Daylilies forum: Observations of Dormancy

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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 2, 2019 12:47 PM CST
@bobjax
Heard Tet RFK produces resistant kids, so was going to get it, but it is a dormant which only lasts a short time here. So, like other "northern" plants I have grown down here, I would grow it in the shade and on the north side. Just wanted the pollen for 2-3 years.


Could you please name the other "northern" daylilies you have grown that only lasted a short time and provide a general idea of where you are? Growing a daylily that has not been hybridized in high temperature locations in the shade and on the north side is a good strategy. Do you use shade cloth? Do you mulch the soil deeply?

Maurice
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
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bobjax
Nov 2, 2019 5:10 PM CST
admmad said:@bobjax

Could you please name the other "northern" daylilies you have grown that only lasted a short time and provide a general idea of where you are? Growing a daylily that has not been hybridized in high temperature locations in the shade and on the north side is a good strategy. Do you use shade cloth? Do you mulch the soil deeply?



No shade cloth. Scorching hot southern exposure in NE Florida.
I do own dormants but do not see them multiplying. They just get by. But I have not had them very long. Regarding the southern bred dormant: That has been my experiment this last year. EVERY cross I made this year has been with a dormant with a non-dormant, just to test this. A friend in zone 10 (Pakistan) said every dormant he created in his zone grows well for him.

But I have very limited space so I have chosen not to add dormants as a couple of people that I admire on this forum have also done. I don't even spray. That further limits my selections. But I want to limit this limitless daylily buying. Just this year I pulled several that don't live up to this heat or due to rust. Tired of wasting money, so I am learning how to narrow down which means no more dormants for me.
Which dormants don't last down here, I will defer to these posts which you were part of (and I read a few times, so I know your position).
The thread "Do you own any surviving southern dormants?" in Daylilies forum
The thread "dormant, evergreen and semi-evergreen" in Daylilies forum
Want to read a PDF by one of my daylily heroes? He has tested thousands and thousands. His plant description tells if they get rust and what area to plant each specific daylily. I hope he did not get the fires again.
http://www.greenwoodgarden.com...
[Last edited by bobjax - Nov 6, 2019 5:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 3, 2019 8:32 AM CST
@bobjax
Want to read a PDF by one of my daylily heroes?

Thank you. I have read it before. There is much to commend him for but not statements such as this one,
"The 3 most popular daylily varieties, 'Stella de Oro', 'Pardon Me' and 'Happy Returns', suffer in Southern California. They are deciduous (no foliage) for 3 months and require freezing winters. On the other hand, our evergreen winter-blooming varieties would freeze to death in Maine."

I expect that 'Stella de Oro', 'Pardon Me' and 'Happy Returns' do indeed suffer in Southern California but not because they require freezing winters.
Although until this year I had not tested 'Stella de Oro', 'Pardon Me' or 'Happy Returns', I have tested other daylilies described as being dormants that require freezing winters only to find that they do not. A couple of weeks ago I brought 11 'Stella de Oro' plants inside. They were all dormant with buds and all their leaves dead and dry or drying. They all started into growth within a couple of days of being brought inside. They have had no special treatment to break their dormancy. They did not require winter cold. I will put them back outside next year in late spring after the chance of sufficiently low temperatures have passed. They will do fine as did "dormant"/deciduous seedlings from Stella that never experienced winter cold.
'Stella de Oro' does not appear to require cold to break its bud dormancy and to grow and flower normally. (Researchers examined it and five other daylily cultivars, none of which required winter cold to flower).

I am in borderline zone 4/5. I have never bothered to worry about (or even check) whether a daylily is registered as an "evergreen" (actually evergrowing) or not when purchasing daylilies. The daylily growth forms do not determine hardiness. I do not even know how many "evergreens" I currently have growing in my field but I expect that it is a reasonable number. And they do not as a group have a problem in surviving zone 4 winters. That does not mean that they are all necessarily equally hardy but then that applies to so-called "dormant" daylilies as well.

