Daylilies forum: Evaluating seedlings-3 bloom seasons or 3 years?

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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
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bxncbx
Apr 27, 2017 11:16 AM CST
I have a question. I've heard on this forum that you should give seedlings three years to see how the plant performs before deciding whether to keep them or not. But I'm a little confused.

I have 5 seedlings that are going to be three years old this year. Assuming they all bloom this year, only two will have bloomed for three years. Two bloomed for the first time last year. The last bloomed two years ago but all the buds blasted last year.

So should I evaluate all of them the same because they are all three years old? Or should I give the ones that have only bloomed once another year or two before I decide?

And if they some don't bloom this year should I still make a decision about them or not?

I need to free up garden space but I don't want to prematurely punt some seedlings for that reason. If a plant doesn't bloom every year, is that a good reason to toss it? We did have a drought last year and other named cultivars also blasted their buds or didn't bloom. I'm guessing I just didn't give them enough supplemental water. But is there another possible reason like bad genetics?

I'm not interested in registering any seedlings. I'm just trying to breed daylilies that can survive and thrive in my area. I've experienced double-digit losses of daylilies over the last 3 years and I'm tired of it! Angry
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
Apr 27, 2017 11:55 AM CST
Maybe it should be stated as a "minimum of three years".
Sydney, Australia (Zone 10b)
Protoavis
Apr 28, 2017 2:04 AM CST
If you're only selecting for your conditions then it really comes down to what you want/find acceptable.

If all 5 are kept in the same conditions then you have two that have reliably bloomed, one that may not be as "drought resistant" and two that may just be slow starters.

The harder you cull the more you skew the genetics towards your conditions and selection criteria. There isn't really a right or wrong way to select what stays and what goes, it's preference based and that varies. So it becomes a question of do you plan to breed them further? If so is waiting an extra year for blooms to start ok? If the weather is drier than normal is it ok that they don't bloom, etc.
Anyone with oryzalin (aka Surflan, Embargo), am looking for a small amount rather than 5litres from manufacturer (min size in Australia....)
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener Spiders! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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bxncbx
Apr 28, 2017 6:37 AM CST
Protoavis I'm not sure if I want to breed them further. I do have some seeds saved because I was unsure of ploidy for the seedlings and needed to pollinate them to find that out.

I guess I just want to know if this year will be "as good as they get" or if the ones who've only bloomed once might improve further.

I also noticed last year that the ones who bloomed a second time had much worse stats then the first time they bloomed. I'm wondering if that was because of the drought or is first year data typically highly unreliable.

So far we've had plenty of rain (I'd love to see the sun any time now!) so drought shouldn't be an issue this year!
(Zone 6a)
taylordaylily
Apr 28, 2017 8:20 AM CST
I'll start off with, I'm by far No expert. With that said, I will give you my experience.
It normally takes me 2 years to get blooms on my seedlings, sometimes 3 years. I don't coddle my seedlings, I want tough plants. Once they bloom, I give them 3 years blooming in my garden before culling for looks. However, I will cull before first bloom if the foliage is not to my liking. I'm not growing any to register, it's just a addiction for me. Whistling Here is a example of why I wait 3 years to judge looks.

Thumb of 2017-04-28/taylordaylily/f29805

The picture on the left is the first year bloom for this seedling. The picture on the right is the second year. I did not like the coloring the first year, but liked the throat. The second year, I couldn't believe my eyes when it bloomed, and now I love it. Hilarious!

I hope my minimal experience is of some help too you. I'm sure you will have some beautiful seedling blooms this season, we look forward to drooling over them.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener Spiders! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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bxncbx
Apr 28, 2017 9:32 AM CST
Thanks Karen! I can't believe the change in your seedling's coloration! Blinking No way would I have thought they were the same plant!

My seedlings aren't very nice. One I've nicknamed Headless Chicken because it is yellow and looks just like one from the grocery store! Rolling on the floor laughing

This batch of seedlings were just to see if I could grow any. The next batch were random ones I tried wintersowing. It's only last year that I got serious about making crosses that might look like something and planting them.

