozen scapes with about 6 buds per scape. It is a late bloomer for me and will not be open for another 2 weeks. The scapes are the size of straws but the blooms do not have much substance so they are held up above the foliage fine. The blooms open flat and are usually consistent in color and shape. I like this one for the splash of white in the garden. I have no complaints about foliage which is narrow.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jul 26, 2016 8:32 AM CST
I agree that the foliage is narrow, ratty looking and not attractive but its translucent whiteness is appealing.

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