It is not difficult to understand why some daylilies registered as "dormant" might not do well in some southern locations. High temperatures during the growing season may be detrimental to their growth and development. They may be unable to make and store sufficient reserves during the growing season to manage their normal winter (dormant - no growth) period normally. Even worse, the normal winter rest period in those locations is not conducive to rest. Plants do metabolize (use reserves) at low temperatures, although presumably very minimally the closer the temperatures are to 32F/0C. However, in locations with mild winter climates the temperatures may be well above those and the dormant plants will metabolize (respire) and consume more reserves (dormant plants can be metabolically active - that depends on the temperatures - they just do not grow).
Maurice
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
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bobjax
Nov 3, 2019 9:46 AM CST
admmad said:@bobjax

A couple of weeks ago I brought 11 'Stella de Oro' plants inside. They were all dormant with buds and all their leaves dead and dry or drying. They all started into growth within a couple of days of being brought inside. They have had no special treatment to break their dormancy. They did not require winter cold.


Your entire post provided excellent information!! Thanks!

In my study of plants over the last 30 years, something became very clear. The hours of sun in a day and the temperature are significant factors for when a plant goes to sleep and when it wakes up. Of course, that is common knowledge among plant lovers.

Survival often depends on the intensity of the sun in the summer. Florida sun and sun as you move closer to the equator gets more fierce. I always think to forget the temperature; it's the sun intensity. Even I can work better in the shade when it is 100 degrees. In the sun, it wipes me out fast!

Which brings us back to can a daylily "go" to sleep simply because of the hours of sun (or moon) in the day and be awaken because of temperature increases? To me, it all goes back to the habitat the underlining species plant originated in. Sure a plant can survive somewhat higher or lower regions then the place it originated. Many have a wide range but I think some of that is genetic evolution. I can raise a plant that struggles but a couple of generations of self-seeding and a plant can begin to withstand my extremes better. I have to believe evolution can take place quickly, maybe even with dormant and evergreens daylilies.

Also about: "Even worse, the normal winter rest period in those locations is not conducive to rest." I can go to sleep at 11PM and be permanently woken by the cat at 3 AM, every day, but after two or three years of this, I would probably fade away like many northern dormant daylilies in Florida.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 3, 2019 10:36 AM CST
@bobjax
Your entire post provided excellent information!! Thanks!

You are welcome.

Which brings us back to can a daylily "go" to sleep simply because of the hours in the day and be awaken because of temperature increases?


Yes a plant can go dormant (stop growing new baby leaves) because of the hours in the day (night actually biologically). It can then wake up (break bud) because it requires a certain amount of cold and has received it or if it does not receive that amount of cold it may wake up because of the hours of sunlight it receives (actually night length) or it may wake up because of the temperatures it experiences or combinations of environmental factors OR if it requires a certain amount of cold and did not receive it then it may never wake up, etc.
Plant species that have evolved to go winter dormant usually (but not all species) do so because they use the length of night to signal winter. There are plant species that require experiencing a certain amount of cold to become able to start growing again. After they have received that amount they will not usually start to grow until the temperatures rise above their minimum (base) temperature. The length of the night may play a role in the spring growth as well since nights shorten as day length increases in the spring. The strength/intensity of the sunlight is at its lowest during winter but also increases in the spring. Light intensity may also play a role in the spring growth. Whether any of those environmental factors do or do not have effects may depend on the plant species or the cultivars.

Sure a plant can survive somewhat higher or lower regions then the place it originated. Many have a wide range but I think some of that is genetic evolution. I can raise a plant that struggles but a couple of generations of self-seeding and a plant can begin to withstand my extremes better. I have to believe evolution can take place quickly, maybe even with dormant and evergreens daylilies.


