Daylilies forum→Daylily entire plant is yellow

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Caldwell, Idaho
May 23, 2020 7:09 AM CST
Can anyone tell me why my entire lily plants are turning yellow? I've had one for the last couple years in a shadier low spot that could tend to do this, but this spring most of my big healthy plants are now turning/turned. I'm wondering about overwatering? We have heavy clay soil, a particularly mild and wet winter and a very wet spring. I've included pictures of the yellowing plants and one with a healthy plant right next to a yellowing plant for comparison.
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Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
May 23, 2020 11:47 AM CST
We've has some really wet stretches around here, and I've never seen a daylily turn yellow like that from overwatering, although I think it can happen. In my opinion, daylilies like to dry out between waterings, so if you're having a wet spring, I wouldn't be doing any extra watering. They store a lot of water in their root systems and don't need to be wet constantly. And I think if they are wet for too long, they can get root rot. Which might be your problem.

My out of the box guess is, to me it looks like maybe they got hit by a weed killer. Just this spring I turned a daylily and some ground cover yellow by accidentally getting too close with the Scotts Weed and Feed I was using. If I was going by the last pic only, I'd be pretty cocky about that guess because the one closest to the lawn is doing the worst in that picture and it could have been hit with "weed and feed". But the first picture... someone would have had to go out of their way to put weed and feed on that one. So, maybe not a good guess, but I'll throw it out there anyway.

Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Irises Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Cat Lover
May 23, 2020 1:06 PM CST
I have had that happen after a cold snap. Have you had cold weather after the plant started to grow? Some daylilies will react that way. I have a few in my garden that do that if we get cold spring weather. I think it is because they cannot take up some nutrients when the soil is cold. I water them with a water soluble fertilizer with micronutrients (especially iron). That along with warm weather gets mine to green up.
Touch_of_sky on the LA
[Last edited by touchofsky - May 23, 2020 2:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
May 23, 2020 4:31 PM CST

Do you happen to have any idea of your soil pH? They have interveinal chlorosis, the nutritional causes of that are typically deficiencies of iron, manganese or magnesium. It's a little hard to tell but it looks like the younger leaves are worse. That would point to one of the first two, which are often related to the soil pH and could be exacerbated by cold wet soil as Valerie said. If you have access to a fertilizer with iron I would try that first, either a water soluble fertilizer with micronutrients or something like Milorganite which is high in iron.

Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Seed Starter Pollen collector Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Butterflies Birds Dragonflies Canning and food preservation Herbs Vegetable Grower
May 25, 2020 4:15 PM CST
Had a couple of plants doing the same thing earlier this spring when it
was colder. Some years as the soil warms, the plants begin to green up as they can absorb more nutrients from the warmer soil. When nights are 60 degrees,
the plants do better here. But, if we are going to have continuous cold days in the
weather forecast, I give the plants a little help.

Since iron is deficient in this garden for some areas, I keep a bottle
of iron tablets (45 mg elemental iron dietary supplement) on hand.
Crush one tablet and add to a gallon of water, which I just guessed at,
and the plant begins to green up in a few days. Of course, that
works here, so may not be the deficiency in other gardens.

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