Daylilies forum: How many daylilies are too many?

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 27, 2015 6:20 PM CST
I know there is certainly no one answer to that question. Everyone will have their own answer.
I see a lot of people here increasing their daylily purchases, breaking their budgets, and dreaming of even more.
But, there is also the group that have been in it for years and have found themselves overloaded as they have aged.
I don't know about the rest of the country but around here it seems every daylily vendor is retiring(for a second time), because it has just become too much work.
So at the age of 67, I am really just getting into daylilies and would love to hear some sage advice how to enjoy without getting overloaded.
I have pretty well limited myself so far, by restricting myself to (almost all) rust resistant plants as listed by the data base, preferring one with a 1.0 rust rating. Believe me that is pretty restricting. Plus I am making some effort not to buy ones too similar, and so far not many doubles, spiders, UFO's just enough to get a little variety.
Still I might have already surpassed the 100 number and I can see, there is no way I can continue at this rate, even though it seems the purchases are few and far between...oh how we can deceive ourselves.
So if you had it to do all over again, what would you do different...if anything. What restrictions would you advise, any general advice or specific actions would be welcome.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Jul 27, 2015 6:47 PM CST
80,001 are too many. 80,000 would be just about right. Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing
Natalie
Name: Joy Wooldridge
Kalama, Wa. (Zone 8b)
Sunset Zone 6, Heat zone 4,
Garden Photography Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Daylilies Lilies
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Joy
Jul 27, 2015 7:01 PM CST
I'm thinking I could handle around 500. That's less then half of what I grow now counting my seedlings. However, I don't know if I could actually get rid of that many. I have too many favorites.

I think you are being very smart in being choosy with what you buy. I wasn't choosy enough. I think I just wanted one of everything. But that's not too realistic. Hilarious!
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. ~Hugh Johnson
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
Frogs and Toads Birds Roses Region: United States of America Peonies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Hostas Garden Art Echinacea
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daylilydreams
Jul 27, 2015 7:20 PM CST
Natalie, I love your way of thinking. Hilarious! Thumbs up Hilarious!

Well I have enough daylilies the count is well over several ? hundreds, way more than I ever thought would be in my garden. Whistling Love them! Lovey dubby Whistling Our soil is not overly fertile so my daylilies increase more slowly which works for very well for me.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

[Last edited by daylilydreams - Jul 27, 2015 7:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 27, 2015 7:57 PM CST
I can see how living in a colder climate and having poor soil could work to a person's advantage by actually limiting the growth rate...or does that just mean could can space the plants closer together and and squeeze more in?
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 27, 2015 8:06 PM CST
I have no idea how many daylilies I actually have. It certainly isn't in the 100s. I've added a lot more in the past two years, but I also went from 1/5 of an acre to 12 1/2 acres. More room means more daylilies! I'm sure I'll never had them in the thousands though. I want to have a life, and other plants too, so I won't fill up all my land with them. But, I'm sure I need more!

I moved from a colder climate, but had great soil there. My plants are loving this climate, and my soil wasn't the greatest, but I'm working on making it better. The climate is what made the big difference for me. They have multiplied way too fast, and I never expected that to happen!
Natalie
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
Frogs and Toads Birds Roses Region: United States of America Peonies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Hostas Garden Art Echinacea
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daylilydreams
Jul 27, 2015 8:28 PM CST
I wouldn't say our soil is poor, but it is not as fertile as the farm where I grew up where Dad used plenty of manure from the animals he raised everything grew very well. I don't use manure but do use alfalfa pellets once a year so my plants are healthy and have plenty of bloom just don't increase as fast as they do on the farm. Meaning I don't have to divide them very often which is good and keeps things more manageable and enjoyable.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Regina
Warrenville, SC (Zone 8a)
Daylilies Ponds Frogs and Toads Dog Lover Cat Lover Butterflies
Dahlias Region: South Carolina
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scflowers
Jul 28, 2015 12:25 AM CST
Larry, I live in a climate that most daylilies thrive in. Not too cold in winter, and pretty hot in the summer (a little shade in the afternoon and most will be fine). So my number keeps rising. I added over a hundred new daylilies this year alone. Whistling Part of that was done while recuperating from two foot surgeries this past winter. Since I had to be out of work and off my foot, I found all these fabulous daylily places to order from. It's like crack for people that don't do drugs!

