Daylilies forum: Help! Need advice!

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Dec 30, 2016 8:22 AM CST
Living in the deep south has had it's challenges when growing daylilies. Rust, thrips, drought, etc.

I seem to have gotten past most of the worst of these challenges, but one challenge that I am still battling is aphids. I originally thought an attack last Spring was a one time event, but it has happened twice since then. Typically aphids come, then Ladybugs come to the rescue. But this year was different. I don't know if the spraying for the Zika mosquitoes was a factor or what, but Ladybugs have been scarce for the first time in a decade here in my yard. So the aphid problem has gotten worse than I have ever seen in my garden. And the worst attack of any aphid species has been against my daylily plants. It has been really, really bad this year!

I am an organic gardener. I had tried the home remedies, but the aphids laughed at my soap, garlic, and oil concoction. I did try a product called "Organocide 3-in-1 Garden Spray". Which I did see some good results using that product. But I hate spraying regularly. So ....

What companion plants could I plant around my daylilies that might repel aphids? Are marigolds the only plant or are there others? I have "daylily only" raised beds currently. My daylily cultivars are planted close to each other, so I need companion plants that won't overrun my daylilies and cause serious competition for fertilizer, yet can handle regular watering. I have a micro-irrigation system in all my raised beds.

I also want to say that every time I use Miloganite fertilizer (which works great for leaf growth), the aphids come back with a vengeance! So I am now of the opinion that I need to avoid using that fertilizer on my daylilies .... unless I can find something that works to repel the aphids.

So please help with some suggestions and comments! This is a whole new challenge that I was not expecting. I've got the rust dilemma under decent control and thrips aren't as bad as they once were. But the aphid issue is now my greatest and most unexpected challenge trying to successfully grow 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
[Last edited by beckygardener - Dec 30, 2016 8:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Dec 30, 2016 8:34 AM CST
Becky we feel your pain.
Many gardeners have used Neem oil as a aphid control. I personally haven't use it.
As far as companion plants, I personally don't have a clue. More research is need. I will see what I can find out. Crossing Fingers!
robinseeds.com
"Life as short as it is, is amazing isn't it ?" Michael Burton
"Be your best you".
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
Dec 30, 2016 9:08 AM CST
Thanks, Mike, for your solidarity in fighting pests that attack our gardens!

I did find a good article about other organic ways to fight pests:
http://www.motherearthnews.com...

But they really didn't mention too much about companion planting. I really would like to add some insect repelling plants to my garden beds.

I also wished I had chickens or ducks to help control the bigger bugs. LOL!
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
[Last edited by beckygardener - Dec 30, 2016 9:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Dec 30, 2016 9:34 AM CST
To figure out companion plants that might be appropriate you'd need to know the species of aphid since there is more than one that can attack daylilies. Have you been using fungicides for rust? Just wondering, since that can increase aphid problems. If you still have predominantly daylilies I'm not sure that a few companion plants will help all that much. Are these aphids deep down in the fans or are they around the flower buds?

The Organocide appears to be primarily sesame oil?
[Last edited by sooby - Dec 30, 2016 9:36 AM (+)]
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Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
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kidfishing
Dec 30, 2016 10:09 AM CST
Becky,
Every spring some of the daylilies are covered with these pests but they seem to go away within a few weeks. We do have lots of ladybugs. A high pressure nozzle will wash them off and that is the only thing I have tried. We have too many daylilies scattered over 2 acres to try and control anything so it is survival of the fittest around here. We only use chemicals for grass and weeds and don't do that well controlling them.
The insect repellent plants are a good idea but what I have studied in the past is that there is not enough research in this area and those that try this as a means of contolling unwanted insect pests find limited results and it probably depends on the level of the infestation.
Allium and Lavender are two other plants considered insect repellent.

Have you tried vinegar in your natural solution?
Kidfishing
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Dec 30, 2016 10:25 AM CST
Kidfishing just FWIW Allium and daylilies share some of the same pests (e.g.bulb mites, lesser bulb flies and certain thrips) but although onions can get aphids I don't think those same aphids go for daylilies.
Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
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florange
Dec 31, 2016 12:55 PM CST
Becky, I had an aphid invasion to end all invasions. Found it just before Christmas. Finished cutting the daylilies back 3 days ago (and the # of aphids in the bag was astounding!) Anyway, I sprayed with Bug B Gone because organic options haven't worked for me. Next day I sprayed with Peter's cal-mag to fertilize the daylilies and get them back on track. Between the hurricane and aphids, they've had a tough 3 months! Now I have army worms on my tomatoes. Sighing! Sighing!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Dec 31, 2016 4:06 PM CST
I have also found aphids to be a big problem (I say that judging by the number of aphids found, not by the actual damage seen). I actually could not see any damage that I could directly attribute to the aphids but I could envision in my mind all sorts of diseases and problems that might be caused by such a large number of sucking insects praying on my plants throughout the winter. I pulled the mulch back and cut the plants back so I could really get in there and spray very well. I used a solution of dish detergent and ammonia. I went back and checked approximately a week later and found there were still lots of aphids still among the plants. So I sprayed again. I have found this problem in the early spring most years, and it normally takes two or three sprayings to get the problem under control. Maybe it just controls the aphids enough to let the beneficial insects take over and finally get them under control, I don't know for sure. I just know that normally I have a flush of aphids early then they tend to diminish later.
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
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Mayo62
Dec 31, 2016 4:12 PM CST
hi Becky,

