Daylilies forum→How would you change daylilies? What direction would you take them?

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Boston, MA
Bee Lover
plasko20
Feb 12, 2021 4:07 PM CST
Unlike roses and rhododendrons which people have been playing around with for many hundreds of years, daylily fun has really only taken off here since the 1950s (that is the span of a single lifetime!). So there are plenty things yet to explore with daylily hybridization. Where would you take daylilies in the future, if you could?

Me, I hate the foliage (looks like weeds) and would like to see more work done with variegation, or different colored foliage (e.g. purple or yellow/chartreuse).

I would also like to see true-blue daylilies (there is a way involving genetic modification and introduction of 2 genes, but I think scientists are busy making blue roses right now. Still, it is actually possible to do in 2021).

I would also like to see more practical uses come from them (apparently some daylily flowers are eaten as normal in Asia). So a recipe-book might be nice. In that regard on another thread someone noted daylilies are toxic to cats, so I guess hybridization of a cat-friendly daylily might be fun, too.

But where would you take them if you could? What would your daylilies of the year 2100 look like? Or smell like? Or act like?
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Frillylily
Feb 12, 2021 4:16 PM CST
how to count the ways lol

well while we are dreaming, how about deer resistance, ? And I'd love to get rid of the crown rot. Rust would be a thing of the past, how about distasteful to aphids? Of course nothing of that is realistic nodding
Name: Alma
Ferriday, Louisiana (Zone 8b)
alma47
Feb 12, 2021 4:30 PM CST
Personally I think they have been changed too much already. There are so many out there now that don't even look like a daylily. Call me old fashioned but I want a daylily to look like a daylily.
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Frillylily
Feb 12, 2021 4:33 PM CST
I do not like the sculpted ones, the splotchy or spotted colors or the really heavy ruffles. I won't ever have them in my garden. I like the older ones so much better. I also like defined eyes, not so keen on the ones with intricate patterns.
Name: Roger & Karen
Birmingham, Al (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Alabama Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter
Hummingbirder Critters Allowed
Diggerofdirt
Feb 12, 2021 4:36 PM CST
I am with alma47 in some aspects.
But if we are only dreaming here. Ploidy would be universal when making crosses.
Every home needs a daylily, and every daylily needs a home.
[Last edited by Diggerofdirt - Feb 12, 2021 4:56 PM (+)]
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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
Feb 12, 2021 5:41 PM CST
Well, at first I loved the solid colors that were bold and bright. I began to slowly increase my interest in different daylilies. Now I am getting more into patterns that have to be observed from close up to appreciate them. I have fallen for the Sculpted Relief plants big time. Love the green foliage, can't even envision other colors, love love love the dark green foliage of rust free, leafstreak free, leafminer free, healthy foliage. Still, not too fond of doubles or the sculpted cristate blooms, but am beginning to appreciate them a little more, and I am even trying to force myself to tolerate some of the miniature blooms, like little kitties and puppies they tend to grow on you. So where would I love to see daylilies in the future? I think I will have to leave that to the imagination of others because I see no limit to where they are going. Pest and disease free, would be my main hope if pressed on the issue I guess.
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
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Lyshack
Feb 12, 2021 6:16 PM CST
I would like it if we'd develop a daylily that tastes and smells like bacon, so I can put the buds on a salad. That would be pretty cool,

Closer to reality, spots or polka dots, like Asiatic lilies, might be a breakthrough that's feasible. Steve has a daylily with white stripes that have dark borders. Seems like that's not so different than getting a dark border around Pitter Patter's spots.
Name: Zoia Bologovsky
Stoneham MA (Zone 6a)
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: Massachusetts Bee Lover
Daylilies
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Zoia
Feb 12, 2021 6:52 PM CST
I like the stripes and color breaks. I like the unpredictability and how every Daylily is an individual. I want to see more with that. Personally, I like all the forms, except the sculpted cristate, those just look like something went wrong. I love minis! So CUTE! And while big bold blooms are wonderful, the up close to be interesting are cool too ( as long as you can get close enough). I suppose if new foliage colors were available, I'd take a look as long as the bloom was something to look at as well.
Name: Wendy
mid-Atlantic (Zone 6b)
robinjoy
Feb 12, 2021 6:55 PM CST
A true white
A true blue

There was a fun article a while back in DJ (Summer 2015) about daylily recipes that talked about the different tastes - sorry, Tim, no bacon yet Shrug!

rust proof would be great, but then I would order too many daylilies from southern growers year-round instead of restricting myself to fall *Blush*

And who that has experienced marauding deer Thumbs down wouldn't love to foil them somehow

Thinking I actually like most daylily forms - just about the time I discount one somebody hybridizes an example that is beyond gorgeous

[Last edited by robinjoy - Feb 12, 2021 9:38 PM (+)]
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Hillsboro, MO
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TBipp
Feb 12, 2021 8:12 PM CST
Although a bit boring, I would like daylilies with more fragrance and more reblooming tendencies. I know they are working on the reblooming aspect; however, I wish it were more robust. I have plenty of Spring blooming perennials- peonies, iris, etc., but not nearly as many Summer blooming plants as I detest working in the heat. I want low maintenance in the heat of Summer and rely on the daylilies to provide pops of color amongst many shrubs and foliage of the spring blooming perennials.

