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Aug 5, 2015 6:43 PM CST
Name: Laura
SE Michigan (Zone 5b)
Bee Lover Birds Daylilies Dragonflies Hummingbirder Region: Michigan
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I'm not sure that I'll be able to phrase this right, but here goes... When scapes are bloomed out and if you don't have any pods on them, what is the 'best' thing to do? Cut the scapes down right away or wait until the scapes are brown and then pull them? Assuming neatness and the looks of ugly dying scapes were not an issue, what would be the most beneficial for the plant? I recall hearing a few years ago that the scapes should be left on, but thought I'd ask here on this forum. Thanks!
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Aug 5, 2015 7:10 PM CST
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Not a silly question at all. I have no idea if it is beneficial to leave the scapes on the plant until it turns brown or not. I will be interested to hear what others say, too!

Most of mine stay because I usually have seed pods ripening on mine. The pods ripen about the same time the scape turns brown.
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
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Aug 5, 2015 7:20 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
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It's a matter of preference but should be slightly better to leave the scapes on until they're brown and then cut them or leave them. The hollow cut stems can collect moisture and insects/mites so it may be better for the plant to leave them intact for longer. Some people leave the dead scapes on so they can do bud counts when less busy. What you definitely should not do is pull the scapes off if they don't release with a slight tug because otherwise you may damage the crown and create an entry for diseases and pests.
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Aug 5, 2015 7:24 PM CST
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Sue - Great advice! That makes good sense to me. Thank you. I am guilty of cutting them off and I have thought about that hollow space for pests or disease to enter, but I didn't follow through on those thoughts. My gut instinct told me exactly what you just confirmed. Thank You! Thumbs up
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
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Aug 5, 2015 7:37 PM CST
Name: Pat Strong
Stone Mountain (Zone 8a)
Birds Orchids Irises Hummingbirder Houseplants Region: Georgia
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Sue, thanks for that tidbit of information. I always pull my up after they turn brown and dry out. So much to learn!
Pat236
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Aug 5, 2015 8:08 PM CST
Name: Julie C
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Clematis Lilies Birds Garden Art Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
The late Ra Hansen ( Dan Hansen's mother for any who might be newer to daylilies) always said to wait until the scapes were brown and would come out when pulled or tugged gently . She knew daylilies, and I've always followed her advice. Just last night, I went around and gave a gentle tug to the brown scapes - if they pulled out easily then they were pulled and and added to the compost pile. Sometimes they brown and are still not quite ready to pull - they won't come out with a gentle tug. A few snapped off last night , so they were just left until they've browned a bit more. If the scapes look too unsightly, you can always prune them - it's whatever floats your boat. But I agree with Sue, at some point they need to be pulled. In the fall ( beginning in late Sept. here) the entire garden will get cleaned - all scapes will be pulled and the foliage will be cut back to about 6". Perennials will be cut back too. Some in more northern climates prefer to leave all the old foliage to act as mulch during the winter, but here it's better to get the garden as clean as possible so that no insects or diseases are harbored on the old foliage over winter.
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Aug 5, 2015 8:26 PM CST
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Ra Hanson knows best!!! Thumbs up Big Grin
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
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Aug 5, 2015 9:43 PM CST
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Heucheras Garden Ideas: Level 2 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Ideas: Level 1
Region: Minnesota Hostas Keeps Horses Birds Farmer Daylilies
Julie - what do you use to cut the foliage back -- last year i got the hedge trimmer out and gave them all a buzz cut -- that was the faster i ever cleaned out the daylily foliage in the garden. Whistling Whistling
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
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Aug 6, 2015 1:27 AM CST
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
It is likely that the plant moves some material that it can scavenge out of the dying scape to reuse it to grow new leaves or other tissues. It does do this with dying flowers, and probably does the same thing with dying leaves. It should be slightly more beneficial to let the scape brown naturally and then remove it when a slight tug releases it from the crown. That would indicate that the process of exporting reusable resources from the scape had been completed.
Maurice
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Aug 6, 2015 1:47 AM CST
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Garden Photography Cat Lover Daylilies Region: Europe Lilies Garden Ideas: Level 1
Good to know! I always cut the scape as near as I can to the base of the plants. But I'll leave them on now. So, deadheading is still good? Or is it the same for the spent flower?
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
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Aug 6, 2015 2:10 AM CST
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
cybersix said:So, deadheading is still good?

