Daylilies forum: Day lily problem!

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Name: Tracy
Yorkshire
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dectjoj
Jul 1, 2017 4:14 AM CST
I have grown day lilies quite successfully for about 5 years in Hampshire and they I moved to Yorkshire. I loved my plants so much that I took some of them with me and transplanted them into my new garden. I also bought some new stock. However, this is the 4th year of flowering and every year the flower buds start to develop nicely and then end up as shown in the pictures. Does anyone have any advice or know what might be causing this problem.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 1, 2017 4:31 AM CST
Welcome!

I would check the inside of the buds for maggots of the Hemerocallis gall midge. There are some pictures on the American Hemerocallis Society's web site showing what to look for here:

http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_d...
Name: Tracy
Yorkshire
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dectjoj
Jul 1, 2017 4:50 AM CST
Yuk - yes - split open one of the buds that was just starting to turn and found these! What do I do?! Thanks so much for your help!
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 1, 2017 5:10 AM CST
That's too bad. There are some suggestions on the AHS page link above, such as removing and destroying any bud you find infested to reduce the number of midges for next year. Once they have finished the larval stage in the bud they drop to the ground and pupate, then emerge as adult midges the next year and lay eggs on/in those new buds. So destroying any infested bud this year reduces the number that can complete the life cycle for next year. If the level of infestation gets worse than you can tolerate/manage then you could switch to later flowering daylilies because there's only one generation of midges and they go for the earlier flowering ones.

The American Hemerocallis Society and the Royal Horticultural Society collaborated on some research into pesticides, the study was conducted at Wisley and the report can be downloaded here:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/science...

Too bad it found you up north when it didn't in Hampshire, maybe you purchased daylilies in pots or the midge is just endemic in your new area?
Name: Tracy
Yorkshire
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dectjoj
Jul 1, 2017 5:20 AM CST
Oh great Angry
So maybe I should just remove all of this year's buds straight away in the hope of reducing any pupating opportunities?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 1, 2017 5:50 AM CST
It's something I've thought worth a try as long as none have already fallen to the ground to pupate and there is nobody else with daylilies in the area. If the area is already infested they'll likely just come back, although they are weak fliers (if you look at the AHS/RHS study they actually had to transfer in some infested buds to do the test because the midges didn't find the test bed). Most people are reluctant to remove all scapes for a year!

At some point the later flowering daylilies will not be affected but I don't know what the timing is there. Here in North America it is only known to have been introduced to the Pacific NW so most of us don't have practical experience with it, but you might find some fellow UK/European/Pacific NW suffers in the Daylily Forum on NGA.

https://garden.org/forums/view...

One thing I've also thought would be worth a try is applying a mulch that is not conducive to the midge's survival. That's based on a translation from a German research study on the midge's biology. I don't know if anyone has tried it. The RHS should be able to give you some advice, the midge has been in the UK for close to 30 years now I think and they've been tracking it.
Name: Tracy
Yorkshire
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dectjoj
Jul 1, 2017 5:59 AM CST
Thanks so much for all the advice. I've taken the plunge and decapitated all my early flower plants. Sad

The buds look so awful anyway and the flowers aren't going to open so I'd rather sacrifice them this year in the hope of better luck next year. My next door neighbour has day lilies in his front garden (mine are in the back garden) and his look lovely so I hope it's not endemic to the area and I've just had bad luck. I'll investigate the mulch option and maybe apply a good thick layer of that, if I can find one, once the greenery has died back. In the meantime I'll have to cope with day lily envy every time I go past his!

What would you think to a daily spray of some kind of fly killer in the vicinity during the months of May and June to blitz any midges that might emerge? I'm determined to beat the little suckers!!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 1, 2017 6:39 AM CST
dectjoj said:

What would you think to a daily spray of some kind of fly killer in the vicinity during the months of May and June to blitz any midges that might emerge? I'm determined to beat the little suckers!!


I'm not sure how early you might have to start, but a contact insecticide could affect adults laying eggs. The difficulty is in getting the timing right, and it wouldn't affect any larvae already hatched. Also I think most pesticide labels would not recommend spraying that often. A systemic insecticide would be needed if you wanted to go after the larvae because they are protected from outside sprays by the buds. Check out the RHS study for the names of the insecticides they tried. They were not able to prevent damage altogether but did reduce it. I've wondered about a granular systemic insecticide applied to the soil, but I don't know if you have any labeled or available for that use there in the UK.

Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Jul 1, 2017 10:11 AM CST

Plants Admin

I moved this to the Daylily forum, maybe some other members can chime in with their experiences. Thumbs up
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Name: Tracy
Yorkshire
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dectjoj
Jul 1, 2017 10:53 AM CST
Thanks Sue! Thank You!
Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
LA name-Maelstrom
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Scatterbrain
Jul 1, 2017 11:05 AM CST
Hi Tracy,

I'm in Yorkshire too and the gall midge has been a problem the last two years for me. The best way to stop it is to remove the buds and burn them if you can, if you can't then seal them in a plastic bag like a freezer bag with zip type fastening on the top and dispose of them, do NOT compost them! 😉

This year I have been very ruthless and removed anything remotely suspect, sprayed with bayers provado anti-pest spray and mulched with 'muckers mulch'.

