Daylilies forum: Difficult Land

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Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Feb 25, 2017 7:10 PM CST
Is there anyone on this forum that grows their daylilies on land that sometimes floods, and possibly because it has a hardpan?

Some of my land is great and grows beautiful plants. But, if I'm going to breed amazing daylilies, I'll need to expand into areas where I'm not certain they'll thrive. This area is also where most of my sun is. I planted a river birch there a few years back, and last year that poor tree may have given up. Maybe it could withstand periodic flooding, but not the hardpan.

What do you think? I've seen on this forum where people keep daylilies in buckets of water for a while. Also, someone that plants them in a bog?

I've considered raised beds, but it's probably not an option. I don't mind hard work, but moving that much soil is beyond me. Not to mention the cost. Not to mention my reluctance to import soil.

I already planted a few of my new daylilies down there. (Not Rose, and I won't be putting Lillian there either!) I'm taking a chance, because I really love them.
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
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ShakespearesGarden
Feb 26, 2017 12:36 AM CST
What about keeping them in pots? The one gallon size? I think they'd be deep enough for root structure. Drainage might be less of a concern, especially if you can put pallets down and keep the pots raised. I guess it depends on how fast you want to expand. Hauling a few bags of soil or a yard cart full a couple of times a year is manageable...

And eventually...As far as amending the soil, throw down all cut grass, leaves, kitchen waste, spent dirt, whatever organic matter you can come up with, and let it do it's thing. Over time, whether you turn the soil or not, it will break down and maybe give you something workable. I have a patch dedicated to yard waste and I don't have the equipment to turn it- I leave and dig out the compost from the bottom/edges.

I
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Feb 26, 2017 8:43 AM CST
Diana, thank you for those good ideas. Is a one gallon pot big enough for them to live in, even for a couple of years? I've been thinking about doing that anyway, so I can move them to shady areas in order to set pods.
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
Feb 26, 2017 8:47 AM CST
I grow most of my named daylilies in a very boggy area. I am constantly striving to improve the soil structure and drainage, more for my sake I often think than for the plants. Working hours at a time in a muddy bog is very messy! I think I have made a lot of progress over the years hauling in organic matter, but I still have years ahead of me to continue to haul in organic matter and rework the bog beds. The leaves and grass clippings are more than several feet deep in many areas, yet the water is still standing in many spots. Of course, the organic matter turns into "soil" pretty quickly with the help of thousands of earthworms, so I end up with some very nice muddy soil.The plants seem to enjoy it. Rot has not been a serious problem, but I do still worry about it even after several years of growing, I do occasionally lose a plant, but am never sure of the reason.
I am constantly amazed at how much organic matter it seems to take to add just an inch of extra "soil" to the bog.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Feb 26, 2017 8:51 AM CST
If the areas is sloped even just a little you are going to have problems with the top soil mulch ect washing away, floating off. You could try adding little terraces, like ridges to help hold it in or use rock, but that is a lot of work. Lots of compost is generally the fix for any type of bad soil though.
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
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ShakespearesGarden
Feb 26, 2017 9:08 AM CST
Josie, I know I buy daylilies in one gallon pots, so I assume they're okay in them. The grower I used to frequent kept all of her daylilies in one gallon pots, as does every big box store I know of. I guess more research is in order.... I'll see if I can dig up anything...
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Feb 26, 2017 9:25 AM CST
You know some people have grown potatoes, tomatoes ect in straw bales... will dl grow in them? I guess you could hollow out a small spot and add some soil and then plant it. After doing this for a few years it may improve your soil/drainage alot.

Why does your spot flood? Is there anyway to funnel the water away? Like a terrace or ditch or pipe it to a pond?

Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
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ShakespearesGarden
Feb 26, 2017 11:38 AM CST
I like your idea Frillylily! That would kill two birds with one stone...
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
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
Feb 26, 2017 11:54 AM CST
I would think that growers (wholesalers and retailers) who keep their daylilies in one gal. pots are not expecting them to be there for over one season. I grow many daylilies that multiply so slowly they might be happy in one gal. containers for longer periods, but most of the ones I grow would out grow a one gal container in a very short period of time.
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
Feb 26, 2017 11:59 AM CST
I have read articles and seen videos of daylilies just planted in mulch.
I often dig up excess daylilies and just sit them on top of the ground then add mulch around them, in a few months they are firmly rooted and seem to thrive. I prefer to dig a shallow hole and place the plants in the hole, but that doesn't always happen. I think for some people who seem to have problems with their daylilies pulling themselves to deep, this system might be worth a try also.
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
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ShakespearesGarden
Feb 26, 2017 1:01 PM CST
Larry, it looks like you're correct. A season or two is probably all one can keep day lilies in gallon sized pots...