So rule one: don't sit all winter picking out all the many daylilies you want to order. Set a limit and stick to it.

Rule two: if you are already at your limit, pick out something you already have growing in the garden that you can find a new home for. Maybe it could be one that you don't like the bloom color, the flower doesn't open like it should, it has low bud count, or just doesn't live up to its potential. I give my unwanted ones to friends and coworkers-- they get a pretty plant and I get a spot to put a new dayliliy in Smiling
P.S. You can always sell your unwanted DLs here in the classified section:)

Rule three: use some sort of automatic watering system. The Rainbird systems are easy to install and use, or just plain old soaker hoses so that you aren't hand watering.

Rule four: plan your beds so that you can do a little each day. For example, one day may be spent picking yellow/bent/broken leaves. Another day can be spent cutting off old scapes. The next day could be spent doing fertilizer (pellets/milorganite/miracle grow); whatever you use with yours. I use a variety of perennials and some annuals in the daylily beds. Make sure to get plants that are as care-free as possible.

I try to break my yard work into sections that are doable, and stick to it until it's done. It's easy to get distracted and stray to do some thing else, but don't get led off track.

Rule five: take time to enjoy your daylilies! Place some benches or seating arrangements near the DL beds so that when you're taking a break, you're enjoying what you're working for.

I know these are all easier said than done (as I am already working on my next wanted list Whistling ) When we moved to our new house we had built, it was a blank canvas. We have 77 acres total, but keep only about five cleared. Our neighbors call our yard the Cochran Golf Course because we have so much grass! I take pleasure in knowing that we (my husband, daughter, and I) have done all the landscaping ourselves, and we think it's beautiful here.




Picture of side bed and front of house
Thumb of 2015-07-28/scflowers/4a159b

Right side of house that slopes down to koi pond
Thumb of 2015-07-28/scflowers/265fff

One of my first mixed beds. As the daylilies finish blooming, the sun coleus grow bigger and provide color until frost.
Thumb of 2015-07-28/scflowers/42753b

My front sidewalk
Thumb of 2015-07-28/scflowers/f98d9a

Front entryway
Thumb of 2015-07-28/scflowers/d20f3c

My newest project: connecting a small daylily bed that I started last year to my original bed waaaaay across the front of the yard. The middle section is where all my winter shopping craze daylilies are located. Bet it will be full of color next year!
Thumb of 2015-07-28/scflowers/37cb28

A snapshot of the koi pond taken from my back deck. We have plans for a pergola over it at some point.
Thumb of 2015-07-28/scflowers/ab7521


[Last edited by scflowers - Jul 28, 2015 12:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
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bluegrassmom
Jul 28, 2015 1:57 AM CST
Wow, that is awesome. I love the entryway. I planted coleus seed this yr and have the sweet potato vines too. I never thought of using them on the steps. Ours is more narrow, so maybe one side Rolling my eyes.

It is easy when you get into dls to just buy one of everything! I am now trying to keep mine around 300 must haves. I think do I really want to WEED around you lol.

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 28, 2015 6:43 AM CST
scflowers,
You have a beautiful place, great looking beds. Really like that sun coleus. Thanks for the tips. Sometimes I do get so busy weeding and working I don't take time to sit and enjoy, I need to do a much better job of that.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jul 28, 2015 1:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jul 28, 2015 6:49 AM CST
What beautiful gardens you have scflowers!!!!!
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 28, 2015 9:20 AM CST
Regina, your place is gorgeous!
Natalie
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jul 28, 2015 9:45 AM CST
Well, I have about 350 and as I am approaching 70 years old, I am finding it way too much. Would like to cut the number in half within the next 2 years.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 28, 2015 10:27 AM CST
Hemlady, so young still, please tell me that 70 is the new 40, I am 68 now, and seventy in my mind seems far away, yet in reality it is just around the corner. I feel very young at 68, 70 seems so much older.
Name: Regina
Warrenville, SC (Zone 8a)
Daylilies Ponds Frogs and Toads Dog Lover Cat Lover Butterflies
Dahlias Region: South Carolina
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scflowers
Jul 28, 2015 10:51 AM CST
Sorry, Larry, didn't mean to hijack your thread.

If you only follow that one rule...to sit back and enjoy it sometimes, it is all worth it.

