Daylilies forum: What are your best cold morning openers?

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Name: Charley
Arroyo Seco New Mexico (Zone 4b)
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Charlemagne
Aug 18, 2016 12:38 PM CST
OK, here it is mid-August and I'm stuck in a run of cold mornings.

What are your best cold morning openers? Just for starters here is my BARBARA MANDRELL after a cold morning;

Thumb of 2016-08-18/Charlemagne/ebfd5c

It's doing fine. There are too many others less so.

Thanks in advance. I don't have enough acorns to offer them for responses but if you do respond, I promise not to send you a box of 10,000 grasshoppers (first year in six we have seen any.) They seem to like to nibble just a little on the color bearing tissue.

Charley
Live your dreams!
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
Region: Europe Cat Lover Daylilies Irises Dog Lover Hellebores
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Mayo62
Aug 18, 2016 1:36 PM CST
interesting question!! Hurray!

I always have a couple of weeks in Spring when the day temps are ok, but the mornings are too cold for my early DL's to open fully.. Thumbs down
I didn't know there are Dl's that have no problem with it.. so, bring them on! Thumbs up


Mayo
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
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Hemlady
Aug 18, 2016 3:31 PM CST
Well I only have a few blooming right now and they are opening fine after a cooler morning. They are SO LOVELY, MAPPING PENNSYLVANIA, SUZY CREAM CHEESE, VAMPIRE LESTAT & GENESTA.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Aug 18, 2016 8:41 PM CST
What technically constitutes a "cool morning"? Is there a certain temperature threshold?
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Aug 18, 2016 9:32 PM CST
@Charlemagne
Charley, You have nice daylilies and great photos! Besides that I really do not understand your climate, weather or seasons. Would you be able to explain it? It would go a long way to understanding what you go through.
Thanks so much! May you have peace, joy and happiness in your home and garden!
[Last edited by Altheabyanothername - Aug 19, 2016 8:00 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1246937 (5)
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Aug 18, 2016 10:03 PM CST
Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any fixed definition for a "cool morning" or for determining CMOs. (Yes, I know, it's frustrating... Glare )

FWIW, I had maiden bloom early this season on a seedling out of 'Ballerina on Ice' (as pollen parent), and I noted that it did not open properly after a 49 F night, but did after a 55 F night. (I have other notes from perusing the web to the effect that 'Ballerina on Ice' is reputedly a CMO, which is why I used it in some crosses. Whether "Ballerina..." is indeed a CMO, I invite others to comment on. My accompanying note on the seedling was that after that 55 F night, it opened better than 'Ballerina...' did.)

So one might hazard a guess that there is a hard limit somewhere in/below the low 50s, Fahrenheit, where even the staunchest CMOs will be unable to perform. Then somewhere around 54-55 F, the CMOs can open (they may or may not open all the way reflexed (if that is their normal habit), but they can at least open flat), whereas other daylilies may be sulking and struggling.

However, having watched a few plants early this season, I am coming to the conclusion that it is perhaps not so much about *only* "cool mornings" or "cool nights", but daytime temperatures in the preceding day(s). And the more cool days (in a row) there are, the harder it is for even the supposed/suspected CMOs to open fully. I am not yet fully convinced, but I am leaning in that "cool preceding day(s)" direction.

Perhaps Maurice or someone more knowledgeable can chime in on that.

That said...

'One Fine Day' (which blooms early in the season) has been a good CMO here. Nighttime temperatures can still be cool when 'Osterized' begins bloom, and it has been a reliable opener for me. (I suspect that a lot of UFs and spiders would be good CMOs.) Iirc, Richard Norris also had a CMO (it might have been 'Super Seventy Three'). 'Pennysylvania Bucktails' is reputedly a CMO and it did open well here early in the season, but the colors were washed out/not fully formed, and the scapes were weak.

In that vein, it is not just opening that is affected by cool/cold weather, but also pigment development - at least such has been my experience. That being the case, you may want to look for yellow or near-white CMOs for your colder months; the color will be paler and less saturated than it should be, but it will still be in the correct color range even when the weather is cool (as opposed to a "pink" daylily which looks like flesh or straw or pale yellow).