I prefer the solid bold colors that can be seen from a distance--I really loved the reds from Heavenly Gardens. I look forward to seeing the blooms this Summer.
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
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Lyshack
Feb 12, 2021 8:19 PM CST
Both good calls. Thumbs up
Name: Wendy
mid-Atlantic (Zone 6b)
robinjoy
Feb 12, 2021 10:00 PM CST
Back reading that article about edible daylilies (edited earlier post to correct the pub date)

Daylily Cheesecake recipe sounds yummy

I did not know that the Golden Needles referred to in Chinese cuisine (think Hot and Sour Soup or Moo Shu) are actually sun-dried daylily buds
Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Cat Lover Daylilies Roses Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents
Region: Oklahoma Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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Maryl
Feb 13, 2021 1:43 AM CST
My first order of business would to be to clear up the rust without anyone having to spray anything. The second is for colors and substance to be sunfast and colorfast from first thing in the AM to the last thing at night. Of course my inferno summers dictate the latter desire. But if you can get Zinnias to do that, why not dream of daylilies too?.......Maryl
Name: Greg Bogard
Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7a)
Sscape
Feb 13, 2021 8:47 AM CST
1) Insert a gene for insecticide that makes them impervious to aphids, thrips, etc.. It's been done with corn. I'm pretty sure it would not be too hard to do with our favorite plant. Do this only if the insecticide is not present in the flower's nectar.
2) Breed fragrance back into the daylily flower.
3) Breed hardiness so that people who buy single fans can expect them to actually survive more than one summer.
4)...
Ecuador (Zone 13a)
MikeHuben
Mar 30, 2021 12:05 PM CST
Vanilla plant breeding:

One of the things that makes daylilies delightful is the extreme variety of forms, colors, patterns and sizes. I would extend that if anything.

Flowers need to be sunfast, rainfast, and windfast. They need to be resistant to thrips, aphids, and bud gall midge. We already have some that qualify.

Foliage and clump structure need to be improved overall. Foliage needs to be a good color, resistant to rust, leafstreak, slugs, mites, thrips, leaf miners and aphids. Foliage behavior has to be good: leaves should not be shed until time for dormancy. Fans should be close enough together that weeds won't grow through them, like Stella De Oro. Clumps should continue to bloom strongly for years even if not divided, and without hollow hearts. We already have some that qualify.

Season extension through rebloom and bud building. We already have some that qualify.

Genetic engineering:

Blues.

Glow-in-the-dark phosphoresence.

Allium (or other) genes to make daylilies distasteful to deer and other herbivorous varmints.

Daylily haploids (from pollen or ovary culture) that will be converted to homozygous diploids and maybe even tetraploids for use in ordinary breeding and understanding daylily genetics.
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
Mar 30, 2021 12:10 PM CST
I can almost see it now, looking out at the garden and seeing it looking back at me as it glows in the night. Not sure I am quite ready for that advancement. I am all for all the other things mentioned. I wonder if deer would be attracted or repelled by a glow in the dark daylily garden?
[Last edited by Seedfork - Mar 30, 2021 12:50 PM (+)]
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Boston, MA
Bee Lover
plasko20
Mar 30, 2021 12:47 PM CST
I did find one daylily out there that is resistant to all insects, fungi, and even deer.
It blooms all year round, and is completely devoid of effort once planted.
Sadly, it only comes in one color:
https://secretgardenshop.com/s...

Angel

I guess, technically, it might be affected by rust. So, like the real thing...
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
[Last edited by plasko20 - Mar 30, 2021 12:49 PM (+)]
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breith95
Apr 1, 2021 11:41 AM CST
More fragrance-other than that I love my day lilies. They do well for me. I have never had thrips, rust or aphids. When they finish blooming, I cut the stems back by half to keep them tidy and clean.
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
Apr 1, 2021 11:50 AM CST
@breith95
:welcome:
I don't know what part of the world you live in with no aphids, but I want to move there.
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
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touchofsky
Apr 1, 2021 11:59 AM CST
I don't have aphids on my daylilies, either ... but you probably wouldn't like our winters Rolling on the floor laughing
Touch_of_sky on the LA

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