Daylilies forum: Are there daylilies that show aphid resistance?

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Jan 2, 2020 9:52 AM CST
Aphids and thrips are the biggest issues I have trying to keep my daylilies healthy and alive. Those pests beat out any other issues that I occasionally deal with such as rust, spring sickness, root rot, etc. I host wildlife in my yard so I am basically a chemical-free gardener.

So my question .... are there aphid/thrip resistant daylily cultivars?

I ask because every year at this time .... I am so busy with the holidays that I miss the aphids attacking my daylilies. BOOM! Before I realize it, they have destroyed the majority of my daylilies. I do use liquid dish soap mixed with water (NOT anti-bacterial soap) when I am on top of the situation, but the holidays are always the most opportune time for these nasty pests to multiply and do their dirty work.

But ...

There are always a few daylily plants (typically seedlings) that don't seem to be touched by the aphids. Or at least not in a totally destructive way. They still have a small lovely green clump surrounded by lots of dead-leaf daylilies that were covered with aphids. Why were these few seedlings not touched? Often they are right next to another small daylily clump that is now nothing but dead brown leaves laying on the top of the soil. Those with seemingly resistant leaves are often touching the aphid infested daylilies because they are planted so close together. So the distance apart is not a factor.

Are there "aphid resistant" cultivars out there? If so, please share the names of those daylilies. (I need to incorporated some of them into my garden and use them for hybridizing with other daylilies.)
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 2, 2020 11:37 AM CST
@beckygardener
Have you kept any of the seedlings that were untouched in previous years and if so are they also untouched in later years when you have aphid outbreaks?
Maurice
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jan 2, 2020 11:57 AM CST
Maurice - That was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind when I saw the few that were still thriving among all the dead-leafed plants. I think many of them are fairly new seedlings. Maybe 2 years old. A couple may be older. And if memory serves me correctly, I do believe a few of them have survived through other aphid attacks in previous years, too. But I can't swear to it because I didn't keep records. This year, I made a list by ID of the ones that are looking great despite their neighbor's damage. I am wondering if there are genes in some of the cultivars that would indeed produce aphid resistant plants.

I remember reading Brian Reeder's blog and he had some seedlings that were thrip resistant. ( https://daylilybreeder.blogspo... ) So, that is why I am wondering if it might be possible for aphid resistance too? Sure would be awesome if it were possible!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jan 2, 2020 12:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 2, 2020 2:49 PM CST
There is a basic idea that you can successfully select for any characteristic. So yes, there probably is genetically inheritable resistance to some aphids to some extent in some daylilies. However, I do not know of any published research on aphid resistance in daylilies. There is published research on the genetics of aphid resistance in agricultural plant species.
Maurice
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 2, 2020 2:54 PM CST
There is published research on the genetics of thrips resistance in agricultural plant species, There are no reasons to expect that daylilies are different from other plant species in general so there almost certainly will be genetic differences between daylily plants in their resistance to thrips and other insect species.
Maurice
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Jan 4, 2020 8:27 AM CST
Becky, are all the plants actually DEAD from the aphids? The crown and roots? So you have to keep replacing them? How awful! Crying

I'd be soooo broke! Grumbling
I are sooooo smart!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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Seedfork
Jan 4, 2020 8:41 AM CST
I grow most of my plants that are growing in the backyard in cages, the cages help keep the critters from digging the plants out of the ground. During the past few weeks when pulling and removing the dead foliage I found thousands of aphids, I am still not sure if they are all dead aphids are not. They just look like tiny specks, but I would not think they would still be clinging to the foliage if they were all dead. They just look like white specks. I am hoping that just removing the huge amount of dead foliage will get rid of them by exposing them to predators and the weather. If not I will have to start spraying. I can't say anything about any plants being resistant, but a lot of the plants had thousands of aphids and a lot of the plants only had a few, and a lot of the plants barely had any. Why, I can't say. But without a doubt the plants in the cages that held the dead foliage up and kept it coving the plant and provided cover for the aphids had by far the most aphids. So I do think that that keeping the plants foliage clean and open would help prevent such an invasion.But I don't know of any aphid resistant plants, nor do I know of any critter digging resistant plants! Crying
Name: Greg Bogard
Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7a)
Sscape
Jan 4, 2020 9:00 AM CST
I spray insecticide in the Fall, usually in October, just before the first freeze https://morningchores.com/fros.... I spray , then repeat after five days. That has really helped control overWintering thrips and aphids. I spray at that time of year to keep the bees safe. Bees are most active at a temperature greater than 70 degrees. At the time I spray, the daytime high is less than 65 degrees. In the Spring, the aphids and thrips have a hard time coming back, so no spraying is needed. By the time their numbers grow to be a problem, the ladybugs and praying mantises are around to keep them under control.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jan 4, 2020 9:09 AM CST
The likelihood is, as Maurice mentioned, that some degree of aphid resistance is possible since it does occur in other plants. Larry, a couple of thoughts, the white shed aphid "skins" it sounds like you are seeing tend to stick to the honeydew, the sticky substance secreted by certain insects such as aphids. So although they are just dead skins they don't fall off readily. How big are the openings in the cages, do they allow birds and other insect feeding critters in?
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jan 4, 2020 12:21 PM CST
@sooby,
I use whatever I can find by the road that has been discarded. What I buy new is the 2"x4" welded wire fencing. I started with much taller heights but have found that just three sections high (2 full sections and a cut section at the bottom...allows the sharp prongs to be pushed into the ground to anchor the cage is sufficient. The deer do sometime upset the cages and toss them around, but the other critters normally stop digging when they run into the low cages, the tops are completely opened...they just act as a barrier so the roots are protected. I could probably do away with a lot of the cages after the plants form large clumps.


Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Jan 4, 2020 7:16 PM CST
Do you all use just a general "flower insecticide"? I think I need to spray some of my daylilies this coming year. Probably should have last fall. I noticed I had a problem with aphids last summer (on several plants). Never have before. I think they came in on some daylilies I got from someone in Southern zone (because they were the ones most infested). Do you think our cold winter (zone 5) will freeze them out or will some survive?
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jan 4, 2020 7:36 PM CST
I normally just spray Aphids with diluted dish detergent. It works pretty well. Last year I purchased BioAdvanced 701290B Insecticide Fungicide Miticide 3-in-1 Insect, Disease & Mite Control, 24 oz. Have yet to use it, but have high hopes for it. Hoping it will help with mites, and aphids, and rust. It would be great if it worked on Thrip, but not sure it will. Hoping it will also help with leaf streak, am I getting my hopes up to high? Anyone out there used this product?
(Zone 6a)
Frillylily
Jan 7, 2020 12:30 AM CST
[Last edited by Frillylily - Apr 9, 2020 10:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 7, 2020 6:31 AM CST
Frillylily said:I will add something very unscientific, it seems I have more problems w insect pests on yellow daylilies. Does anyone else notice that? Or another color that they seem to favor in your garden? I get thrips and aphids on yellow dl more than the others.

@Frillylily
If you are interested in making your observation more scientific you could count the number of daylilies that you grow, then count the number of daylilies that have yellow flowers and then count the number of yellow daylilies that get thrips or aphids and count the number of non-yellow daylilies that get thrips or aphids.
With those numbers we can calculate whether yellow and non-yellow daylilies get thrips and aphids equally or not.

Maurice
(Zone 6a)
Frillylily
Jan 7, 2020 8:18 PM CST
[Last edited by Frillylily - Apr 9, 2020 10:04 AM (+)]
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