But I was very happy to see the seedlings thrive despite the crazy Spring weather. I find that if they survive the first winter I don't have to worry about them at all. I'm hoping to eventually replace most of my named cultivars with seedlings that look similar but are better adapted.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Apr 28, 2017 9:34 AM CST
I would not think that a plant would change colors. Don't think they could possibly be the same plant. Look at the eyezone, they are totally different.
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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
Apr 29, 2017 8:19 AM CST
I have to agree with Cindy, the two different blooms may not be from the same seedling.

I will say though, that some can and do change colors. I've had a few do that. But the overall shape and look of the bloom remained the same.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
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ShakespearesGarden
Apr 29, 2017 8:41 AM CST
I could see a few shades of change- sharper pattern or eye, but to go from red to pale creamy pink? Hmm... I dunno...
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Heucheras Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Hemlady
Apr 29, 2017 9:11 AM CST
Yes, I agree Becky. A bloom can fade and look totally different by the end of the day but the main color stays the same.
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Name: Virginia Harmon
Woodside, CA 94062 (Zone 8b)
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VHarmon
Apr 29, 2017 10:08 AM CST
Throat color does not change
Member of AHS
Name: Virginia Harmon
Woodside, CA 94062 (Zone 8b)
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VHarmon
Apr 29, 2017 1:55 PM CST
Throat color does not change
Member of AHS
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
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Polymerous
Apr 29, 2017 2:19 PM CST
I have to agree with those who believe it is not the same seedling.

Your seedling (on the left) has a distinct band (petals only), and I would not have expected that to also fade away with the rest of the color. (More on that below.) Your seedling on the left seems to have wider petals than those on the right. Your seedling on the left appears to have more black in the anthers, than that of the right. The green throat on the right appears to extend further out, than that on the left.

Thus, I am skeptical.

That said, we are all aware of daylilies which have photosensitivity, whose looks/color changes in the course of the day. 'Pigment of Imagination' is famous for such. I had one seedling last year (which I am keeping for another look), which was some shade of SOLID peach/gold in the morning, but by early evening it was a pale, near-white peach with a gold eye. (But that color area persisted, which is another reason why I am skeptical about your seedlings being the same plant.)

Thumb of 2017-04-29/Polymerous/7e8c70 Thumb of 2017-04-29/Polymerous/0ea055
seedling showing photosensitivity; blooms are from different days, taken at 12:32 pm and 6:46 pm, respectively

Then, there is also temperature. The cool weather at the extremes of the season can interfere with pigment formation (and cooler weather during the main season can also affect color, particularly on some lavender daylilies). I have had daylilies (not just my seedlings) which were richly colored during the warm weather, look like pale anemic sickly things at the extremes of the season. (I can't recall how or even if eyezones were affected. I don't grow all that many daylilies with eyes.)

So the questions here are:

What part of the season were these images taken? Was the weather cool, or warm?
What part of the day were these images taken? First thing in the morning, or after they had been baking all day?

I am still skeptical (for all of the reasons given in my second paragraph, plus the disappearing band), but these are things for you to take into consideration and to carefully observe/note, when you think that you may have a color changer.


It's daylily season!
(Zone 6a)
taylordaylily
Jun 9, 2017 10:06 AM CST
Sorry for the delay, I've been busy trying to reclaim my gardens. I have had issues that kept me from gardening the past 2 years. It turns out, my garden help during that time moved things without moving labels. Grumbling My Lava Flow was labeled Webster's Pink Wonder, for example. So, I will agree my seedling is probably not correct. It seems none of my plants are going to be who I expect them to be. Whistling All my garden maps are useless, and will have to be recreated this year. Crying This summer will be a true adventure. Smiling I wanted to replace some of my labels, but this not how I wanted to go about it. The valuable lesson here, Don't let anybody move plants without your supervision!!! It can cause a disaster! If I post anything else that doesn't look right, Please, don't hesitate to let me know, it will help a lot straightening out this mess. Thank You!
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
Jun 9, 2017 11:20 PM CST
So sorry for your garden troubles (and yes, garden helpers sometimes cause some of the troubles, don't get me started on that Glare ).