If one breeds in a specific location and within one's own breeding population natural selection may occur (the hybridizer can easily thwart that). The plants may become adapted to the environments in which they are grown and chosen to be parents. That is what had happened to daylilies. Munson and Moldovan were not happy with the characteristics their daylily introductions had when grown in the non-selected environments. That is why they exchanged plants and introduced southern-bred daylilies into northern lines (Moldovan) and introduced northern-bred daylilies into southern lines (Munson). The end result was that the northern lines became somewhat less adapted to northern conditions but considerably better adapted to southern conditions and similarly for the southern lines. However, to maintain an intermediate level of adaptation to both extreme growing conditions requires continual selection, and that did not occur.
Maurice
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
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bobjax
Nov 3, 2019 11:42 AM CST
admmad said:@bobjax
However, to maintain an intermediate level of adaptation to both extreme growing conditions requires continual selection, and that did not occur.


So I just looked at one of my crosses. Those seedlings look like they are on steroids (100+ of that one) and I hope because they are a "dormant X SEV" cross, that they will survive and be influenced by the genes on the SEV side. I will let the survivors, if any are worthy, mature for 3 years before I breed with them.

If these were EV to EV which I will do exclusively next year, I would be less concerned.

Everything I am crossing is resistant to rust. Hopefully, these traits carry forward.

Thanks for your comments. They are always so helpful! Bob

PS. The only SEV I will test next season to see how it performs is the following. Maybe I will test it where it gets winter shade. Then if I ever get fans, move one fan to the regular hot spot: https://heavenlygardens.com/im...


Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Nov 4, 2019 10:09 AM CST
Thank you so much Maurice. This information really helps me understand what I am seeing in my seedling bed. We have had 5 or 6 frosts at this point, and what was previously a solid mass of green foliage looks like this:
Thumb of 2019-11-04/SueVT/09f3ea

Looking at some row comparisons, I see that row 11 is EV/SEV crosses, and the foliage is still green, but frozen. Row 12 is all DOR crosses, and the foliage is mostly yellowed, brown, withered.
Thumb of 2019-11-04/SueVT/0fba9d

Another example, Row 13 has SEV/DOR crosses and is yellowing, Row 14 has SEV/SEV and EV/EV crosses, which are green, but frozen at this point.
Thumb of 2019-11-04/SueVT/67750e

So it looks to me like seedlings strongly inherit the dormancy factor of their parents, with perhaps DOR being dominant. Many of these EV and SEV crosses came as bonuses with other seed purchases, though I think I did buy a number of SEV crosses, because I believed that they would survive here.

I am hoping that the energy that these ever-growing crosses will not have expended too much of their energy on creating foliage which gets frozen and can't function.
Suevt on the LA
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 4, 2019 8:28 PM CST
@SueVT

Thumb of 2019-11-05/admmad/3e8f34

In the photo above I have labelled two fans with numbers and white arrows (upper left hand corner).

The last leaf produced by the fan labelled 1 appears to be immature (it is seems substantially shorter than the previous leaf directly below it on the same side. That fan seems to have been continuing to grow new leaves at least until recently.

On the other hand, the fan labelled 2 does not appear to have any immature leaves in its centre, If that is the case then that fan possibly stopped growing some time ago. Might you be able to check if there are any short leaves hidden in the centre of that fan?
Maurice
Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Nov 4, 2019 8:48 PM CST
hi Maurice,

I will check tomorrow and take better photos of these two fans. They are in row 15. Here is a screenshot of that portion of my garden map, showing the crosses.
Thumb of 2019-11-05/SueVT/96a35b

So, those fans appear to be Border Dispute X Infinitely Interrelated. But I will check and confirm.

Thank you so much for your help! — Sue
Suevt on the LA
Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Nov 5, 2019 12:28 PM CST
Here are the first 8 dls in row 15, all are the same cross, Border Dispute X Infinitely Interrelated.

Thumb of 2019-11-05/SueVT/a067e6

Suevt on the LA
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
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bobjax
Nov 5, 2019 12:49 PM CST
SueVT said: .......what I am seeing in my seedling bed.



