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Aug 24, 2015 4:04 AM CST
Name: Chuck
Gorham Maine (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 1
A question for those of us that live in colder climates. For your daylilies, after the blooms we allow the plants to replenish their root system in preparation for the coming cold weather. But before the first of the cold weather do you;
Let the foliage just die back?
Cut back the foliage for easier clean up in the spring?
And is there any advantage to either way?
Chuck
Life is a journey of adventure and discovery, sail bravely into each new day.
Last edited by dogwalker Aug 24, 2015 4:06 AM Icon for preview
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Aug 24, 2015 5:04 AM CST
Name: Heidi
CT (Zone 5b)
Always find the awesome in your day
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Great question, I would love to hear feedback too. This year, mine are all getting at least trimmed because I am redoing my flower beds and splitting some of my bigger clumps.

In the past, I have done both. Never paid attention to how they ultimately did. Keeping some dead foliage at least at helped me identify where my clumps are while doing spring cleanup..... Because no matter how much fall cleanup I do, I still end up with tons of leaves to remove in the spring!
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Aug 24, 2015 5:12 AM CST
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Everybody has their own preferences but here in the north I let mine die back to serve as a sort of natural mulch for the daylily. Those who live in the south often cut them back.
Lighthouse Gardens
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Aug 24, 2015 5:50 AM CST
Name: Betty
MN zone 4b
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I totally agree with Cindy and let mine die back, plus I usually mulch with shredded leaves in fall.
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

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Aug 24, 2015 6:21 AM CST
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Garden Art Region: Minnesota Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
I cut all mine back to about 10" in late September, and I add my alfalfa pellets around each plant. We then fill the beds with oak leaves which would be impossible if we hadn't cut the plants back. In the spring I clean up what's left over and put down the Milorganite before the deer get a chance to eat anything.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
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Aug 24, 2015 6:53 AM CST
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
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mom2cjemma said:
. Keeping some dead foliage at least at helped me identify where my clumps are while doing spring cleanup..... Because no matter how much fall cleanup I do, I still end up with tons of leaves to remove in the spring!


I agree
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
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Aug 24, 2015 8:12 AM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
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dogwalker said:
Let the foliage just die back?
Cut back the foliage for easier clean up in the spring?
And is there any advantage to either way?


The advantages for the plant versus the advantages for the gardener may not quite amount to the same thing. Letting the leaves die back on their own schedule allows the plant to keep making food to use or store for as long as conditions are suitable (think photosynthesis), which may help it get through the upcoming winter. When you cut the leaves you're potentially diminishing the plant's food manufacturing capability and if you do it too early it may try to regrow using food it was planning to store instead. Presumably also the plant may be extracting mineral nutrients from those leaves as they turn yellow and die. It's quite easy to remove dead foliage in spring, it pulls away more easily than in fall.
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Aug 24, 2015 8:18 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
I let all DLs die back.
Stella de Oro disappears completely, the others kept some leaves they didn't die completely.
Must see the next winter if it will be cooler than the past how do they "die"
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
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Aug 24, 2015 8:40 AM CST
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
I have always let mine die back so they can be used as a bit of mulch for the winter. Then I put an inch or so of more mulch and pile a couple of feet of snow on top for insulation.
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Aug 26, 2015 6:22 PM CST
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Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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I'm a cutter, too. In fact I've already started. Years ago an early winter put an end to my garden clean up and I thought it wouldn't make any difference to clean the sections that were left in the spring. The weeds for the next few years in those sections were a nightmare! Most will regrow new foliage as they stop blooming refreshing the garden after the somewhat ratty looking foliage of late summer has been removed. The left over 10 -12" from cutting and the new growth seem to do a well enough job of protecting the plants over winter, unless they are tender to begin with. While removing the foliage I also notice slugs and snails of various sizes being taken out of the garden in those leaves.

Plants are cutback as I restock the sale beds and I just continue right into the display areas as I move things around. All but the new spring planted sdlgs get trimmed. One advantage of trimming the other two sdlg areas for me ( I have 3 areas that rotate) is that I can see the cross tags and pods making it easier to find them. Seedlings are planted very close together making it difficult to find pods with all the foliage and different sized plants mixed together.

I agree with sooby though, cutting them is more to my advantage than the daylilies.
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Aug 27, 2015 9:06 AM CST
Greencastle IN (Zone 5b)
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I have done both. Does not seem to have made a big difference that I have noticed. I like trimming them up for a neater look and it makes putting the leaves on in the late fall a little easier I try to do my trimming as late as possible. If a larger plant is getting moved or divided I trim the for easier handling and try to do that as early as possible. I trim them no shorter than 10-12 inches.
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
- Alan Keightley
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Aug 27, 2015 11:28 AM CST
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Garden Art Region: Minnesota Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
I too have never noticed that trimming in late fall impacts the plants in any way. If they get any healthier I may have to dig new gardens, lol.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
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Aug 27, 2015 6:22 PM CST
Name: Kevin Smith
INDIANA (Zone 5b)
Die back for all the reasons previously stated. Like to cut scapes right after blooming because i do not cross them yet. Maybe someday.
SO MANY DAYLILYS, SO LITTLE LAND
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