Daylilies forum: dormant, evergreen and semi-evergreen

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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 22, 2015 10:16 AM CST
Cindy, daylily growth patterns are even more complex than what I have described above.

Plants cannot get up and move to better growing conditions - so they tend to adjust to the conditions in which they find themselves growing. That means they can change their growth patterns depending on their growing conditions. The technical term is 'phenotypic plasticity' and means that a daylily cultivar's characteristics may be quite different depending on where it is growing and the conditions in which it is growing.

Daylily species will have evolved to adapt to the growing conditions that are typically found in nature. Basically that would tend to mean water only from natural rain, snow, etc., fertilizer only rarely from dead organisms rotting nearby or animal waste products deposited nearby or what might be present in the rain or snow, competition from other plants growing closely nearby and shading from those other plants, etc.

A daylily cultivar may show dormancy under almost natural growing conditions. But, for example, if that same cultivar is divided, planted in freshly amended soil, watered and fertilized regularly, have developing pods removed, etc.. its growth pattern may change - under the different conditions (what I sometimes call luxuriant growing conditions) it may no longer show dormancy.

A daylily cultivar's growth patterns may be different from year to year, or from garden to garden or under different growing conditions.

And there is a third type of dormancy (paradormancy) that I have not discussed above that may be present in some daylily cultivars.

Overall it can be very complex.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Jan 23, 2015 9:56 AM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 22, 2015 12:43 PM CST
My apologies, I refreshed my screen and accidentally posted the same message twice - I have deleted the text from this second copy.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Jan 22, 2015 12:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Gale
CentralWa (Zone 6a)
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GDJCB
Jan 22, 2015 7:02 PM CST
It is 8 years, not 80, but it would be great if I could make it to the 80 years gardening nodding

Gale
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Jan 22, 2015 8:30 PM CST
Urmmm... *Blush* I guess I did misread that, eight years is good too.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jan 23, 2015 7:05 AM CST
Maurice, I had a lovely seedling bloom a few years ago that was a double bloom. Because it was planted in a shaded location, I decided to more it to a more sunny location. Now, to my disappointment, it never blooms double. Must be different soil or just that the conditions are different.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jan 23, 2015 8:56 AM CST
I wonder how soon the dormant/evergreen tendencies show up? I planted a bunch of seeds this year. They've all been exposed to the same weather and had not been subjected to any below freezing temperatures when a good many appeared to have died. Which was alright because I had way more than I can ever reasonably handle. However, now those 'dead' ones are putting up new growth. They are obviously smaller than the ones that stayed green and actively growing. I kept up (presumably - lots of pollen carriers around during bloom) with both parents on some, but others I only have the pod parent and a list of those I borrowed pollen to use. But it appears not very many actually died, just went into some sort of dormancy for a couple of weeks and then resumed growing. They were lucky I didn't toss them, but as they were in pots, some had siblings retaining some green and all the pots tend to be clumped around together to they essentially just got treated the same as the actively growing seedlings. Now I'm back to way too many seedlings.
Donald
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Jan 23, 2015 9:05 AM CST
Glad to know all those seedlings didn't actually die. I planted quite a few and I also thought a lot of them had died, but maybe there is hope for them yet. Everyday I am seeing more and more new green shoots popping up in other parts of the daylily beds, maybe they will start popping up in the seedling bed also. Hurray!
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 23, 2015 9:33 AM CST
Cindy, doubles are notorious for being affected by growing conditions.

In some plant species lower temperatures are considered to increase the proportion of flowers that a double plant produces; in other plant species higher temperatures are considered to increase that proportion. We do not know what conditions change the proportion of double flowers in daylilies.

I call information that is told by one or many daylily grower(s) to others without research evidence, traditional knowledge. Traditional knowledge may be correct but without well designed and analyzed scientific research I do not place much confidence in it.

The first few flowers some double daylily cultivars produce in their first bloom period of the growing season are sometimes single. Later in that first bloom period or in a rebloom period the flowers are double. This has lead to the traditional knowledge (idea) that cool temperatures during flower development cause the flowers to be single and warm temperatures during flower development cause them to be double. It has also been noticed that cultivars that bloom 100% double in Florida may bloom double at much lower rates when grown further north.

