Daylilies forum: How long is too long?

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Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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Kabby
May 12, 2015 4:36 PM CST
I'm almost ashamed to say that I have coddled a daylily for 12 yrs without it blooming. It's one of the rarer Munsons, China Dawn. Also Salter's Wild Child has been languishing for probably 8 yrs. Both are going to bloom this year. I am stubborn and hard headed, those daylilies were going to bloom one day by golly! Angry
If space is no object, how long would you hang on to a nonblooming daylily before kicking it to the curb?
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
May 12, 2015 4:40 PM CST
I would have booted that thing out long ago (two years tops), if it didn't cost over eight dollars, if if was a fifty dollar daylily...well it would not be in my garden.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
May 12, 2015 4:45 PM CST
When I had plenty of space, I would let a daylily stay many years. Now, I am at a stage where those daylilies that don't perform well are going out. 12 years is a terribly long time to wait to see a daylily bloom. I had no idea that any of them took that long, but I hope yours is worth the wait!
Vickie
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Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
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kidfishing
May 12, 2015 4:52 PM CST
China Dawn is nice. Drooling
Wild Child however, never has a perfect bloom here.
I probably would of moved them before tossing.
I have never thrown away a registered daylily. Smiling
Kidfishing
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
May 12, 2015 5:01 PM CST
Wild Child does very well here in my northern garden and is a keeper.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
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Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
May 12, 2015 5:03 PM CST
if its not in the way of something else that out performs it, then I would have tossed it years ago. but if the foliage is lush and looks good, then hang onto it. may as well if its causing no harm; other than emotional stress due to no flowers over the last dozen years! im going to assume the basics are covered here, as far as the plant is getting what it needs to bloom its best. full sun, proper fertilizing, that sort of thing... we had a daylily that took 4 years to bloom. glad we waited, but it was tough. it was only after we moved it to more alkaline soil that it began to bloom. im assuming the soil where it was located was very high in nitrogen I guess...? because the foliage was always ultra thick and it always seemed to grow faster and larger than most of our other daylilies. but no flowers. ever. until four years after planting it. I can only assume it spent all its time growing foliage due to the high concentration of nitrogen and didn't have the strength to flower...? its just a theory of mine, but now, two years later, it seems to have panned out. we give all our daylilies several doses of alfalfa meal, which is slightly alkaline, over the course of a spring/summer, and they all do great. perhaps the environmental conditions your plant is in aren't what it needs to flower...?
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
May 12, 2015 5:16 PM CST
I would never toss it out before it bloomed! I'd be too stubborn to do that. But, I probably would have moved it around, to see if I could find a spot that it liked better. I sure hope it was worth the wait once it blooms! My first seedlings took 3-4 years to bloom. I found out that I can wait it out longer than I ever though possible. nodding
Natalie
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
May 12, 2015 5:41 PM CST
2 years. If it doesn't IMPRESS me by 3, I toss it even if it has bloomed.
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
May 13, 2015 10:15 AM CST
I don't have extra space, life is too short, and there are too many excellent daylilies out there that LOVE this climate to try to grow those that limp along and aren't happy here. If a highly desirable plant isn't performing well, I'll likely move it to a better spot after the second year if there is a remote chance the problem is the garden spot. Then it would get a max of two more years to show its stuff . After growing daylilies for many years, I'm much more ruthless in culling non- performers. it was harder at first!!
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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Kabby
May 13, 2015 6:00 PM CST
@riverman123 Jason you are so diplomatic. Yes I think overkill with the nitrogen has made these big beautiful fans on Wild Child.
Thumb of 2015-05-13/Kabby/1be130

I do tend to use the Miracle-Gro too often but this yr I'm planning on just once a month. Operative word here is "planning."
China Dawn acts like a dormant for me, spindly, pathetic looking. But it's a Munson so it demands a proper place in my garden.
I just hope that I'm not on a 4 day stretch at work when it blooms. I stay in town during that fun time.
Name: Debra
Nashville, TN (Zone 7a)
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shive1
May 13, 2015 7:13 PM CST
If they don't bloom in three years, they are compost - no matter how much I may have paid or how rare they are.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
May 14, 2015 8:02 AM CST
The effect of nitrogen on flowering is not simple.

It is common knowledge that excess nitrogen delays flowering and scientific research confirms that for many plant species. But it is not necessarily simply a delay in flowering.

