Daylilies forum: question for those hybridizing for pest or disease resistance

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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Feb 26, 2017 7:52 PM CST
Among other hybridizing goals, I really want my seedlings to be rust resistant. (I hate rust, but I am not going to spray for it.)

Clearly, I have to keep some number of rust buckets around, so there will be rust to challenge/evaluate the seedlings with.

But I hate rust, and I don't want an unsightly garden.

So the question there is, just how many rust buckets (clumps) do I need to keep around, to ensure a sufficient amount of rust for seedling testing, but without the garden being an eyesore?

On the pest side, I am noticing right now that several daylilies, including several of the seedlings, are under aphid attack. Last season, I saw almost no blooms on on seedling, because it was a thrip magnet.

I am guessing that one might be able to hybridize for aphid and/or thrip resistance (judging by hybridizer comments that their Cultivar X is aphid resistant or thrip resistant or what-have-you). But as with hybridizing for rust resistance, I presume that you need to have parents that themselves are resistant to aphid and/or thrip attack.

Cultivar information on pest resistance seems to be somewhat hard to come by, so is there some other information that I can make use of, that might help out with the aphids and thrips? In that vein, I recall that someone on the forum here mentioned that a certain color (or maybe colors) tended to be a thrip magnet (but I'm not sure if they ever explicitly said what colors Confused ). Assuming one of my parents that I need to use is such a magnet, is there some other color that I might cross it with that the pests typically avoid?

Thanks for any hints, tips, help.
It's daylily season!
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Mar 19, 2017 7:32 AM CST
These are good questions Polymerous. I would be interested in the answrs you get.
Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Mar 20, 2017 12:10 AM CST
I have some noid daylilies that are aphid resistant, but I only had problems with aphids 1 year.

I've read, somewhere, that nitrogen increases attraction to aphids, just as it does with rust.
I'm reducing the amount of nitrogen and use mainly fish emulsion, alfalfa pellets or other organics.

Whenever I can get leaves, they are mixed into the soil (dry leaves won't use up soil nitrogen, so additional nitrogen isn't needed.)

I concentrate more on soil health than feeding plants--Take care of your soil and it will take care of your plants.

I'm hybridizing for tough, rust resistant plants. Some bling is sacrificed, but I'm tired of spraying.





Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Mar 20, 2017 6:00 AM CST
I do believe surplus nitrogen taken up by the plants will cause them to be more susceptible to aphid attacks. But I thought any type of high carbon to nitrogen ratio organic matter "mixed into" the soil, would require oxygen for the organisms that decompose the material and oxygen would be drawn from the soil being the leaves are mixed into the soil. I have read mulching on the surface with dry leaves will not deplete the soil of a current nitrogen supply.
I have not had any soil tests done, I do use tons of leaves, and I have thought that my soil as a result needed extra nitrogen just from the way the plants reacted.
This has me thinking that maybe an initial surge in uptake of nitrogen by the plants attracts aphids, then in a short period of time the attraction seems to diminish as the plant adjusts the uptake of nitrogen. I do feel that by adding the extra nitrogen I am increasing the chance of rust in my garden, but at the moment I think the extra greening and growth is worth the trade off, if rust resistant plants and other controls will actually work.

Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
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
Mar 20, 2017 10:40 PM CST
I have some aphids here and there throughout the garden, but insofar as the daylilies go, the worst concentration of aphids is on one potted seedling and in my seedling patch. The seedling patch (3 raised beds, one of them absolutely infested with aphids at this time, but the 2 other beds have them too) gets liquid fertilizer weekly so that might be the nitrogen at work there, but that doesn't explain the potted seedling, which does not get such treatment.
It's daylily season!
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar Ragdoll
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
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Gleni
Mar 21, 2017 3:39 AM CST
I am not so sure about the rust increase with the use of nitrogen. I use urea twice a year. Rust seems to do what it likes here unless I am diligent with spraying. I suspect that it just might look more prevalent because urea ensues more foliage to party on.

Same with aphids - they were very bad in my raised seedling bed where I haven't used urea. Mine are tended and moved about by a very successful native ant.

I have wondered about crown rot though.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 21, 2017 5:35 AM CST
Plant diseases can be influenced either way with nitrogen, some are made worse by excessive amounts, some diseases are worse when nitrogen is inadequate. The story with rusts is that high amounts of nitrogen reportedly make them worse. You may not be applying higher than adequate amounts?

Also with plant diseases the form of nitrogen applied can make a difference to diseases, e.g. ammonium versus nitrate versus urea. I haven't looked for research on this for rusts in general but I don't recall seeing any for daylily rust in particular.

Adequate potassium reduces the severity of rusts also, so if you're not applying more than adequate amounts of nitrogen, and your soil or fertilizer is providing sufficient potassium, then you may not see an increase in severity from N use.

Of course all that's not taking into account the rest of the environment, such as sunshine, rainfall or irrigation, air circulation (inc. plant spacing), temperature and all that stuff that can influence plant diseases like rusts.
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
Mar 21, 2017 6:04 AM CST
http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTN...
"High levels of nitrogen fertilizer favor aphid reproduction, so never use more nitrogen than necessary. Instead, use a less soluble form of nitrogen and apply it in small portions throughout the season rather than all at once. Slow-release fertilizers such as organic fertilizers or urea-based time-release formulations are best.
So it seems not just the amount of nitrogen but the type applied makes a difference.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar Ragdoll
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Mar 21, 2017 7:00 AM CST
I took me a while to find this. I remembered I had been guided in the past by these comments of Maurice's on nitrogen and the articles he refers to.

The thread "Favorite Long Blooming (or Reblooming) Daylilies" in Daylilies forum
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Mar 21, 2017 11:08 PM CST
Lots of good info! Great thread topic!

As far as thrips go, I have heard that they tend to affect blooms that are red, purple, etc. (Many of the darker colored blooms.) I have found that to be true in my garden.

And I do agree with the excess Nitrogen attracting aphids. I can vouch for that happening in my garden. I am currently experimenting with different fertilizers.
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