However, there apparently are some daylily cultivars that bloom double on their first flowers of their first bloom season and bloom single on later flowers or on rebloom. The doubling behaviour of those cultivars would contradict the idea that warm temperatures during flower development encourage double blooms.

The doubling behaviour of your seedling would also suggest that warmer temperatures do not encourage double blooms. Since no scientific research has been done on how temperature affects doubling in daylilies (and not much scientific research has been done on how temperature affects doubling in other plant species) it is difficult to make any suggestions about what might increase the doubling frequency of your seedling. Perhaps the simplest would be to try moving some of it back into the shady location it was growing in before and comparing the flowering behaviour of the plants growing in the shady location with those left growing in the sunny location.
Maurice
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 23, 2015 9:55 AM CST
Donald,

Very young seedlings can become 'dormant'. Stout wrote,

"Dormancy in seedlings.
In the abruptly discontinuous growth of seedlings in a greenhouse the dormancy of the buds is a conspicuous feature ... Frequently only a few leaves are formed before the growth of the bud becomes discontinuous. In respect to the death of the first crop of leaves two main types of behavior were noted. (a) The leaves may die and the entire plant then has a period of at least several weeks of complete dormancy as far as green foliage is concerned or (b) the last of the first crop of leaves may remain green until the bud resumes growth."

In this passage Stout is writing about seedlings that have sprouted just recently in his greenhouse where temperature was controlled but the daylight was the same as outside in New York. By 'discontinuous' growth he means that new leaves stopped being produced and by 'complete dormancy' he means that the seedling disappears from above ground - there are no green living leaves left to see above the soil line, the entire living seedling is below the surface of the soil.

I have seen something similar when I have sprouted seeds inside in the autumn. Some of the seedlings grow a few leaves and then stop producing new leaves. After a while new leaves start to push up through the soil. Sometimes the leaves from the first round of growth are still green and other times they have started to die by the time the new leaves started being produced. Sometimes all the leaves from the first round of growth have died before the underground bud starts to sprout (or 'breaks').

However, you are also correct in thinking that the behaviour of seedlings (for example, first year seedlings or juvenile plants) does not have to be the same as the behaviour of the same cultivar when it is adult or mature (juvenile plants are too young or usually too small to flower and have not done so yet, adult or mature plants are large enough [usually] or old enough to flower). The typical situation is if the adult plant goes dormant then the juvenile plant may not go dormant until later than the adult plant (it may be possible that the juvenile plant does not go dormant - but that is pure speculation - we do not have any evidence for that type of difference in behaviour).
Maurice
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jan 23, 2015 11:24 AM CST
Maurice,

Would a proliferation be considered a juvenile? I had a prolif on 'Aldersgate' and two prolifs on 'Green Arrow' which I rooted and then planted out in the same large container of their original plants. Thus the prolifs have experienced exactly the same conditions as the plant that produced them. In each case the behavior is matching the mature plant. The 'Aldersgate' prolif is mostly green and the 'Green Arrow' prolifs are nearly completely dormant. I actually ended up with the pots containing 'Aldersgate' and 'Green Arrow' side by side, so the two cultivars are experiencing the same weather and light conditions and both got upsized to a larger container at the same time (when I added the rooted prolifs). Basically everything should be the same except for genetics. I know that's a really small sample, but in their case genetics seems to be driving the behavior.
Donald
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 23, 2015 12:37 PM CST
A proliferation would be expected to be juvenile because it would be expected to be small. But whether a specific proliferation was juvenile or adult would depend on its actual size. Usually, for perennial plants it is their size that indicates whether they are juvenile or adult. Often researchers estimate their size by counting the number of leaves they have.

We do not know what is the best estimator of juvenile versus adult maturity in daylilies. We might estimate a daylily's fan size by the number of leaves, or the average width of the leaves, or the width of the fan at the soil level or the size or weight of the crown and so on.