Much of that research has been done with annuals.

Most plant species, both annuals and perennials cannot flower under normal conditions until they reach a particular size; they need to become mature or adult. As well, the larger the plant the more flowers (and therefore seeds) it produces.

When an annual species is growing in poor conditions (low nitrogen, for example) it will flower soon after reaching its minimum adult size. When it is growing in luxuriant (or optimum) conditions it will not flower at the minimum size but will grow larger than the minimum before flowering. The goal with annual species in a garden is to have them start flowering quickly and to keep flowering as long as possible. It is not considered a good thing for them to delay flowering even if they might produce more flowers in the long run because they may not have enough time to produce large enough numbers of flowers to make-up for the delay before winter arrives.

Perennial species, such as daylilies, also need to reach a minimum size to be able to flower. But perennial species often flower at specific times of the year. Providing them with high nitrogen allows them to reach flowering size sooner (fewer years or months) and to produce more flowers and it probably allows them to be more likely to rebloom.

I grow several daylily cultivars that have not flowered for many years. I have one that has never flowered since I bought it 12 years ago. It does not flower because every winter it is set back and so it has never managed to become large enough to reach its adult/mature size. The same is true for the other cultivars.

Two of my slowpokes are Munson cultivars; one is 'Borgia Queen' and another is 'Chinese Cloisonne'. Another slowpoke is 'Lady Blue Eyes'.

@Kabby, How many fans is 'China Dawn' and how many is 'Wild Child'?
Maurice
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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Kabby
May 14, 2015 3:15 PM CST
@admmad Wild Child has two strapping fans, China Dawn has 3 very small fans. I never could get any size on her even with my enthusiastic applications of Miracle-Gro. I'm intrigued about the plants having to reach their adult/mature size. I guess only the select plants know when this is. I will say this after watching my daylilies go dormant last yr from lack of watering, they will get their quota of water and then some this yr.
And Maurice? Thanks for giving those nonbloomers a chance.
[Last edited by Kabby - May 16, 2015 4:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Hilary Picton
Dousland, Devon UK (Zone 9a)
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Halfprice
May 16, 2015 12:47 PM CST
I have several that have taken a while to bloom. I bought tet Holly Dancer 3 years ago and am still waiting for a scape, also My Heart Belongs to Daddy 2 years ago. Both were bought on eBay and I have no idea if they were mature fans or not, however they are both looking very healthy and I am hoping for a result this year.

I bought Mount Echo Sunrise 2 years ago from someone I trust and it has not bloomed until now, even though the fans were large. I also bought from the same seller 3 years ago Patchwork Puzzle which refused to bloom. The seller told me to move it - even a couple of feet and it bloomed. I planted another daylily in the original place of PP and it bloomed immediately!

I have no idea why one would happily bloom in a specific place while another sulked.
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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Kabby
May 28, 2015 4:26 PM CST
Here she is, 12 yrs in the making! She walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a reptile. Introducing the long awaited debut of China Dawn!
Thumb of 2015-05-28/Kabby/489310

Name: Joy Wooldridge
Kalama, Wa. (Zone 8b)
Sunset Zone 6, Heat zone 4,
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Joy
May 28, 2015 4:30 PM CST
Beautiful! Now that was worth the wait. Hopefully it won't take that long to see that pretty face next time. Smiling
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. ~Hugh Johnson
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
May 28, 2015 5:45 PM CST
Wow! That is gorgeous, Kabby Thumbs up I don't know if I would have waited 12 years, but it paid off in this case Smiling
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
May 28, 2015 6:08 PM CST
At this point 2 or 3 years is it. Ironically some that were scheduled to go this year decided to get their act together!! I did send one to new homes. I have 2 more that are on probation this year. They either prove themselves or are gone come fall. Space is at a premium here and I am not making any new space for plants at this point in my life.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
[Last edited by Claudia - May 29, 2015 8:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
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kidfishing
May 28, 2015 6:54 PM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Drooling I love those Munson watermarks!
Kidfishing
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
May 28, 2015 7:30 PM CST
I have only been growing daylilies for five or six years, but I will hang onto them until they bloom, however long that takes, just so I can see what they look like. If the bloom is unattractive to me, they go on to the community garden for fund raising sales. This year, had two five-year-old seedlings bloom for the first time. Both well worth the wait.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'

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