Daylilies forum: Moving seedlings

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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Aug 6, 2016 11:47 AM CST
This Fall I have to redo my daylily bed (take all the plants out, add compost & fresh soil and then replant). Several cultivars died in the bed so I should have some extra space. I have some seedlings that have bloomed for two years now. They are forming clumps far more rapidly than I anticipated. I want to have them bloom one more year before deciding what to do with them.

My question is, if I move the seedlings will this set them back so much that I need to keep them for two more years for evaluation? I have 45 seedlings to plant and very little space so I need to decide on those older seedlings sooner rather than later.

The seedlings wouldn't be out of the ground very long before being planted but I'm not sure how much damage they will incur when I dig them out with a trowel (no space for a shovel).

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 6, 2016 12:26 PM CST
I think that they will be just fine. I've bought daylilies many times and they bloomed the same year. So, dug up, divided, washed, dried, shipped in a box for a few days, and then they bloomed. On top of that, I moved all of my daylilies from one state to another, and they were out of the ground for two weeks before I could get them planted again, and almost all of them bloomed. If you're really worried about it, remove enough dirt with them so that the roots are disturbed as little as possible, and then replant them, dirt and all.
Natalie
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 6, 2016 12:29 PM CST
Forgot to specifically mention seedlings. Since they are two years old and some of them are forming clumps already, they must be strong plants. I'd worry about moving a seedling in its first year, but after that, I wouldn't worry about it at all. They should have a really good root system by now.
Natalie
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Aug 6, 2016 2:43 PM CST
Thanks Natalie! So moving them won't cause them to have a lower bud count or shorter scapes? The plants had very different stats this year but I don't know if I can trust them. The bud counts and scape heights both dropped drastically. But that happened to a lot of my daylilies this year so I think it was more weather related.

What made me worry was the more established plants didn't suffer as much (if at all). But the ones in the ground for only 1-2 years (even if transplanted from a pot with little root disturbance) did seem more affected. I don't want to decide against a seedling in the third year if I do something to it that may predispose it to perform poorly next year.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 6, 2016 3:19 PM CST
Seems like you can never guess what is going to affect a daylily! Some aren't bothered by anything, and others are bothered by the slightest thing. But, my experience has been that they'll do just fine. Hopefully someone else will be able to give you better information so that you don't have to worry so much. I do understand the stress though! If you aren't dividing your seedlings, I can't imagine that they would be affected by this, but I'm not a professional hybridizer.
Natalie
Name: Judy
Louisiana (Zone 9b)
Region: Louisiana Region: Gulf Coast Hybridizer Seller of Garden Stuff
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judydu2
Aug 6, 2016 3:34 PM CST
[Most] hybridizers will wait and see how a seedling takes a move before offering it for sale, so there is significance to it.

In my own experience, I've had seedlings take off and amaze me with their rate of increase after moving. On the other hand, I've had them sit and sulk and/or refuse to bloom for a year or two after a move. I've also had them die after moving them. How a seedling performs after a move is very important.

It's one thing to gather stats while it sits undisturbed for a few years...but how it rebounds after being stressed by digging, dividing and replanting will show you just how much merit a seedling has.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Aug 6, 2016 4:51 PM CST
Thanks Natalie and Judy! I think I will move at least one (it went from 1 fan to 14 in one year) and see how it does. It's bud count was down this year but the scape height was better (it couldn't have gotten worse). I think it is pretty tough so I'll make it my test case. I may move another one that increased from 1 fan to 7 also. I really like the blooms but if it goes belly up after moving I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
Aug 6, 2016 5:50 PM CST

Moderator

Great post Judy! Everyone always mentions all the other things to look for when evaluating seedlings. How a seedling adjusts to being moved, or lined out after being in a clump, is a very important part of the evaluation process.
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

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spunky1
Aug 6, 2016 6:02 PM CST
All the seedlings I may register are lined out every year after the first year. If its going to die I want to bury it myself not send it to someone else to do the deed.
Name: Judy
Louisiana (Zone 9b)
Region: Louisiana Region: Gulf Coast Hybridizer Seller of Garden Stuff
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judydu2
Aug 6, 2016 6:07 PM CST
Char said:Great post Judy! Everyone always mentions all the other things to look for when evaluating seedlings. How a seedling adjusts to being moved, or lined out after being in a clump, is a very important part of the evaluation process.


Thank You!

Name: Cory
Columbus, Ohio 43229 (Zone 5b)
CCampbell
Aug 9, 2016 4:57 PM CST
This was actually just the info I was looking to try and find.

I have seedlings that are 1st year and I ment to get them "lined out" in early June, but money situations did not allow me to get the seedling bed added until about a week and a half ago. I will be lining them out next week as that will have allowed the bed a few weeks to settle in. Hopefully they will take the move well and settle in before winter.

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