In terms of comparing juvenile versus adult growth patterns I would begin by expecting that they would be the same. So for example, if I had a clump or row of 50 fans of cultivar x and I examined them on two different dates to determine whether they were dormant or not I would expect that all 50 would be the same. However, if I found that 45 were dormant and five were not dormant then I would not be surprised if most of the 45 dormant fans were adult and most of the five non-dormant fans were juvenile - I would assume that the difference was similar to what has sometimes been seen in other perennial plant species. I might be wrong about that but that would be the obvious assumption. However, I might have found that the 45 dormant fans were 80% adults and 20% juveniles and that the five non-dormant fans were 80% adult and 20% juvenile. I would not be shocked by that and I would assume that some other factor (unknown to me) was causing the difference between dormant and non-dormant fans - that the factor was not whether a fan was juvenile or adult.

So, I am not surprised that the proliferations are acting in the same way as the adults; I would begin by expecting that.

Now I am going to add a little complication. I do not have any evidence for this in daylilies but I expect that if I search the research literature I will find at least one plant species that has this complication and perhaps many.

Let us say I have cultivar X that is usually dormant when adult under a certain set of growing conditions. It is dormant when juvenile under the same set of growing conditions. The genetics of cultivar X dictates the behaviour of both the adult and juvenile fans and in this case their behaviour is the same..

I may also have cultivar Y that is usually dormant when adult under the same set of growing conditions (as above) but it is not dormant when it is juvenile under the same set of conditions. The genetics of cultivar Y dictates the behaviour of both the adult and juvenile fans even though in this cultivar the reactions are different in the two stages.

In both cases genetics is driving the behaviour but if they were growing in pots, all beside each other, the growth patterns (dormancy/non-dormancy) would be different.
Maurice
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Mar 10, 2015 9:23 AM CST
Fred's comment on the probable habits of his registered SEVs when they moved north brought me back to this thread. I knew I had earlier checked out how all mine were doing this winter. I think if this last really cold spell had come before everything had started active growth, then all of my plants would have at least briefly have lost all the green. Since it caught everything in the process of greening up, everything is going to retain some green. With the extra moisture we've received and the mild day temps and lows only in the 40sF, everything will be actively growing again. Anything that doesn't show active growth this week was probably damaged by the freeze. Adapting to this sort of weather pattern will be one of the growing conditions that determine which ones do well here. The other big one will be the summer's frequently excessive dry heat. I think, based on how they have managed so far, that summer will be doable provided they get sufficient moisture. I'm just not sure what they require for increasing and staying healthy yet.
Donald
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 6b)
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Barbalee
Sep 1, 2016 4:13 PM CST
Hemlady said:Very interesting Maurice. I did not know that dormancy was so complicated.


Boy, me neither! I agree I agree
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Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Sep 2, 2016 2:41 PM CST
GDJCB said:It is 8 years, not 80, but it would be great if I could make it to the 80 years gardening nodding

Gale


I started gardening when I was 8 years old. I dug up a pretty weed, planted it is a tin can and grew it along. That was my very first attempt at gardening Rolling on the floor laughing So, technically, I could make it to 80 years gardening if I live to 88 Whistling

Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Hemlady
Sep 3, 2016 6:49 AM CST
That's funny Valerie because I have a similar story. When my sister and I were kids (probably around 8 to l0 years old), we used to dig up weeds, plant them in cans, put them in a wagon, and go around the neighborhood selling them. Rolling on the floor laughing
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
Sep 3, 2016 2:45 PM CST
Hemlady said:That's funny Valerie because I have a similar story. When my sister and I were kids (probably around 8 to l0 years old), we used to dig up weeds, plant them in cans, put them in a wagon, and go around the neighborhood selling them. Rolling on the floor laughing


I never thought of that! I just potted them up and kept them on my bedroom windowsill. You were quite the entrepreneur. I tip my hat to you.

Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Sep 3, 2016 9:33 PM CST
I can remember picking the pretty, little dandelion blooms for mom. My kids did too. Sweet memories!

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