Sounds like 100 may be your number to go with...

At least you are doing some homework on the ones you do have as far as rust resistance and such. This should make them more ideally suited for your garden.

Another hint to help 'get rid of a few' if needed: when my DLs are in full bloom, I walk around with a roll of orange stretchy surveyor tape. Anything that's just not performing well (if everything else around it is), has really low bud counts, or doesn't impress me much gets a long piece of tape attached to it. If I think I won't remember why, I write on the tape with a sharpie or paint pen. Those are the ones that I find homes for to make space for a new DL (or if I want to downsize). Or I can leave them for another year and watch to see if it happens again the next year...then they really have to go! I also do this with cultivars that I have multiples of, then I can choose one to keep and the other(s) to give away/sell if I need space.The tape will fade color over time, but will still be a reminder that the plant is on your 'watch list'.

I use a different color tape to attach to the ones I want to move to a different spot or to a different bed. This makes them easy to locate when all the blooms are gone.


Thank You! Larry, Teresa, Cindy, and Natalie for the comments on our place. We love it here.

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Seedfork
Jul 28, 2015 12:00 PM CST
scflowers
I didn't even think of it as hijacked, those were all responses relevant to the thread I thought.
Yes, getting rid of the culls, that is going to be the hard but necessary part of me staying in the daylily hobby without getting overloaded. Doing that, and limiting the space devoted to them.

I have made two big divergences from my restrictive buying plan, one early this spring (bought 25 seedlings for $10.00 from a grower in Florida) and one yesterday (ordered 24 plants for $1.00 each)off the ATP site. I have no idea what those plants will be. I can see just a slip or two each year like that and I could end up overloaded, but it will expose me to a greater variety of plants, and it will make the chore of culling any of them when necessary much easier than if they were $50.00 plants. See how well we can rationalize our purchases.
My other really big problem is that I am so used to creating a new bed every year, and I really, really enjoy that. Plus, I have a fantastic area along my back fence that would make a perfect daylily bed. I can't imagine how hard it is going to be over the winter to sit and look out the window at that area and not start digging.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jul 28, 2015 1:05 PM CST
Well Larry I am 68 too but have back issues and lots of arthritis and it isn't getting any easier with age.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Regina
Warrenville, SC (Zone 8a)
Daylilies Ponds Frogs and Toads Dog Lover Cat Lover Butterflies
Dahlias Region: South Carolina
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scflowers
Jul 28, 2015 1:27 PM CST
Larry,
I do the same thing in late winter and early spring...start thinking about how good a flower bed would look [insert spot here]. Smiling

It gets easier to cull some iffy daylilies when you get newer ones that just look and perform better. I'm not speaking of new intros since I don't buy them when they're so expensive, just new to your garden. I have been much better about looking for daylilies that have similar bloom traits, but choosing to keep the one with the best plant habits (especially if they have higher bud counts or rebloom, as those really add color for a longer period of time). I see lots of people add lilies in their DL beds to help add color. I don't have those, but do use the sun coleus as mentioned previously as well as dahlias. They are perennials also and easy to maintain within the DL beds.

I can always rationalize the purchase of a flower Smiling
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses Dog Lover
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GaNinFl
Jul 28, 2015 1:33 PM CST
@Seedfork, I love the idea of this thread. Thumbs up

Currently I have only 55 named cultivars and being two years into collecting I am still a little wet behind the ears. Rolling on the floor laughing Oh course there is also the fact that I am a baby around here at 46. That may be why I want everyone I see and my list constantly grows. However, I do have limited space so I have to come up with some way of filtering wishes to actual wants...

@scflowers, what a beautiful garden and home you have. And some very helpful tips with the surveyor tape! Double Thumbs up Thumbs up & Acorn
Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/GaNinFl/
[Last edited by GaNinFl - Jul 28, 2015 1:44 PM (+)]
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Name: Regina
Warrenville, SC (Zone 8a)
Daylilies Ponds Frogs and Toads Dog Lover Cat Lover Butterflies
Dahlias Region: South Carolina
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scflowers
Jul 28, 2015 1:37 PM CST
@GaNinFla thanks for the comments and acorns! I am a baby around here too I guess...43 years old:)

I've been gardening all my life though. People ask what I do to relax and my comment is always "yard work!"

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