Daylilies forum: Daylily Life Span

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Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
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Mar 29, 2017 8:03 AM CST
We have a patch of common orange day lilies that won't bloom. Lots of great foliage, but no blooms. They get plenty of sun and water, but they are probably 30+ years old. Should they still be blooming, or are they done.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Mar 29, 2017 8:08 AM CST
I have daylilies around that age in the field behind my house, and they bloom profusely with no care whatsover. I also see them growing around the old farms in the area and they have certainly been there longer than 30 years, so I don't know why yours are not blooming Confused Maybe you could try a light fertilizing. Maybe someone else has some ideas, as well.
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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Mar 29, 2017 8:21 AM CST

Plants Admin

I'd say what's your secret? I see so many old, large patches of H. fulva growing everywhere in my area, including my own place where I've got a patch of around 150-200 plants. From landscaped properties to around the foundation of a long gone house in the middle of the woods. I've planted them in areas that receive little sunlight and little more than coarse sand and they still perform decently. I've ripped them out of the ground, tossed them into the woods and had even those throw away plants survive, bloom, and spread.

They don't usually grow in very tight clumps like some other daylily cultivars do, but perhaps if the patch is large enough you could tear out little sections here and there. They should quickly get new fans showing up in those areas and may help promote blooms? Just guessing here, as it's certainly the one daylily I've never had poor bloom years with.

Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Mar 31, 2017 11:44 AM CST
I have a patch that may be close to 100 years old. It is not blooming well and has been like that for many years. It is a very large patch and probably has fewer then 6 scapes per year.
As patches become larger the plants in the patch start to compete with each other for light, water, soil minerals, etc. As they do that, the fans become somewhat smaller. Flowering well depends on many things, but the size of the plant (in relation to its optimum size) is one of the most important.
If you want the plants to flower I would suggest fertilising them with a high nitrogen fertilizer. You could also thin the clump by removing a proportion of the smaller fans. If it is a large patch you might be able to remove a large proportion of the plants and open up some bare soil between the plants that are left.
It may take more than one year of regularly fertilizing the patch before flowering starts. How long will depend on the average size of the fans when you start fertilizing and how much you fertilize.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Mar 31, 2017 12:04 PM CST
Had a patch that was about 20 years old, really slowed down on the blooming, thinned them out a lot, blooming back to normal. I never fertilize them.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
[Last edited by crawgarden - Mar 31, 2017 4:18 PM (+)]
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