I don't know how big your garden is and if it is possible in the US, but over here I búy baby ladybugs whenever I have a big aphids infestation.

I have aphids right now on my seedlings that are in my growtent, and I ordered 100 ladybugs just before Christmas. They came in the mail 2 days ago and I will disperse the babies over the plants tomorrow Thumbs up

Can you buy Ladybugs where you live?

Mayo
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
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florange
Dec 31, 2016 6:23 PM CST
Larry, my daylilies were looking pale, not bold and green as they should this time of year. They were having all their energy sucked right out of them.

I have not cut my daylilies back in 2 years and their foliage was heavy and dense. Spraying would do no good to those plants. Cutting back, spraying and fertilizing did wonders--it's really apparent how many fans each daylily has, the weeds are easier to see and spreading granular fertilizer is much easier now that the foliage is short. It won't be long before they are bushy again!!
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
Dec 31, 2016 8:20 PM CST
Thank you to each of you who posted solutions or comments about my dilemma.

My daylily beds just have daylilies in them. I also have containers with daylilies. I can say that the aphids caused havoc to my plants. The leaves turned yellow and then brown. They had been beautiful green bushy daylily plants and I was excited to note that many looked like they were increasing. After the aphid attack, they looked like goners. To say I was freaked out is an understatement. I sprayed the daylights out of them, It was only after the second spraying using the organic product did I finally see the aphids diminish. I still see some here and there and I need to spray AGAIN, but they are nowhere near as bad as they had been.

I also cut back the foliage on most of my plants before spraying that last time. I even had some scapes, but those were pretty much destroyed by these dang aphids! Grrrrr ..... !!!

I can honestly say that every time I use Miloganite fertilizer, the aphids show up after the plants then become nice, thick green clumps. I have never seen so many aphids as I did this last time! It was a serious infestation of them! Everywhere!!!! On every single daylily plant in my yard. Ugh!

Sue - In answer to your questions:
I do not really treat for rust. I just get rid of rust buckets and grow rust resistant cultivars now. The aphids were deep down and all over the fans of the daylilies. It was incredible how many I saw. They were all over the plants, but especially way down into the base of the leaves. They are light colored (pale yellow aphids). I am not sure what is in the Organocide. It sticks and takes a few days for the smell to wear off my hands. It seems to coat the leaves and I don't see aphids returning. It is supposed to kill eggs to adults over a season. And it is listed as organic.

Terry - I used my high-pressured water hose nozzle to spray many of the aphids off, but there were so many that later I came back to check the area and saw them crawling along the ground almost like an army! It really freaked me out. The water did not drown and kill them. And many crawled right back onto my daylily plants. (sigh) Thanks for the suggestions of Allium and Lavender. Lavendar can get really big and spread. I've never grown Alliums before. And no, I have never used vinegar in any organic pest control solution. Should I try that?

Arlene - Sorry to hear about your tomatoes. I didn't have much damage to any of my daylilies during the hurricane this past Fall. But this aphid problem is horrible! Sorry you've been dealing with that issue lately too.

Larry - I have not used ammonia in my organic solution. I have heard you have to spray several times to kill the newly hatched egg larvae and any returning adult aphids. So you are right that it takes more than 1 or even 2 sprayings to control these pests.

Mayo - They do sell Ladybugs here, but not at this time of year. Usually in the Spring months. I used to have a LOT of Ladybugs here because I had purchased and then released them. This year though, was far different. Hardly any Ladybugs at all.







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: 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
Jan 1, 2017 6:44 AM CST
"plants, but especially way down into the base of the leaves. They are light colored (pale yellow aphids). I am not sure what is in the Organocide. It sticks and takes a few days for the smell to wear off my hands. It seems to coat the leaves and I don't see aphids returning. It is supposed to kill eggs to adults over a season. And it is listed as organic."

When I looked it up the Organocide label I found said it was primarily sesame oil, but I asked because sometimes things change so yours might have been different. It should say on the label. A study showed that diluted soybean oil works for aphids on daylilies but when they're the down in the leaf bases kind of aphid they are harder to get with a non-systemic spray than those that cluster around the flower buds.

