Daylilies forum: Can I Cut Them Down Now?

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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Jul 28, 2020 2:34 AM CST
I planted a grouping of dayliles by the road here. They don't bloom anymore after June and look horrible. I'm having trouble weeding them and just can't stand to see them. They only bloom for a few weeks. The foliage is ugly and brown in places. I just want to mow them down or dig them up and give them away. When is it ok to cut them down? How do you grow these to hide them when they get so ugly?
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Jul 28, 2020 9:08 AM CST
Sounds like you should dig them all up and give them away. Then buy more that will provide you with a longer bloom period. Many daylilies do have a short bloom period. Look for ones with a high bud count and good branching. I have had blooms since late April, but I get a lot of rebloom in my location. Also by only having a few you limit the bloom period, by having more you could have a longer bloom period.
Some daylilies have an early bloom time, others a mid-season bloom and still others are late season bloomers.
Or you could just clean up the ones you have, go ahead and cut them down to just a few inches from the ground, better to let the scapes dry out and die on their own, then give them a little tug and see if they come free easily, that is the time to remove them. Pull or cut out the dead foliage and you might even get re-boom from some of the plants you already have.
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Jul 28, 2020 10:57 AM CST
These are ones like Ruby Spider, Primal Scream, etc. All of them were award winters. I think I'm just getting rid of them. I don't like them at all but 2 weeks out of the year. Koo
[Last edited by clintbrown - Jul 28, 2020 6:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Nancy
Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5b)
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nancyindg
Jul 28, 2020 4:15 PM CST
Really? I bought Ruby Spider and Primal Scream last year and this season have had spectacular blooms from each and I'm madly in love with them. Wish I were your neighbor and I'd come get yours!





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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Jul 28, 2020 6:56 PM CST
They did have flowers. Now they are an eyesore.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Jul 28, 2020 7:11 PM CST
The same thing happens with tulips and daffodils. After bloom it seems like it takes for ever for the foliage to yellow and then brown and can be removed. DLs have a few problems.......Deadheading, browning foliage Etc.. I still love them and have planted quite a few this summer and may get more.We don't all need to like the same thing. I dislike orange marigolds. Gladiolus are only pretty for 3 or 4 days. I find larkspur weedy..........a trite phrase.." to each his own" Happy gardening Clint.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Brian
Patoka, Indiana (Zone 6b)
Tigertail
Jul 28, 2020 8:52 PM CST
clintbrown said:These are ones like Ruby Spider, Primal Scream, etc. All of them were award winters. I think I'm just getting rid of them. I don't like them at all but 2 weeks out of the year. Koo


I'm confused if you dislike them so much and want to get did of them, why the concern about a proper way of digging them up? Very few plants flower non stop from Spring until Fall, so not sure what suggestions to give you on replacements for these.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 29, 2020 4:01 AM CST
If you cut them down after flowering they should regrow fresh clean green foliage. As long as they are well established this should not harm them and is not an unusual practice.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Jul 29, 2020 4:35 AM CST
I do what Sue said. If the foliage is really ratty, I cut it off and it grows fresh new foliage. With over 250 cultivars, I don't have time to do this to all of them right after blooming. In late fall, I try to cut the foliage off as many as I can get to so they are ready for next spring.

I also think (just my opinion) that by cutting the foliage back in the fall, it helps prevent disease/rust issues.

Someone mentioned (forget where) that they leave the foliage because that is food for the roots. I had never heard that before for daylilies, only tulips/daffodils and such. Maybe someone can clarify that for me.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 29, 2020 6:50 AM CST
blue23rose said:
Someone mentioned (forget where) that they leave the foliage because that is food for the roots. I had never heard that before for daylilies, only tulips/daffodils and such. Maybe someone can clarify that for me.


Fertilizer manufacturers like to say that fertilizer is "plant food" but really it isn't. It is more like giving them the minerals in your daily pill of multi-vitamin + minerals. Yes those minerals can be recycled from the declining leaves, same as with daffs and tulips, so cutting them off while there is still some green deprives the plant somewhat. But what is really "food:" that fuels growth and other functions in a plant is what the leaves make themselves by photosynthesis. So when you cut off leaves that are still green you are reducing the capability of the plant to feed itself and store some food for the future.

When we garden with ornamentals we are mostly concerned about appearance, and cutting off the ratty leaves to cause new fresh growth is a means to that end that will not kill an established plant even if not necessarily beneficial. I would not do it to a new or borderline hardy plant late in the year just to be safe.



[Last edited by sooby - Jul 29, 2020 6:52 AM (+)]
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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Jul 29, 2020 10:51 AM CST
I think I'll dig them up and give them away. I want to plant some hardy hibiscus plants there. They have black foliage and bloom longer. I can just mow around them too. I'm just trying to make my life a little easier. Many of my hardy hibiscus plants bloom all the way until frost here.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
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Paul2032
Jul 29, 2020 10:57 AM CST
A shovel is a gardener's best friend.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Jul 29, 2020 11:36 AM CST
Thanks for the info, Sue, @sooby! I agree, I would not do it to a newbie:)
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown

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