There can be a big difference in blooms or they may be none at all. It may be more of a northern thing on the "3 year" waiting. When I first started into daylilies and was doing a lot of reading online most of what I read was geared more for the northern gardens especially the seed part. I was set against hybridizing because most of what I read said I had to wait a minimum of 3 years to even see blooms and I'm not that patient. I have read that some people DO NOT let them bloom first year even if they sent up scapes so the plant will continue to grow and mature and it won't stress the plant.
The bid difference with north and south is it takes 3-4 year from seed to intro (usually) in most of the south where in the north (without a greenhouse) I've read it can be 6-10 years from seed to intro. I can't remember which northern hybridizer it was but she said that most of hers took about 10 years before she could introduce them. Area without a lot of rain can take longer also if they rely heavily on rain for watering.
Around here we wait 3 years on keepers then the 4th year (sometimes 3rd) we register the ones we keep. We aren't waiting on the blooms to get better for those 3 years, we are waiting on the rest of the plant. A pretty face is great but that is secondary to the scape, branching, bud count, and such when we are watching it the first year. We do not pick keepers solely on the bloom.
First year is bloom (most of them) and then we evaluate on rebloom to see if they stay another year. We evaluate on rebloom because they have matured more and the bud count, branching, scape height, and bloom should be on the truer side. We try and get first year blooms here so the seedlings may bloom when they are only 7 months old so they are still trying to mature, grow roots, grow bigger, and bloom so they more than likely will not show true characteristics on first bloom scapes. This is also where we see if the plant actually lives after blooming. I have had some (not many) that after they bloom they just up and die. If they make it after evaluation they are moved to the keeper beds.
Second year - if they made it to the keeper list the first year then second year is making sure the stats are the same or better than the first year and we also check fertility. We will check fertility on first year but sometimes they won't set because they are putting their energy into growing and blooming. The blooms may also not look as good the second year so they may get tossed, they may have flaws, color change and such. Sometimes a seedling that doubled ever bloom the first year will never bloom double again (ever) and then you have some that may be 50-50 on blooms and you want to make sure they actually double the following year (for those who do doubles).
Third year- if it makes it to the keep another year list then at the end of the second season they are divided and lined out to make sure they live. Some daylilies do not like to be divided and will all die once they are. I have no idea why but it happens. If they live and everything goes well the third bloom season then they are may be registered at the end of the season. If they need to increase more to have enough to introduce then they will be registered at the end of the fourth season.
Fred showed some in a thread somewhere on here on how they can look different so maybe if he has time he will post them.
Here are some photos of how they can change here in my garden
These are from the same plant on first year seedling
This is a daylily I kept last year because of the eye and the second photo is from the second season and it lost the "look" and color
This is one that was UGLY to start with but the color just faded away as it kept blooming
Daylilies don't necessarily get tossed around here because they are ugly or not as pretty as others. If it has good branching and bud count and a good scape then they may get used to breed with a pretty face that doesn't have the other going for it.
Now I will say that if they look like this I will NOT keep it even if it has good stats