Daylilies forum: Why do daylilies not produce blooms?

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jul 19, 2017 2:12 PM CST
I have numerous named daylilies in several raised beds. Some I have had now for 2 or more years. They seem to have formed a nice, small clump of fans. Some are much larger clumps. Ironically, none of these have yet produce scapes for blooms. Am I doing something wrong or neglecting to do something? This has had me baffled for a couple of years now.

I have a huge clump of Lady Neva and another large clump of Fol de Rol, neither have bloomed. And I have many more that are not large clumps, but still large enough to have produced some scapes and blooms.

And then on the other hand, I have some smaller clumps (2-5 fans) that have not only bloomed this year but did so last year, too! AND most have all produces re-blooms at least once or even twice. Some of these are in the same raised beds as the ones that have yet to ever bloom for me.

Are some cultivars more finicky, fussy and take longer to settle into a new home (for several years) than other cultivars? I have so many that I hope every year produce blooms, but they don't.

Is there something I can do to help the scape/bud production in the non-bloomers?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 19, 2017 2:18 PM (+)]
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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
Jul 19, 2017 3:30 PM CST
I had prolifs off of Lady Neva last year and they have bloomed this year already. I looked over my list of plants, and I did find more than I recalled, that I have had for a long enough period I would have expected they would have bloomed by now. Looking over the list I can make some excuses for a few (small fans when planted, dug up by critters after being planted, just seemed to be weak and struggled after planting, etc.)
I think 'Tiger Kitten' is the oldest of the ones that have not bloomed (2 years now in June) it is a small bloomed daylily, the type that normally really takes off, but I have no excuse to make for it.
(Zone 6a)
taylordaylily
Jul 19, 2017 3:44 PM CST
Have your clumps sunk any? If the crown is buried too deep, it can affect blooming. Other than planting depth, I have no idea.
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
Jul 19, 2017 3:50 PM CST
Good suggestion, that could be part of Becky's problem, I know it is certainly a probability in my garden.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 19, 2017 3:55 PM CST
I was considering that last year and "lifted" some of them. But it seems most are buried at the right depth. I fertilize and water regularly. This certainly has me perplexed and frustrated. I will be going out sometime over the next week or so to possibly dig some up to inspect the roots and soil. Maybe the soil needs to be fluffed up or something. I don't know. .... Confused
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 19, 2017 3:55 PM (+)]
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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
Jul 19, 2017 4:02 PM CST
I wonder if the process of lifting some of them could be part of the problem. Is it possible that lifting a daylily could actually act like transplanting one. I know (I have one) that was a super plant till it was transplanted. Then nada, nothing, then last year a few blooms, and this year so far nothing again. It went from being my favorite in the garden (only had a few plants at the time) to being on my cull list. I may start a thread for daylilies that have not done well after being transplanted.
Did you keep records of the ones you transplanted, are any of them the ones that currently have not bloomed?
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 19, 2017 4:20 PM CST
Larry - The ones I lifted were lifted so gently, that I don't think they noticed. LOL! They were not moved. I use a lot of pine fines mixed in with the raised bed soil. So I don't "think" that caused a problem.

I am just really frustrated that some that I know I will love when they bloom have yet to bloom for me. And my list is long of non-bloomers which is what has me so concerned.

And I was shocked this year to see ones that did bloom also re-bloomed and even re-bloomed a second time for 3 bloom cycles. There were quite a few of them.

Something that I did think of .... and maybe this is a totally crazy idea .... but if a plant is stressed, do they tend to bloom more (to produce seeds) to keep from going extinct/dying off completely? If daylilies are too happy where they are planted, could that cause a lack of scape production?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 19, 2017 4:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jul 19, 2017 4:23 PM CST
A bunch of random ideas;

Are the ones which fail to bloom typically dormant varieties?

It could have something to do with the treatment they received before you got them. I have a few which never seem to "dig in" and grow normal size fans, and I suspect they were propagated with BAP paste or extreme division methods.

A soil analysis might be in order. Be sure you do this before dumping a bunch of phosphorus on your beds, as it can build up to toxic levels. (The efficacy of high-phosphorus "bloom" fertilizers has been disproven in several tests, and I have moved to low-P fertilizers exclusively.)

Because bagged potting soil in my area is highly variable and generally poor in quality, last fall I started heeling in new purchases in pots of fine orchid bark instead of holding them in jugs of water, and I left three of them potted up in the bark to see how they would do. (This requires regular feedings with a complete fertilizer which also contains calcium and magnesium. (I use Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro 9-3-6, but any complete fertilizer supplemented with a Cal-Mag supplement would work)) I also pre-soak the bark in Dyna-Gro solution. Today, the three daylilies I did this with look much healthier than the ones I planted in potting soil or several of the soil blends I formerly concocted. I mention this because sometimes raised beds are filled with an organic mix which has broken down beyond usefulness. This can happen quickly in a warm climate. The orchid bark not only provides excellent drainage, but, unlike finer ground-wood products, takes a long time to break down, and ensures long-term root-zone aeration. For more info on this, do a google search on 5-1-1 soil mix. There are good YouTube links as well.
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
Jul 19, 2017 4:25 PM CST
I think it is actually the reverse, I think plants that are stressed do poorly. Think how plants look when you receive them, (huge sometimes) very strong looking. They look that way because they have been grown with plenty of water and and in some cases lots of fertilizer, more than we would probably ever give them. Look at the branching and bud count numbers the hybridizers get, that does not come to a plant that has been stressed but one that has been pampered.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jul 19, 2017 4:29 PM (+)]
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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
Jul 19, 2017 4:43 PM CST
True that!