That depends on the time at which the flower is deadheaded.
cybersix said:is it the same for the spent flower?

It is the same for the spent flower. Material that can be reused is exported from the dying flower to other parts of the daylily plant.

Bieleski studied the movement of resources from the flower to other parts of the plant. He considered time zero to be midnight during the night before the flower opened and examined the flower up to 34 hours later. Resources were moved from the flower as it aged and died and transported to other parts of the plant during that time.

I seldom deadhead the flowers but when I do then it is only after they have developed their special layer that allows the drying flower to be easily removed from the scape at the special joint between the flower stem (pedicel) and the scape. The export of resources from the dying/drying flower should have more or less ended by then.
Maurice
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Aug 6, 2015 3:43 AM CST
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Garden Photography Cat Lover Daylilies Region: Europe Lilies Garden Ideas: Level 1
Thank you, so basically when you touch the flower and it falls by itself, right? I was used to deadhead right in the morning, I will let flower and scapes do what they please!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
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Aug 6, 2015 6:59 AM CST
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
cybersix said:Thank you, so basically when you touch the flower and it falls by itself, right?

You are very welcome. Yes
Maurice
Avatar for HopeD
May 27, 2019 7:05 AM CST

I am new to daylilies! I initially purchased a daylily to attract pollinators but since I have had it, I am falling in love <3
I have been trying to learn all that I can and decided to join this forum. My question today is: how can I get more scapes from this plant, this season?

While deadheading (not knowing exactly what I was doing), I learned that I cut the scape instead of the stem. Instead 5 scapes, I now have 2. I am sad about it but learned from it. Please assist.
Thumb of 2019-05-27/HopeD/2434bf
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May 27, 2019 7:57 AM CST
Name: Ed Burton
East Central Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Hybridizing, Lily Auction seed sell
Birds Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Seed Starter Pollen collector Peonies
Hybridizer Hummingbirder Hostas Daylilies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography
If the scape has bloomed the last of the flowers and doesn't have pods, in my mind it has no useful purpose to the clump and can be removed at the base, why waste any plant energy keeping a scape green if it's useful life has expired?
Ed Burton

seed seller "gramps"
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May 27, 2019 8:47 AM CST
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
I almost always deadhead each morning. If the weather (and ground) is really dry, I like to leave them on until they dry a bit. I figure the plant can suck in the needed moisture. When we've had too much rain, I will definitely deadhead in the morning. No scientific strategy on my part, just seems somewhat logical. However, on some cultivars I need to deadhead in the morning so the new blooms don't get captured in a soggy spent bloom or gets stained from the spent bloom dripping color onto it.

As for scapes: I've often questioned (myself) if pulling them off too soon or even cutting them down may be letting in bugs and bacteria. I even wonder if it increases the spring sickness that I see in my gardens.
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May 27, 2019 9:35 AM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
@HopeD,
Some daylilies are known as re-blooming daylilies. Those will send up more scapes after the first set has expired, some are called instant re-bloom because they sent up new scapes before the other scapes have expired, and some daylilies just seldom ever send up any additional scapes during the season. So if you can get more scapes or not this season largely depends on the variety you have. If it is a re-blooming variety, then a little fertilize and lots of water with organic matter mixed into the soil with plenty of sunlight is the best advice I can suggest for getting more scapes this season from that plant. Consider Thumbs up that buying more plants will result in my scapes!
Avatar for Jandowns2004
Jul 12, 2020 7:21 AM CST

When does the seed pods develop?
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Jul 12, 2020 7:51 AM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
Normally I see the small pods starting to develop three to four days after pollination.
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Jul 12, 2020 8:05 AM CST
Name: Dave
Wood Co TX & Huron Co MI
Butterflies Peonies Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Michigan Irises Hybridizer
Hostas Greenhouse Daylilies Garden Photography Region: Texas
if you left the bloom intact, you will notice swelling at the spent bloom base that is the pod forming.
Life is better at the lake.
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