In one study I saw (not on daylilies) aphids were worse on plants low in potassium. Milorganite analysis has zero potassium but I think you said you also use Osmocote or something with potassium? Low potassium does encourage rust also, and higher nitrogen also encourages rust and aphids. BTW aphids mostly reproduce by live birth rather than eggs although they might lay eggs occasionally, I think it depends on the time of year and aphid species and maybe climate. Live birth is why they reproduce so quickly, the baby aphid (not a larva, called a nymph) is born up and running, no time wasted hatching from an egg. There is a specific daylily aphid (Myzus hemerocallis) but several other aphid species can affect daylilies too.
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
Jan 1, 2017 7:34 PM CST
Sue - I looked at the ingredients and you are right, it has 5% - Sesame Oil, 95% - Lecithin, Edible Fish Oil, Potassium, Sorbate, Water. It can be used on edibles and will not harm bees or butterflies. Though I am sure it will kill caterpillars. I was surprised to see Potassium considering what you said. Kills eggs to adults which would included the following pests: Aphids, Whitefiles, Fungus Gnats, Scale, Spider Mites, Thrips, Mealy Bugs, fungal diseases such as downy and powdery mildew, black spot, etc. Probably not rust though .... but you never know. It says a single application should be all that is needed, but if there is a bad infestation, it may require 2 treatments 7 days apart. For maintenance, spray monthly or spot treat as needed. Do not use if temps are 95 or higher.

It has been a few weeks since I treated all my daylilies with this stuff. Foliage is coming back and the plants are starting to fill out and look good again. I do feel like I should spray everything again since I do worry about the aphids coming back. It seemed like it happened so quickly that by the time I really noticed leaf death that it was already a horrible infestation.

I think if the Ladybugs had come back, it would never have gotten that bad. I have not seen a single Ladybug since last Spring. So something is going on concerning those beneficial bugs.

I do indeed use Osmocote or other slow-release fertilizer that is similar. I liked the Miloganite fertilizer because it really does promote foliage growth. My daylilies always produce nice green clumps when I use it, but it never fails .... the aphids soon show up after my daylilies are looking their best after using Miloganite! You may be right about the Potassium. Could I treat the plants with some sort of Potassium if I use Miloganite fertilizer?
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
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jan 1, 2017 7:37 PM (+)]
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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
Jan 2, 2017 7:17 AM CST
I've probably asked you this before, sorry if so, but do you know your soil pH? The reason I ask is that if you're getting more response from Milorganite than Osmocote then perhaps it is from the significant amount of iron in the Milorganite. A high soil pH can block the plant from being able to take up enough iron from the soil. Less commonly there is an actual shortage of iron but it typically tends to be a pH thing. If you see any interveinal chlorosis in the daylily leaves then that would be supportive.

If the Osmocote provides adequate potassium you should not need to add any more. Going over and above what is sufficient won't be worthwhile. If it is insufficient then yes it would help to provide some potassium. If the plants are seriously deficient in potassium you would see other symptoms as well.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 2, 2017 7:50 AM CST
Hi Becky. I am glad that your aphids infestation is under control. I have read your thread with interest. Between rust and aphids, growing daylilies in the south definitely is very challenging.
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
Jan 2, 2017 10:41 AM CST
Sue - No, I do not know the exact ph of my soil, though I do NOT see any interveinal chlorosis in any of the leaves. The plants do well regardless, but the Miloganite really increased the foliage growth, which is why I like it. I get growth with the Osmocote, too, but not as abundantly as I do with Miloganite.

Karen - Yes indeed! The south has challenges with rust, but growing rust resistant cultivars seems to help cure that problem. I think the aphid problem is partly due to the lack of Ladybugs this past year and using Miloganite.
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: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Jan 2, 2017 3:49 PM CST
Becky they are probably attracted to the lushness of the foliage that the Milorganite produce than to the Milorganite itself. Angry
robinseeds.com
"Life as short as it is, is amazing isn't it ?" Michael Burton
"Be your best you".
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
Jan 2, 2017 6:44 PM CST
LOL, Mike!!!

Yes, absolutely! I know it's not the smell of Miloganite. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
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: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Florida Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses
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GaNinFl
Jan 3, 2017 8:55 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
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cybersix
Jan 3, 2017 9:14 AM CST
I had lots of aphids too, especially on three plants, never seen anything like that before. I bought an oliy insecticide that should act on eggs too, and after spraying it for one time many were gone, but not completely. The fliage was yellow, brown and full of little dark spots. This winter for the first time I decided to cut back all the foliage. There were little snails all inside the foliage, slugs, earwigs... so I thought to cut everything and see if it can help for the next spring.
It's been the worst year for me, including gall midge and spring sickness.
But it also was the first year I regularly used a fertilizer (similar to osmocote).
I don't have ladybugs here and I'm really sorry for it. I may buy some the next spring.. but I can't understand how it works. What do they send? Adults? larvae?
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info

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