I've learned the hard way that I need to make garden maps. Whistling That way, if labels fade, break, are carried away by critters, or moved by garden helpers, I still know what the plant is.
It's daylily season!
(Zone 6a)
taylordaylily
Jun 10, 2017 11:19 AM CST
My problem is, my garden helper moved plants, and labels. It's going to be fun sorting out over 400 cultivars this summer. The funny part is my noids are untouched, well those that have bloomed. It's only my named cultivars, and my seedlings that are messed up. The seedlings aren't that big of a deal, since labels had already been confiscated by critters, or whatever else happens to them. Thank goodness, I buried tags with my daylilies, so those that didn't get moved, will be easy to identify with a little digging. Smiling
I'm happy to be back in my gardens, and plan to view this situation as a distraction from the never ending weed war. I'm grateful for the help I received, even though it created challenges, things could be worse. I could have dead plants, instead of misplaced plants.
I have another seedling, I'm wondering if it's marked correctly. Do you think this is the same seedling?

Thumb of 2017-06-10/taylordaylily/ae4378

The picture on the right is last year, the left is the year before. Last years picture was taken later in the day, so there's some sun fading. This seedling is supposed to be a sibling of the other seedling posted above, I have my doubts.

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
Jun 15, 2017 3:22 PM CST
Getting back to the purpose of this thread, I wanted to comment on a seedling of mine.

This is a volunteer seedling out of 'Sacrament of Healing', discovered in the winter or early spring of 2013. (I found the tiny seedling, with the black seed case still attached, not far from SoH; I had not made any crosses on the nearby daylilies, so both by location and subsequent bloom, it is pretty clear that SoH was the mother.) I know that my crosses with SoH were all from other near-whites, but it's really a guess as to which was the daddy (or if the seedling was SoH selfed).) The seedling was put into an 8" tree pot, and then into a plastic box (for support, and to collect drainage) with a lot of other tree pots.

FFO was in 2014, and I kept it partly because it was a near-white (well, really a cream) that was "nice enough", but mostly and more importantly because it opened well (we have cool nights here and that is problematic with many of the daylilies). I potted it up to a #2 pot (where it still is), watched it the next couple of years ("nice enough" but flowers not as large as I like), but THIS YEAR (still in the same #2 pot) I am liking it much better. (Now whether or not that is because I have been more careful about fertilizing and such, I don't know. Whistling ) The blooms are larger (somewhere between 5.5-6" (I still have issues deciding what a bloom size is when the segments don't always uniformly recurve), the bud count is higher (up to 24 on one scape, which is a good bud count for a large flowered daylily for this garden), and all but one bloom thus far has been (at least to my eyes) beautiful.

So, that is FOUR BLOOM SEASONS, pot grown, for me to really like this daylily. Since it is only in a #2 pot (its first bloom season it was in an 8" tree pot), I can only think that it would have shown its potential earlier if it were in the ground (or a raised seedling bed (mine were made too recently for this seedling) or maybe a much larger pot). I have started using its pollen, and this fall I'm going to punt some registered daylily or other from the garden so I can give this seedling a home in the ground.

Thumb of 2017-06-15/Polymerous/6a2ec3
Image taken in shade at 7:35 pm, 6-14-17

So, depending on how/where you grow your seedlings (in-ground bed, raised bed, pots, what size of pots) and your climate (ours is Zone 9, mild winters), it could conceivably take you the same amount of time to evaluate a seedling.
It's daylily season!
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener Spiders! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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bxncbx
Jun 15, 2017 3:37 PM CST
Right now my biggest problem is that my seedlings don't bloom every year. I can't fault them because the same is true for registered daylilies too.

This year a seedling that bloomed for the first time last year has a damaged scape. Two buds are shot. Not sure if the others will die too.

Another that is in its third year isn't going to have any scapes. Another one in its third year has to be moved so it may not bloom this year also.

At this point it seems like I'll have to keep seedlings at least 5 years & possibly longer to get a real idea of how they will perform. I just don't have space for that.

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