The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
[Last edited by Polymerous - Aug 18, 2016 10:03 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1246967 (6)
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 19, 2016 6:38 AM CST
I see you mentioned Pennsylvania Bucktails Polymerous. I have had that one for several years and this year it bloomed and set pods like crazy. I think this summer was the best summer it has ever looked, and it is a good CMO.s In my zone scapes are tall and very sturdy.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
Region: Europe Cat Lover Daylilies Irises Dog Lover Hellebores
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Mayo62
Aug 19, 2016 11:45 AM CST
Polymerous said:That being the case, you may want to look for yellow or near-white CMOs for your colder months


wow, thát is a good idea! Thumbs up


Mayo
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Charley
Arroyo Seco New Mexico (Zone 4b)
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Charlemagne
Aug 19, 2016 1:46 PM CST
Here are several quick snaps from this morning after a low temperature of 46 degrees. Pardon the quality but I was in a hurry.

HEAVENLY ANGEL ICE totally schizophrenic, half the blooms were lovely and half displayed a sort of species tulip form
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/000eb9

CERULEAN WARBLER tried hard but didn't quite make it
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/43688f

BILL FALL all but that bottom sepal
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/bfb82e

BAFFIN BAY BEAUTY discounting splotches the form isn't too bad. There is a hint in the ruffles of a cold morning (don't know about that bee landing pad.)
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/9c3797

BILL NORRIS did not like the cold
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/f196e6

AUTUMN WOOD as far as I'm concerned, a beautiful bloom. Unless you are into 7" blooms or complex patterns, you should grow this daylily.
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/6a77e8

SOUL ON FIRE blooms look good
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/2cf56d

HEAVENLY UNITED WE STAND a little canoeing but I can forgive that. Many daylilys that share this form (such as SUNNY INTERVALS or REV IT UP) open well
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/8cf360

SILOAM AMAZING GRACE yes it is "old" but what more can you ask?
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/496d03

SNOW CRYSTAL small blooms and too close together but did pretty well.
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/b41604

I didn't shoot all of my good blooms and I skipped lots of bad blooms, and horrible blooms, and frightening blooms but that kind of gives you a picture of my garden with cold mornings. We have been having 45's and 46's for a week now.

WILLIAM COLBY JONES picked for our breakfast table, photographed in natural light. Looks pretty good I think.
Thumb of 2016-08-19/Charlemagne/5d8e24

I will come back to this thread when our lows take another jump down.

Charley

Live your dreams!
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Aug 19, 2016 4:03 PM CST
Cindy, I had 'Pennsylvania Bucktails' growing in a fair amount of shade, which might account for the weak scapes. In any event, I did not like the washed out color when it was in bloom (quite early in our season), so since I have too many daylilies as it is... out it went.

I didn't shoot all of my good blooms and I skipped lots of bad blooms, and horrible blooms, and frightening blooms but that kind of gives you a picture of my garden with cold mornings. We have been having 45's and 46's for a week now.


"...bad blooms, and horrible blooms, and frightening blooms" Rolling on the floor laughing is a very good description of most daylily blooms during the cold parts of the daylily season.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Aug 19, 2016 4:33 PM CST
You like brighter colors I take it? I like them all, very few that I don't like, which can be a problem. Rolling on the floor laughing

I never thought Pennsylvania Bucktails looked washed out but I bet in your 9b zone it surely is. Here is a pic of it in my garden.

PENNSYLVANIA BUCKTAILS

Thumb of 2016-08-19/Hemlady/aaef7d

Lighthouse Gardens
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Aug 19, 2016 4:50 PM CST
I'm sure if it were blooming here in the warmer part of the season, the colors would develop more.

Mind you, daylily colors here are frequently not quite as those seen in the hybridizer images (taken in greenhouses? in the South?). Apart from our cool nights, we are very arid here, and that IMO also impacts bloom color. Once in a great while we will have an usual day during the season when the humidity is relatively high (prior to a rare summer shower), and then the color on the daylilies is amazing. In general, though, that is not the case.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Athens, Ohio (Zone 6a)
mantisOH
Aug 21, 2016 5:50 PM CST
Tar and Feather is an early bloomer, and it opens well. But fifty degrees--that is a problem for any daylily.
Name: Boyd Banks
Creston N.C. (Zone 6b)
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hillbilly
Aug 22, 2016 12:04 PM CST
The ones that start to open the day before like PLANET CLAIRE open best on cool mornings here.
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Aug 22, 2016 2:34 PM CST
Polymerous said:
So one might hazard a guess that there is a hard limit somewhere in/below the low 50s, Fahrenheit, where even the staunchest CMOs will be unable to perform. Then somewhere around 54-55 F, the CMOs can open (they may or may not open all the way reflexed (if that is their normal habit), but they can at least open flat), whereas other daylilies may be sulking and struggling.

However, having watched a few plants early this season, I am coming to the conclusion that it is perhaps not so much about *only* "cool mornings" or "cool nights", but daytime temperatures in the preceding day(s). And the more cool days (in a row) there are, the harder it is for even the supposed/suspected CMOs to open fully. I am not yet fully convinced, but I am leaning in that "cool preceding day(s)" direction.