Well, maybe next year I will be surprised with blooming daylilies everywhere? I sure hope so!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
(Zone 6a)
signet
Jul 19, 2017 5:03 PM CST
Do you have a picture of your clumps that are not blooming ? Are these plants quick increasers in terms of fans? If they are and some daylilies are ,you may need to divide to get bloom .

You mention you fertilize ....maybe just maybe ,the fertilizer is the culprit . Too much of a good thing can also be a bad thing .

I have never fertilized any of my daylilies .Thumb of 2017-07-19/signet/58c316 What fertilizer have you used? What are the NPK numbers of the fertilizer? the numbers represent N(Nitrogen) P( Phosphorus ) K ( Potassium) .. is yours an 18-18-18 ? or ? check the number for the phosphorus ( the middle number . It is the chemical used to stimulate root growth and promote bloom .) So if your fertilizer is higher in N but low in P, you wont get much bloom . You want a Low number N, a high number P and a low number for K (your NPK ratio).





(Zone 6a)
taylordaylily
Jul 19, 2017 5:12 PM CST
I don't have experience with your conditions, so this may not be a viable idea. Can you build a basket type contraption, from chicken wire, or something like it, and plant your daylilies in the basket, make the basket deep enough that it sticks above the soil level a little, then mark the basket after planting at proper depth. If your mark disappeares you'll know your plants are sinking. This might help monitoring them. Shrug!

Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jul 19, 2017 5:31 PM CST
I'm not in your climate but I can say I've had several daylilies that took years to bloom. Why? No idea.

For example, I got Sing Again in 2014. It finally bloomed this year. I finally found someplace it liked I guess (under a tree, go figure). I've had some that took even longer.

You are experienced enough with daylilies that you'd know if they were planted too deep. And I doubt it's the fertilizer if all your plants get the same treatment. I just think some plants are prima donnas that take their time to settle in & bloom. But once they do they tend to put on a show!

My advice, just be patient, they will bloom.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 19, 2017 5:36 PM CST
Signet - Oh my! Your garden is amazing! How I wish mine would look even slightly similar to yours! Beautiful!

You have a good point. So I looked at what I am typically using:
Osmocote Flower and Vegetable time-released fertilizer (14-14-14). Suppose to last up to 4 months. Here in the heat of Florida, it is probably more like 2 months. Here is a link to this product:
http://www.plantersplace.com/p...

Taylordaylily - Interesting idea. I will have to think about that. Smiling

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jul 19, 2017 5:50 PM CST
Elena - I have seriously been wondering that.

None the clumps (most of mine are NOT clumps but 2-5 fans) are big enough that they need dividing. Most of mine are evergreens or semi-evergreens. Ironically, most of the few dormants I have bloom every year! Go figure on that one. Confused

Here is a list of those that have yet to bloom for me after at least 2 or more years. (I noted any that may have bloomed once but haven't since.):
Lady Neva
Fol de Rol (This one bloomed the first year I got it (2014) and hasn't bloomed since.)
Judge Roy Bean
Kipling
Laura Harwood
Lillian's Thin Ice
Mal
Paper Butterfly (barely bloomed last year and didn't at all this year)
Persian Pattern
Planet Max
Purple Rain Dance
Royal Occasion
Ruby Spider
Sings the Blues
Spanish Sketch
Springfield Clan

Most of them are small or medium clumps of at least 5 fans. I guess the list isn't as long as I thought. Looking at my garden though, even many of the newer ones didn't bloom for me this year.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 19, 2017 5:53 PM (+)]
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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
Jul 19, 2017 6:07 PM CST
Becky I grow some of those here in my garden:
Lady Neva, Paper Butterfly, Planet Max, Purple Rain Dance, Ruby Spider, Spanish Sketch and Sings The Blues.
The only one of those that has not done very well here is Sings The Blues but it has bloomed finally this year:
Thumb of 2017-07-20/Seedfork/66c2d7
I also got Spanish Sketch from Miss Becky, but just received it back on 04-26-2017, that would be the plant in the list that I have had for the shortest period of time. But, it has already had several blooms on it.
Thumb of 2017-07-20/Seedfork/a36bf1

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jul 19, 2017 6:16 PM CST
Becky, how much native soil is in your beds? If not much, how are you supplying micronutrients? There don't appear to be any in your Osmocote. I wondered the same as Larry, lifting them could have broken off some roots or created air pockets under the plants.
(Zone 6a)
taylordaylily
Jul 19, 2017 6:19 PM CST
I agree Signet's gardens are Beautiful.

I have Lady Neva, she took 2 years to bloom for me. Maybe, Your cultivars need to clump up more. You could also have varying factors, it's hard to say, sometimes we just have to experiment with different ideas.
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
Jul 19, 2017 6:26 PM CST
It may be a silly question, but how much water have your plants been getting over the past three years? I think we have all read about how much daylilies love water. I think I am highly qualified to testify to that based on how my bog planted daylilies perform. Wonder what would happen if you doubled or tripled the amount of water your plants are getting? Maybe a small test plot next year to try? Is your base soil Florida Sand?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 19, 2017 6:50 PM CST
Water does make a difference, we've had a ton of rain here this spring, far more than we've had before, and the daylilies are loving it. Having said that, the scapes are formed long before they actually appear so the conditions when the scapes are initiated could be a factor which was likely February or earlier in Florida (they start to form in many daylilies in fall here).

Another thing I would look at would be nitrogen. I would go with a fertilizer higher in N, lower in P and middling in K in the absence of a soil test (and preferably with micros). As well as the analysis, though, the amount applied is important. In other words are they getting enough N? Yellowing lower leaves?

Edited to add - check out this article, especially Table 1 (not Figure 1) which details how the amount of fertilizer affected the number of daylily flowers:

http://horttech.ashspublicatio...
[Last edited by sooby - Jul 19, 2017 6:56 PM (+)]
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