Daylilies forum: Question about struggling Daylily

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Name: Gale
CentralWa (Zone 6a)
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GDJCB
Jul 31, 2015 4:59 PM CST
Maurice- Thanks for your input, it very well could be spring sickness. The Daylily just never grew from the beginning, started and has remained very small fans.

Louise- that may be the best course of action.

Thanks again for all the input,
Gale
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Jul 31, 2015 5:02 PM CST
I am always torn between moving a poorly performing plant or letting it stay one more year. I think if I move it the transfer will stress it more and do further harm. I think if I don't move it, it is just going to fade away because it needs a different (something).
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 31, 2015 7:18 PM CST
beckygardener said:I am seeing a couple of mine that are progressively chlorotic. Those are very noticeable in my raised seedling bed. Is this one likely summer dormancy?

It could be. Usually the summer dormant daylily will sprout again when the weather cools.
If you look at those particular plants every now and then and note if the leaves are browning and drying progressively and if no new leaves are being grown from the centre of the fan then that should provide a better idea of whether it is summer dormancy. You might also want to give the yellow leaves a gentle tug to make certain that they are not rotting at their bases. Unfortunately daylilies do sometimes die and rot away in the summer in some locations.


Maurice
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 31, 2015 7:24 PM CST
Munson noted three conditions that affect daylilies in the summer in his book.

In one they die and rot away if they are divided in August or September in the South and replanted when there is high heat, humidity, rain and a rich soil.

In another their leaves simply start to yellow even when the clump has been undisturbed and then they die and rot away.

In a third the leaves yellow and then start to die back; the plant will eventually recover but it will not bloom that year (presumably because it is smaller).
Maurice
7A (Zone 7a)
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dormantsrule
Jul 31, 2015 7:35 PM CST
Meredith79 said:That's what I did, it seemed to help some but not all. I also remember using bags of compsted manure in the planting beds to ammend the soil. I don't use that anymore


Do you think the bags of composted manure caused a problem?

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Name: Kevin Smith
INDIANA (Zone 5b)
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kssmith
Jul 31, 2015 9:56 PM CST
i have been using bags of composted cow manure for several years now combined with bags of peat but not always. Who really knows how much manure your getting in those bags anyway? If nothing else at least its good dark soil.
Only problem that could be called summer sickness that i have had is with Laura Harwood. Its a late mid bloomer and a lot of the leaves have yellowed and the scapes are short but loaded with buds and is now blooming good. Not going to move as this year i plan on a regimen of milorganite for all my beds and the yard as well.
SO MANY DAYLILYS, SO LITTLE LAND
Name: Meredith
New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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Meredith79
Aug 1, 2015 5:40 AM CST
dormantsrule said:

Do you think the bags of composted manure caused a problem?



I think it may have but I added it right at planting time and I live where the winters are wet and cold and I planted close to my cut off in fall if not a little past. The DL's were from the south and small, not huge fans.
[Last edited by Meredith79 - Aug 1, 2015 5:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Aug 1, 2015 6:36 AM CST
Maurice - Thank you! I will keep an eye on any of my chlorotic daylilies. I looked closely at the one in my photo above and gently pulled on the leaves. Nothing coming loose. I did recently sprinkle a "little" milorganite around in that raised bed. Most of the others are loving a little bit of fertilizer, so maybe this one will too and green up.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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[Last edited by beckygardener - Aug 1, 2015 6:36 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 1, 2015 1:44 PM CST
beckygardener said:

What could slowly kill a seemingly healthy daylily plant?

@sooby , @admmad , and anyone else ....

Are you hearing about this kind of situation from others or have you experienced it yourselves?


Sorry I'm late Hilarious! Was out all day yesterday and just catching up.

I would put fans where the main fans die and then produce several smaller fans around where they were down to winter damage. I've had the odd one do that and then be fine in subsequent years. 'Ethiopia' comes to mind - after struggling in its first winter and not making an appearance at all until around June or even July, don't remember for sure, it hasn't done it again and this year is flowering quite well.

Sometimes the same cultivar but from a different source behaves completely differently. I had 'Cherry Cheeks' some years ago and it dwindled and then didn't make it through one winter. I liked it so when I saw it for sale at a local hardware store in a pot I bought it again. Same flower but the plant is much more vigorous and it's now been with me for many years. Things can happen to individual plants that make them behave atypically for that cultivar.

With spring sickness you would first see twisted, gnarly, bent over or just plain stunted fans. They don't necessarily deteriorate to the point of dying and/or producing smaller fans around them and in fact can be quite vigorous plants on the whole Even fans affected by spring sickness can ultimately flower in the same year. I have a photographic sequence I may get around to posting one day.

There are also cultivars that just seem to lack vigour and never really get going.

Plants can be set back by all sorts of things. The first thing to consider with a plant problem is what is normal for that plant. As I mentioned above, even if the cultivar in general is a good performer in one's area there may have been a history with the individual that you happened to get. As an example, when one plants many annuals of all the same cultivar there may be one or two that die or don't do as well as the others. It can be hard to figure out why unless it's something obvious.

I would agree that moving them can sometimes make all the difference. I had 'Night Beacon' really struggle in its original location, it looked like stunting from spring sickness. It didn't flower. Then I had to move it for an unrelated reason and it never looked back. Flowered beautifully every year since.

To find out what is normal for that plant one would have to ask the hybridizer, or the source, or others that grow it in a similar climate.

Becky, can you post a close-up of your yellowing foliage, a leaf and a whole plant? How deep is the mulch and how deep in the soil under it are the daylilies planted?

Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Aug 2, 2015 6:52 PM CST
Sue - I wasn't home today, so didn't get a chance to take any photos of the yellow foliage. We've been getting a lot of rain here lately. I periodically sprinkle milorganite in all my garden beds to keep the squirrels, raccoons, and whatever else from digging. (It does work.) Not a lot, but enough that my daylilies seem to be putting on new growth now with the rain water and fertilizer. I think I lost a few of them though where there are missing daylilies. Just more room to plant new seedlings! Whistling Hilarious!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Aug 2, 2015 8:30 PM CST
Beacky,
Maybe you have not lost the plants, maybe they are merely suffering from "sumer dormancy" or heat dormancy.
I have a few that completely or almost completely disappeared but now new growth is showing.
"My Path" looks like most of my plants did back in the very early spring, it has about ten new fans developing.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 3, 2015 12:07 PM CST
I said above I may post a sequence of spring sickness that I photographed one year (2007) - I wanted to document its progress. Here is the first picture, taken on May 15
Thumb of 2015-08-03/sooby/ce6195

Next was on May 27
Thumb of 2015-08-03/sooby/7841ce

Lastly, taken on July 30
Thumb of 2015-08-03/sooby/ac58f7

You'd think I'd have been smart enough to take one or two in between the middle and the last but apparently not. The end result was the same anyway, it got over it by itself and flowered. Whether bud count was reduced or not I don't know, it does look a little less than this year's on the same cultivar, now a multi-fan clump with 15 scapes, despite a ninebark bush growing right in the middle of it *Blush*

This is not to make light of what spring sickness can do at its worst, but to show that they can and do recover on their own and the sufferers are not necessarily wimpy plants.

Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 3, 2015 12:29 PM CST
My experience with spring sickness is not quite the same as Sue's. In general for me the plants that suffer from spring sickness (ss) do not recover well enough to bloom at all normally. One clump did not flower at all this year after suffering ss and the fans are not even now anywhere near normal flowering size. Another clump of a different cultivar managed to produce one very poor short scape that was not anything like normal in height or budcount. The rest of the fans are not normal flowering size; they are very short and not much larger than healthy seedling size even though they have been pushed heavily with fertilizer. A third clump that suffered ss this spring managed at the same time as its fans were being decimated to produce a number of new healthy fans at a short distance from the clump. It has produced a few scapes but not as many as last year and I suspect only from those new fans.

In my experience plants that suffer from ss take more than a year to become the same size and as healthy as they were before the ss. I always consider ss to have both apparent positive and negative aspects. A small clump of a cultivar that suffers ss here will be set back for some time but when it finally recovers will be many more fans than it would have been otherwise. That is true for all three cultivars mentioned above that suffered ss this spring here.
Maurice
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Aug 3, 2015 10:48 PM CST
Sue - Thank you for posting those photos! After seeing your photos, I now realize that 1 of my seedlings had Spring Sickness. I recognized that weird curling of the leaves around the base. I had one that was doing that and had no idea what was going on. I did not keep track of which seedling it was after moving all the seedlings around when amending that bed in June. But I will say that none of mine are exhibiting that behavior currently.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Aug 3, 2015 10:49 PM CST
Maurice - So you and Sue are both saying that Spring Sickness did not kill any of your plants? Each one finally did recover after much time and your daylilies actually increased and bloomed exhibiting no ill effects?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 4, 2015 5:23 AM CST
Plants of mine that had spring sickness, did recover and bloom that summer also.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 4, 2015 6:15 AM CST
beckygardener said:Maurice - So you and Sue are both saying that Spring Sickness did not kill any of your plants? Each one finally did recover after much time and your daylilies actually increased and bloomed exhibiting no ill effects?
I am saying that my plants that had spring sickness (ss) did recover given enough time. They were clumps to begin with so I cannot say what might happen if a single fan plant or a plant with only a few fans had spring sickness. The plants that suffer from spring sickness here do exhibit ill effects for quite some time including for more than one growing season. The plants that suffer from spring sickness here may not bloom in the year that they have ss even if they had bloomed in the previous year. Even if they do manage to bloom in the same year that they had ss their flowering does show very strong ill effects with far fewer scapes, shorter scapes and fewer buds on each scape. Spring sickness often seems to kill the growing points of fans. When that happens the original fan is replaced by one or more fans from axillary buds. Here, in general, when a clump suffers from ss, after the clump recovers there are more but considerably smaller fans in the clump. I have not taken measurements but imagine something like the following: originally a fan is one inch wide, after suffering ss that fan is basically gone (a couple of its leaves may linger) but after its crown recovers, in its place are two fans each less than a quarter inch wide (sometimes very much less). The one inch fan would have bloomed this year; the smaller fans might not bloom for two more years. It is possible that the one inch fan dies and is not replaced by any smaller fans ( I have never tracked the outcome of ss on each individual fan in a clump). I suspect that some fans do die and are not replaced.

Maurice
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 4, 2015 6:30 AM CST
Seagull's Heaven does poorly for me. I have had it for 5 years now and it is still 2 fans and it is struggling. Scapes were very stunted this year with very little bud count even though we have had plenty of rain and I have fertilized. The first 2 years it bloomed was much better than the last 3 years. I didn't really notice any spring sickness on this plant but I really think it needs a warmer climate to perform better.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Aug 4, 2015 6:38 AM CST
Maurice - Thank you for the extra explanation. I understand now what you are saying. Sorry to be so slow to "get it".

Cindy - I often think the same thing of some of my seedlings. Wondering if they would do better in a colder climate. Sorry to hear about your Seagull Heaven performing poorly. Have you tried moving it to a different location in your yard? Seems that works for many folks (and their daylilies).
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Hemlady
Aug 4, 2015 6:42 AM CST
No I haven't Becky as I have limited space. I may just have to send that one south. I am trying to downsize anyway and I need to clear some out.
Lighthouse Gardens

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