I agree

Another factor is the way a cold morning is arrived at. There is the low-50's morning preceded by a fairly comfortable evening, perhaps with temperatures remaining above 70° until midnight. These aren't too bad at all. Then there is the coastal cool morning, preceded by a blustery afternoon, with heavy fog blowing in at dusk which drops the temps to 55° shortly after sunset. This greatly slows bud development—which is at its most crucial stage the night before opening—resulting in smaller flowers with semi-turgid segments which not only do not open fully, but melt and fade under clear skies. Patterns? Extravagant edges? Rare, under those conditions.

However, as you mention, after a run of hot weather, that fog bank can be moist and refreshing, and the humidity boost makes for a great daylily show. Some of the best blooms I've ever seen were on mornings with heavy dew, or overnight "marine influence" (a new-age, left-coast term for mist). For example, see my image of Heavenly Dragon Fire in the database, which was taken around 10:30 on an overcast morning following one of those rare humid nights. It's always a nice flower, but under my typical conditions it doesn't recurve this much, nor does it attain this kind of color saturation, and can be dulled considerably by noon on most days.

I find myself gravitating toward daylilies which recurve, simply because I know I will see a much higher proportion of presentable flowers. Also, breeding with CMOs, EMOs, and "quasi-nocturnals" will help ensure a decent percentage of seedlings with good performance in my climate. I also look for late-blooming daylilies, because they'll have optimum conditions for their first bloom. I think that the temperatures throughout scape development also play a large part in bloom quality, which is another reason why our long, drawn-out spring weather isn't the best for early-season bloomers.

As you say, a run of cool days is difficult for almost any flower to overcome. Best case scenario, there will be plenty of stiff, pointy, green-tipped sepals to look at. It also seems that daylilies prefer narrow day/night temperature swings when blooming. If cool weather moves in with a series of 55° nights and 70° days, the daylilies will seemingly adapt to that rhythm, and bloom 'acceptably', whereas when nights are 55° with 85° days, they suffer. I imagine most of the glamorous catalog shots are taken under conditions of high humidity, 70°+ nights, and 80-85° days, whether in a greenhouse or not. Of course, the greenhouse prevents sun damage, so the pictures can be taken later in the day, if necessary, in order to maximize development of ruffling, teeth, patterns and other features.
Name: Charley
Arroyo Seco New Mexico (Zone 4b)
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Charlemagne
Aug 22, 2016 9:53 PM CST
Hemlady said:You like brighter colors I take it? I like them all, very few that I don't like, which can be a problem. Rolling on the floor laughing



I don't know to whom your comment is addressed but I do prefer photographing bright colors. The subtle colors stress my cheap little camera beyond the point at which my limited skills can compensate. It takes real professional skills to pull out the beauty of the pale near white or polychrome daylilies.

Charley
Live your dreams!
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Aug 23, 2016 2:13 PM CST
Excellent observations there wrt daytime and nighttime temperatures, and humidity, Ken! Thumbs up

I too have long since gravitated towards daylilies that recurve at least a little, because they seem to open better. (At worst, on cool mornings, they will open flat.) Those spiders and UFs that I have had (not many) also seem to reliably open well.

Fwiw, your image of 'Heavenly Dragon Fire' shows some recurve on the petals, whereas mine only seems to manage it on the sepals. At least, in those images that I have of it.

Interesting thought of yours, that our "long, drawn-out spring weather" isn't great for the early bloomers. Given the bloom early this season (still more or less fresh in my mind), I have to agree. All the more reason to go for the CMOs, the recurved, and the UFs for that period of the bloom season.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Aug 25, 2016 3:57 PM CST
Yes Charley, the comment was to you and that's great that you like to work with brighter colors.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Charley
Arroyo Seco New Mexico (Zone 4b)
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Charlemagne
Aug 25, 2016 10:32 PM CST
Cindy

I just like working with colors. As a scenic and lighting designer for the theatre I found that sometimes very narrow color pallets worked wonders and at other times broad pallets were required. Nothing is snappier than a grey suit with a red handkerchief and then of course, vivid contrasts are exciting. The original "Dangerous Liaisons" on Broadway was nearly all white and off white but it too was exciting and passionate.

Charley
Live your dreams!
Name: Laura
SE Michigan (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Michigan Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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twixanddud
Aug 26, 2016 3:43 AM CST
Charley, do you have any Emmerich daylilies? I know EMO and CMO are something she usually mentions in her descriptions... and that is something I appreciate.

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