Daylilies forum: Causes of bud drop?

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South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Jun 12, 2016 2:24 AM CST
I have a seedling which is driving me mad. It's in a #2 pot, sitting in a planter box on the patio, which it shares with two other seedling daylilies, which are also in #2 pots. (The problem seedling is sitting between the other two seedlings.)

The other two seedlings are doing fine - they are blooming, the blooms are opening properly, no buds are lost, no problem. (Well, other than that they are not potential Stout Medal Winners... Hilarious! )

THIS seedling, almost every bud fails to make it to maturity. The buds kind of look like they are shriveling and drying up, and then they drop off. When a bud does manage to make it to Bloom Day, it doesn't open fully, but rather maybe halfway.

All of the seedlings get watered at the same time, and the planter box does not drain, so there's a little bit of water left in the bottom (which has a layer of gravel). That tells me that this is probably not a drought phenomenon.

Any ideas as to a cause or a cure? I don't recall it doing this last year. (Please don't tell me to throw the seedling out... it's a poly seedling!)
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jun 12, 2016 4:47 AM CST
I would suspect maybe spider mites or thripes. I have one plant in over 200 that gets spider mites every year. Why just that one they pick on I have no idea.
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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Jun 12, 2016 5:03 AM CST
I was wondering about that too. I have a few scapes where every bloom is shriveling up and dropping. No rhyme or reason at all. Just random scapes.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
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
Jun 12, 2016 6:01 AM CST
Thanks for that suggestion Hemlady, I would never have known that.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jun 12, 2016 7:32 AM CST
That is interesting. I've had problems with the foliage, but never had a serious problem with bud drop. Never even thought of spider mites! Will keep my eyes on the look-out should I notice such a problem.

I have a couple more newly acquired cultivars that are croaking. Seems the leaf streak, thrips, rust, etc. are attacking them despite my organic efforts. So my plan of action is to let Mother Nature take her course. Perhaps, they just weren't meant to be grown here. Any high maintenance cultivars either make it or finds Daylily Heaven. Ironically, I've not had to cull any cultivars or seedlings yet to make more room for others, seems nature has been taking care of that for me. That is fine with me. I want the most robust plants to survive and thrive here, not the weaklings.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jun 12, 2016 7:40 AM CST
Thanks for the clue in the possible cause Hemlady. I have an unregistered seedling that I purchased that hasn't bloomed in 2 years. It produced scapes but they didn't grow right & all the buds dropped off. This year it has a scape and 2 out of 3 buds have dropped. I do think the last will make it since it is quite large now. The seedling is planted in a raised bed with several other daylilies and they all are fine. I guess that must be the tastiest one of the bunch! Rolling on the floor laughing
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
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beckygardener
Jun 12, 2016 7:46 AM CST
Polymerous and Elena - I had a seedling like that as well. It never, ever did well. When it finally did bloom, the flower never opened completely and I was disappointed. Perhaps, I thought, that it's genetics were not a healthy combination and it would never become a "normal" plant. It died later that year despite the foliage looking decent. Sad
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
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Jun 12, 2016 1:32 PM CST
Thanks, Cindy for the mites or thrips suggestion. One of the parents of this seedling has been a thrip magnet here. Occasionally I will lose buds on it, but nothing like this seedling has been behaving.

What is infuriating is that this seedling bloomed fine (well, as fine as it can - it doesn't open as fully as I want, a flaw to be fixed) last year. This year.... pffft. Even more infuriating, almost every bud on the seedling this year was (what I wanted) polymerous! It is my only such seedling!

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!!!!!! Grumbling
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 13, 2016 8:56 AM CST
There's a longer list of pest possibilities depending on location. On this AHS list check out Lopidea confluenta, Hemerocallis gall midge, tarnished plant bug as well as the more commonly suspected thrips. I've seen daylilies heavily infested with spider mites but not abort buds so I'm not sure if that is typical.

http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/pests.html

It could also be environmental - nutritional, moisture related, something going on with the roots and so on. Bud drop in daylilies comes in the "who knows", and various possibilites categories.

One clue sometimes might be the colour of the flowers that are being affected.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Jun 13, 2016 9:35 AM CST
Thanks for the link, Sue.

I've seen some sort of grass-hoppery thing perched on some of the daylily blooms (its presence itself in the garden is unusual), but none of those daylilies are having bud drop, and I have not seen it in the vicinity of this seedling. Ditto spotted cucumber beetles and earwigs (which seem to like to hide out in the blooms) don't seem to be affecting those daylilies which I have seen them on.

Slugs and snails abound, but they do different kinds of damage.

One clue perhaps is that last year I was more liberal with (hose-spray) watering, and did not try to avoid the foliage. Given that I have been having some rust problems, this year I've been trying to avoid getting the foliage wet. Maybe that suggests mites? (I'm not sure what to look for, here.)

I'm not sure how to interpret your last line... The blooms on this seedling are somewhere between pale yellow and pale apricot or peach in color. The buds that dry up, look some shade of yellow with brown tips.

The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jun 13, 2016 9:48 AM CST
Both Lopidea confluenta and tarnished plant bugs would not necessarily been seen, especially in warm weather - they're kind of hit and run. Both are piercing sucking insects and the TPB at least injects a substance that can cause distortion and abortion.

The last sentence meant the colour of the flower when it opens normally, not when damaged. Some pests have colour preferences. Sorry for the ambiguity.

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