Daylilies forum: Lower Numbers of Buds and Branching in Established, Older Daylily Clumps

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Name: Henry
Zone 7, Outside Baltimore (Zone 7b)
Scapehunter
Jun 27, 2017 12:16 PM CST
I am noticing that almost all of my medium and large clumps basically have two branches and 10-15 buds per fan. The exceptions are newer cultivars that are in their second or third year, and have 4-5 fans.

I believe this is more or less natural. But this year, I am really noticing just how universal this issue of lower bud and branch count is. I have large clumps of 20-30 fans, so 10-15 blooms per fan is still a lot of color.

Another possibility is that I fertilized with 10-10-10 in April/May (somewhat later than I would have liked). Might this have resulted in greater green growth and lower flowering? Maybe this made the problem particular noticeable this year?

I would have expected some of my newer varieties to be able to maintain larger B and B counts in larger clumps. That would be a great trait. But I'm not seeing it anywhere.

Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
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bxncbx
Jun 27, 2017 12:28 PM CST
Daylilies need to be divided to perform optimally. All those individual fans are competing for nutrients and water. I've noticed improvements a year or two after dividing and those were smaller clumps (under 20 fans).

Try an experiment. Take a couple of clumps and divide them after blooming. Then compare their bud counts & branching next year to clumps you didn't divide.
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
Jun 27, 2017 1:59 PM CST
@Scapehunter
Am I understanding that you might have the same cultivars in small clumps and in large clumps but the smaller clumps are producing more buds and branches per scape than the more established ones?
I don't think it would be the fertilizer you added, I actually think that should have produced the opposite result (more buds and branches) in most cases anyhow.
I find this very interesting because I have some cultivars that are now forming large clumps and I am wondering just how long it will be before they need to be divided (if ever...due to performance). Some of them are getting so big I plan on dividing them just for ease of handling. I assume some cultivars would just not like being crowded while others might not object ,but I don't know of any general rule that says after developing so many fans the performance of a clump will degrade if the clump gets adequate sun, nutrients and water.
Are all these low performing clumps registered as having high bud count and branching, were they registered in south Florida? Are any of them actually from you area? Just trying to get a feel for anything that might cause the problem. Any odd weather events since early spring?
Name: Henry
Zone 7, Outside Baltimore (Zone 7b)
Scapehunter
Jun 27, 2017 4:46 PM CST
No, it's not just the Florida cultivars. I never get the buds they say. It's basically all my large clumps, from southern and northern breeders. And ones from my area. We did have a warm spring, but no really cold nights compared with past years.

It's across the board with all my clumps, except newer varieties that are 2-4 years old. (I'm not counting ones planted just last year or this year, as they are new and just getting established.)
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
Jun 27, 2017 6:01 PM CST
Well, I am wondering now with the other posts with blotchy blooms and scarring on the scapes if they could all be related and the thrips are the cause of all those problems maybe? I could see they could hide easily in the clumps and become an infestation.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jun 28, 2017 6:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Henry
Zone 7, Outside Baltimore (Zone 7b)
Scapehunter
Jun 28, 2017 9:09 AM CST
I don't think thrips are causing the lower bud and branch count. I think it's because my clumps are 15-30 fans. I am thinking I need to divide more and/or replace with newer varieties more while I am at it!!

Do others face lower buds and branching counts as clumps mature?
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
Jun 28, 2017 9:48 AM CST
Scapehunter
How much difference in the number of branches and bud counts are you now seeing in the large clumps, compared to how the same variety in a smaller clump is producing?
I just don't think 15 or 20 fans in a clump should need to be divided. 30 fans....maybe, I would also love to hear some feedback from some people who have large clumps of cultivars that should be producing high bud counts and branches. It may be that the new cultivars with those traits do not do well in large clumps?
I have often wondered how a clump of something with 6 branches and 40 buds per scape would look? I'd love to see photos of them.
Name: Henry
Zone 7, Outside Baltimore (Zone 7b)
Scapehunter
Jun 30, 2017 8:01 AM CST
I'm not sure how these varieties would do if divided into smaller clumps. I have divided a couple out and placed single fans next to the main clump. I have not noticed really high bud counts in these single fans.

I notice one exception: Spacecoast Tiny Perfection does have great branching and bud count. It's smaller flowers may be less of a drain on plant resources?

In any case, there are not many exceptions. I don't have many minis.
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 30, 2017 8:33 AM CST
I think I read on another thread that you should subtract 5 buds from the bud count for every zone colder you are from where the plant was hybridized. You just don't have the climate to get those really high numbers. But if all your cultivars had higher bud counts and now they all are doing poorly something is going on. If they are all planted very close together that could be the problem. A clump of 15-30 fans that is only a few inches away from other clumps the same size are going to require a lot more water and fertilizer to produce as well. If dividing some doesn't help, and neither does more water/fertilizer then maybe you need a soil test or need to be on the lookout for moles/voles that may be damaging the roots.

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