Back to brainstorming for me...
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
Feb 26, 2017 2:11 PM CST
Seedfork said: I have read articles and seen videos of daylilies just planted in mulch.
I often dig up excess daylilies and just sit them on top of the ground then add mulch around them, in a few months they are firmly rooted and seem to thrive. I prefer to dig a shallow hole and place the plants in the hole, but that doesn't always happen. I think for some people who seem to have problems with their daylilies pulling themselves to deep, this system might be worth a try also.


I do something similar, Larry. When I dig up extra daylilies, I put them near my compost heap, just sitting directly on the ground. Then I use some nice compost to cover the roots. If a friend comes along that wants daylilies, I can then easily lift them to give away. However, some of the orphans that have not found homes, have rooted themselves nicely and are growing very successfully!
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Feb 27, 2017 7:11 AM CST
You guys are AMAZING!!! Thank you for all the information. I'll be reading here for awhile.
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
Feb 27, 2017 7:17 AM CST
@josieskid if you haven't received enough to read here's another answer to your pot question, check out this post from Michelle about growing in pots.

https://garden.org/thread/view...
Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/G...
[Last edited by GaNinFl - Feb 27, 2017 7:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Feb 28, 2017 8:06 AM CST
Stan, thank you for that link. I love to read! I think reading is actually a nutrient.

Larry, yes, I've read some of your posts about your bog. Do you ever get standing water there? If so, did it kill your daylilies? I'm starting to think the flooding would only kill those water-hogs if it were to freeze. Which it does here, of course.

"Why does your spot flood? Is there anyway to funnel the water away? Like a terrace or ditch or pipe it to a pond? " Frillylily, I think it floods because of the hardpan. If there was a slope and the water could run off, the hardpan might not bother the daylilies. They are relatively short-rooted (compared to the river birch tree).
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
Feb 28, 2017 8:53 AM CST
josieskid,
Do I ever have standing water? It is very seldom I don't have standing water. The first year growing many plants in the bog I felt sure they were doomed when the freezing weather came (the bog was much wetter then than now due to all the organic materials I have hauled in). They took it in stride and showed no signs of adverse effects. Now I know our winters (this one doesn't count being we didn't really have one) are not that harsh. But I have had a few winters now that really did get down in the low teens. Not saying that the entire bog bed is constantly submerged in water, but there are large portions of it that it is normal to have standing water. Have I ever lost any plants down in the bog? Yes I have, but I blamed that more on dormancy issues than rot, but it could have been the result of rot, there was just nothing left when I tried to dig in the spot where the plants had been. But, only a very few, three or four out of well over a hundred plants.
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Feb 28, 2017 9:28 AM CST
WOW! Larry! What a fabulous post! You have given me such hope. You can't know.

Stan, further down in that same thread is this post by Mona.
"I'm going to say something here about daylilies and water. I have set really dried out pots of daylilies into tubs of water to let them get a good soaking. I have also left some pots in these tubs for months and they thrived."

Aren't daylilies truly incredible? I look at the ones growing in the ditches all over out here. Those ditches flood and freeze all the time! And those ditch-lilies thrive!
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Florida Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses
Dog Lover Garden Photography Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover
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GaNinFl
Feb 28, 2017 10:47 AM CST
I agree they are. My daughter purchased a couple CVs as a birthday gift for me, and they came to her as bare root. They stayed in the packaged ziplock bags in a box for a couple months before she gave them to me. I continued to neglect them by leaving them in a few more weeks before getting them set out. They survived and are growing in one of my bedding areas. I have some in pots that I know are root bound, with the exception of needing water more frequent, they continue to thrive.

Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/G...
Name: emily
East Tn (Zone 6b)
Daylilies
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Redhorseeg
Feb 28, 2017 4:12 PM CST
I also am growing my daylilies in a natural spring area. It stays wet almost year-round. I was very nervous about planting them there but it was by far the best area for me to get to and for my farm plan. I was shocked when I weeded this week to see I only lost maybe 5 out of over 300. Most are thriving. I think the spring gives them good micronutrients. So don't despair its possible!
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon
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Gleni
Mar 4, 2017 8:38 PM CST
I often sit daylilies in water for some time after I have dug them up. It is often annoying after a while to see them looking more lush and greener there than they were in my lovely garden.

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