SueVt, Excellent post!!! I have been looking for info like this. Thanks!
And thanks, Maurice!
Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Nov 5, 2019 12:59 PM CST
Thank you, and I am learning a lot from you bobjax! Thank You!
Suevt on the LA
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
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bobjax
Nov 5, 2019 1:10 PM CST
admmad said:@SueVT



Maurice, What happens to the frozen leaves on the Evergreens and Sev's in your zone? Do they die or return once thawed? Basically, will Sue have to remove these leaves once freezing is over? Thanks, Bob
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Nov 5, 2019 1:16 PM CST
Oh-oh Sue! The one in position 8 is sending up a scape! Hurray!
I are sooooo smart!
Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
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bobjax
Nov 5, 2019 1:22 PM CST
SueVT said:Thank you, and I am learning a lot from you bobjax! Thank You!


It's mutual. Smiling Thanks!

I learned many things from Florange (Arlene) about growing daylilies in my deep south area. She said she checks the parents of the SEV. If they are heavily dormant, they are more likely to act like dormants. If they are heavily evergreen they are likely to act more like evergreens. Of course, these genes combine anyway God wants them to. I was just looking at an evergreen. Both parents were dormants. D'Oh!
[Last edited by bobjax - Nov 6, 2019 8:37 AM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
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florange
Nov 5, 2019 9:11 PM CST
The reason I check parents is that my garden is between 2 bodies of water--the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway. Temperatures in my garden are kept moderate because of the water. We are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Evergreen daylilies are much more likely to grow in this location than a daylily with a dormancy in it's background. Yes, days get short but they may never get below 40 degrees. Often it never gets below 40 degrees. I have a very specific environment that is very good for evergreen daylilies!
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 6, 2019 8:39 PM CST
Stout, working with diploids (quite important because "dominant" and "recessive" in a diploid are often different in a tetraploid) found "evergreen" to be "dominant" and "dormant" to be "recessive".
Maurice
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 6, 2019 8:57 PM CST
Registered growth forms, especially "evergreen" are often not how a daylily grows here. Most daylilies registered as "evergreen" are not "evergreen" here; they show normal (for daylilies) winter dormancy. A very few act as evergreens and are still growing with fans of mature green leaves when killing winter cold arrives. The result is usually that the portion of the green leaves above any insulating snow and mulch dies. Sometimes the entire leaves die. In the spring, sometimes, one or more of the leaf remnants manages to grow a little. Equally most registered "dormants" do not act as dormants are supposed to act. Very few are underground when killing winter cold arrives. Most have lost their leaves from their first flush of growth and the buds have sprouted. In some cases quite high above the soil surface. In other cases to just barely peeking above the soil surface or just barely below it. The winter kills any leafy material above the soil surface and then in the spring the "dormants" sprout anew from below ground, as if they were sprouting for the first time.

Further south, for example in Ohio, it appears that the same "dormant" cultivars will actually produce a second substantial flush of leaves and then later when killing winter cold arrives may act as "evergreens".
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Nov 6, 2019 9:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Nov 6, 2019 9:08 PM CST
@SueVT
Position 8 is interesting in that when a scape is produced the fan is complete and finished. That is the time when the plant can form a bud and rest (stop growing new leaves - the bud is dormant) or simply continue growing new leaves without forming a bud (occasionally there can be an interruption in forming the bud which is incomplete and then simply sprouts immediately).

Most of the fans in the row appear to have produced a new leaf recently (the last leaf is short). One plant, number 2, may have stopped producing new leaves.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Nov 6, 2019 9:09 PM (+)]
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Name: Bob
Northeast Florida (Zone 9a)
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bobjax
Nov 7, 2019 6:51 AM CST
admmad said:Stout, working with diploids (quite important because "dominant" and "recessive" in a diploid are often different in a tetraploid) found "evergreen" to be "dominant" and "dormant" to be "recessive".


An important tip for me. Thanks! Most of my crosses this year were with a specific dormant diploid which I crossed with EVs and SEVs with the purpose of bringing over some of the characteristics of the dormant into a new diploid that is EV or minimally a SEV. Can't wait to see if what Stout stated worked in these crosses. This should be revealing because one of these crosses is a long cross, so the statistics may be more valid, at least for this particular daylily.

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