Daylilies forum: Deadheading daylilies

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Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Flowersgalore
Jun 15, 2019 6:36 PM CST
Do you deadhead them? I saw one guru on video sayng not to. That it left the scape open to infection/contamination.

One daylily has large flowers. As the flowers shrivel up, it really detracts from the new flowers opening and they stay on the scape about three days.

I've been gently tugging to get them off sooner, but am thinking of cutting them off in the morning as the new ones open. They would look so much cleaner and better, IMO.

Thanks for any advice you're willing to offer.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Jun 16, 2019 1:49 PM CST
I have never heard that about deadheading. I have been doing it at least 20 years and not had any issues. I was once told not to take scapes off until they pull easily for the same issue.

I actually "livehead" in the evening of the day the flowers are open.
Here are a few of the reasons...

No yucky old blooms to handle

Spent blooms can droop over unopened buds and keep them from opening properly. If you livehead this won't happen.

Just my opinion, I have no proof...but I think I have less slug and earwig issues because I livehead. No yucky stuff on top of the scapes to attract them.

The garden looks very fresh first thing in the morning with no old blooms

You don't risk breaking petals on the new blooms because they are not open yet

Fresh blooms won't stain clothing or fingers as much as spent blooms.

You can still admire the blooms as you pick them. I like to stack fresh blooms in my hand, one on top of the other. Much more fun than a handful of spent blooms

I carefully grasp the bottom of the bloom, and break it off. Sometimes I will stick my thumbnail into the very bottom of the bloom, then snap the other way. Kind of like cutting a wedge in a tree the way you want it to fall. You will get a feel for doing this without breaking unopened buds.

If I have pollinated a bloom, I do wait a couple days, then carefully cut right below the bottom of the bloom. Make sure to cut close to the bloom, not close to the stem.

I find it a pleasant task to livehead, but a chore to deadhead the next morning.

Hope this makes sense.
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
Jun 16, 2019 3:07 PM CST
Huh????? Well I don't actually deadhead. Instead I livehead ( take the blooms off each evening.) I've been doing that here for oh....the past twenty years or so with no ill effects. It doesn't hurt them.
Am thinking that perhaps someone wrote that it can do harm to pull a spent scape off before it's turned brown. I follow the advice of a long gone hybridizer ( Ra Hansen) who used to say, "Tug gently and leave it if it isn't ready yet." That works. If they don't come with a gentle tug, you CAN do damage to the crown, so leave those.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Jun 16, 2019 4:07 PM CST
@floota Julie, it was Ra that told me too!

Thumbs up
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
Jun 16, 2019 5:17 PM CST
Hi Juli,

I didn't see your post before I posted. Yes, guess we've been around the daylily block a time or two! LOL. You did a much better explanation as to why to live head. All of what Juli said is true here, too


Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Jun 17, 2019 4:52 AM CST
@daylily, I love your reasons for liveheading! I hadn't given a thought to reason #5 (the chance of breaking petals when deadheading).

A good reason for either liveheading or deadheading is that you do not want unwanted seedpods taking energy away from the plant. (having a lot of seedpods might decrease the chance of rebloom is what I was told).

I had never heard that removing spent blooms would leave it susceptible to infection or contamination. And I use the method of removing scapes that Juli and Julie explained. If the scape does not come out with a gentle tug, I leave it.

I can't wait until I retire so I can livehead (one more summer after this!). I may do it on a weekend night so everything is fresh on Saturday or Sunday morning. They are not even fully opened when I leave for work Mon thru Fri, so I don't get to enjoy them until after 4:30pm at night those days. Once it turns dusky, I still get to enjoy them because they are easily seen in low light. But by that time, I'm not going back outside to fight the mosquitoes to livehead, lol!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Flowersgalore
Jun 17, 2019 11:49 AM CST
Thank you all for info about deadheading. I never would have thought about doing it the night before, but it makes sense. The ones I cut off this morning were pretty yucky since the flower is large. Just kind of hurts my heart to think about cutting them while they're still pretty.

Found this guy this morning. He's a big one and looks a bit lonely. Second bloom on the only Good Impression scape I got this year (planted this spring). As other plants bloom, I may move him. I have some of his siblings in another bed. He might look better there.

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