Others in the UK are experimenting with organza bags over the emerging scapes which I am going to try next year along with making necklaces of insect trap tape.

Unfortunately gall midge has spread all the way from Surrey right up to the North East and is now a frequent problem😞.

Name: Tracy
Yorkshire
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dectjoj
Jul 1, 2017 12:41 PM CST
Oh God - I hope I've not contributed by bringing my plants from Hampshire! Although I had no such problems while down there. I've decapitated everything today, much to my dismay. I think I'll try the organza bags next year as well as the tape and sprays. It's so depressing seeing all those lovely buds swell and go mushy. Interested in 'muckers mulch'? I'll google. My neighbour has beautiful specimens and he seems to do nothing with them. Galling - if you'll pardon the pun!
Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
LA name-Maelstrom
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Scatterbrain
Jul 1, 2017 3:56 PM CST
dectjoj said:Oh God - I hope I've not contributed by bringing my plants from Hampshire! Although I had no such problems while down there. I've decapitated everything today, much to my dismay. I think I'll try the organza bags next year as well as the tape and sprays. It's so depressing seeing all those lovely buds swell and go mushy. Interested in 'muckers mulch'? I'll google. My neighbour has beautiful specimens and he seems to do nothing with them. Galling - if you'll pardon the pun!


Don't get depressed--I've had no new infected buds for a few weeks now and plenty of buds on my other daylilies--they targeted two plants in particular this year but left most of the others. By being ruthless this year you may well be fine for next year but even so If it gets really bad in your area there are plenty of late varieties available which flower after the gall midges are active so their buds don't get attacked.

'Muckers Mulch' is a heavy manure-type mulch (though not made from manure). It is worth trying as even if it doesn't stop the midge it is a great soil conditioner and fertiliser. Whereabouts in Yorkshire are you? If you are anywhere near Wakefield area (West Yorks) the Horticentre at Middlestown/Overton sells it for about £4.00 per sack.



[Last edited by Scatterbrain - Jul 1, 2017 7:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Virginia Harmon
Woodside, CA 94062 (Zone 8b)
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VHarmon
Jul 1, 2017 9:58 PM CST
Tracy, it looks like you have a great collection of hems. Good luck controlling the midge. It will be great to see pics of your blooms when you are past the midge season. Do you cross your flowers and grow your own seedlings?
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Name: Mayo
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Mayo62
Jul 2, 2017 3:18 AM CST
Welcome! Tracy!!

I have trouble with Gall midges as well Thumbs down

Being relatively new to Daylilies I was as flabbergasted last year as you are: very strange formed buds and flowers, and when I cut them open these yukkie maggots inside! Crying

The year before that (2015) I didn't have them and nobody around here has Daylilies.
I know now that they came in my garden in the soil around the roots of a clump of seedlings that I got from someone at the other end of the country.. a real Trojan horse, that was! Thumbs down
This year I've checked my buds on a regular basis, destroying any that looked remotely suspicious. Some days that added up to 20 buds or more. But not all early buds were infected, not even all buds on the same scape! By now it's mostly over and I don't see any new deformed buds. In future i won't buy or accept any DL's in pot or with a clump of soil anymore, without removing áll the soil and washing the roots thoroughly with a mild bleach solution. Hopefully I don't introduce new infections to my garden that way. If and when I will give some of my DL's to someone else I will do the same.

This Spring I cut open the first 100 or so suspicious looking buds to check for the maggots, so now I know what to look for Whistling I may have cut buds that were just looking a bit odd but were not infected, but on the total number of buds and flowers it made little difference.
Even with the gall midge my garden looks very nice Thumbs up

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So, don't be discouraged: the gall midge isn't the end of the world nor the end of your Daylilies!

Mayo

a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
LA name-Maelstrom
Dog Lover Cat Lover Rabbit Keeper Container Gardener
Scatterbrain
Jul 2, 2017 5:08 AM CST
Great garden, Mayo!

Everyone has huge gardens on this forum compared to me--I just have a TINY garden--just 30 feet long by 12 feet wide 😞. You are so lucky to have so much space, here they just cram houses together.

I would sell my soul for a bigger garden 😁, oh and chocolate thrown in of course!
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Jul 2, 2017 7:47 AM CST
I agree Great garden, Mayo!

The downside of lots of land is that it is hard to stop buying daylilies!!! I cannot resist, and I have 50 acres, so there is nothing to stop my addiction Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Ginny G
Central Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Legalily
Jul 2, 2017 9:05 AM CST
I agree I agree Valerie. We have 12 acres but only 3 to work with. I just have to keep reminding myself that what I plant I have to maintain. So far it hasn't deterred me much. Whistling Whistling No matter how much we have the love of the daylilies is infectious and small and large gardens are both beautiful Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Jul 2, 2017 12:22 PM CST
I finally decided maybe I have enough, my neighbor said that if anything happened to me, they would not be able to maintain it. Sobering thought...but I still got more!
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Name: Ginny G
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Legalily
Jul 2, 2017 1:10 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! I know the feeling Rj Hilarious!
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