Daylilies forum: Is this flower dying?

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Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Jul 22, 2017 7:14 PM CST
I bought Hazel Tinsley last year. It looked good when I planted it and it looked good this season. I have one large fan, so one scape, which bloomed and set pods. But for a few days now it has looked like this...

Thumb of 2017-07-23/amberjewel/b8747e
Thumb of 2017-07-23/amberjewel/5297b9

The scape looked like it was starting to die, so I cut off the top part and brought the seed pods inside to hopefully finish ripening.

Thumb of 2017-07-23/amberjewel/164690

Is this one dying on me? Interestingly, this came with a small order (8 cultivars) from a well known hybridizer and two of their flowers in my order died completely last year shortly after I planted them...and a couple others lost fans. Sighing!

Amber
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Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
Jul 22, 2017 7:26 PM CST
Ummm, just saying that setting so many pods on such a young and small plant might not have been good for it. The plant is probably stressed. Hope it makes it.
Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Jul 22, 2017 7:32 PM CST
Good to know. I don't think I have ever read anyone saying that before. D'Oh!
Amber
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Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jul 22, 2017 7:35 PM CST
I agree Your plant needs it's energy for growing, wait until it has at least 4 or more fans before hybridizing and only fertilize a few flowers.
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Name: Virginia Harmon
Woodside, CA 94062 (Zone 8b)
Pollen Dauber
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VHarmon
Jul 22, 2017 7:40 PM CST
Feed it 15-5-15 and give it time to recover
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[Last edited by VHarmon - Jul 22, 2017 10:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Jul 22, 2017 8:31 PM CST
At this time of year here in my zone a lot of my plants experience what I call dieback. They look pretty bad, but I pull the dying leaves off and make sure they are getting plenty of water and within a couple of weeks they normally start looking better. Most all the scapes on my plants with seed pods on them that are pretty far along will look like they are dying, the same thing for scapes with proliferations on them. But most of the time they will stay just green enough for the prolifs and seed pods to mature. Some of my plants experience summer dormancy, which may be the same thing as die back, but they seems to shrink down to almost nothing, then after a short period they make a comeback and look great again. Those seed pods look mature enough to me to already have some nice seeds. I accidently pulled a scape with a green pod on it, I let it dry for one day and when I checked it today it had already cracked partly open, and the seeds looked great, eight nice fat shiny seeds.
Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Jul 22, 2017 9:13 PM CST
@Seedfork I bet many of them are ready, but I am really trying to wait for them to dry this year...not repeat my impatience of last year Big Grin

I have a few other fans that are looking like this one. Some on plants that have several fans, and some on plants that didn't even put up scapes this year. I had wondered if it might not be the extreme heat and high humidity we are experiencing. We have had a week straight of temps almost 100 and heat index around 108! I have been giving them water every few days while we have this heat...mostly to try and keep my pods from aborting. I use a drip system so they get 1 gallon per plant whenever I water.
Amber
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Name: Virginia Harmon
Woodside, CA 94062 (Zone 8b)
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VHarmon
Jul 22, 2017 10:15 PM CST
Perhaps you need to water more and give a steady supply of nutrients
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 23, 2017 5:13 AM CST
I would not fertilize during that kind of heat, it's more likely to cause damage when temperatures are high. Amber, I assume you are checking moisture levels around the plants before you water, since plants lose less when the humidity is high?
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jul 23, 2017 5:35 AM CST
Many of my plants that look like that are growing in a bog, so they have constant water, but they still go through a dieback mode every year when the weather gets this hot. So I know the dieback my plants experience is not from lack of water, but I do feel it is very much related to the heat and I think that is the reason it is often referred to as summer dormancy. It was only 94 degrees here the other day and the heat index was 133 degrees and the humidity at 83 percent. My plants are also in full sun and I do feel the sun directly on the plants tend to cause the leaves to burn and die prematurely sometimes.


Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Jul 23, 2017 5:46 AM CST
@VHarmon Water more?! I thought daylilies were supposed to be able to survive drought? I know they perform best when given adequate water, but one long-time grower around here told me that he just ensures that they get an inch a week and that is enough to make them perform optimally. However, he doesn't hybridize. I have no idea how gallon-per-hour converts to inches of water, but I figure that giving them a minimum of two gallons per week is going to help keep some pods from aborting in this heat. I have the three fans I mentioned that look like this, but the rest of my 100+ cultivars are looking great...even ones that are smaller than this large single fan. If it was caused by a lack of watering, wouldn't they all look that way? Or, are some daylilies just more heat sensitive than others?

@sooby I haven't been checking moisture levels before I water. How does one do that? I live in heavy clay soil, which I amend the best I can when I make a daylily bed, so I watch the ground and when it starts to look hard and dry every two or three days, I water again.
Amber
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 23, 2017 7:51 AM CST
Some daylilies are likely more heat sensitive than others. Often lack of cold in winter gets the blame for some daylilies dwindling away in the warmer areas but it could instead be lack of heat tolerance.

The way I check for soil moisture is by digging down two or three inches with a trowel to see if the soil is still damp. You want to avoid always having the surface dampest otherwise that's where the roots will then grow and be more vulnerable to heat (and drought if you can't water). That's why we're usually advised to water deeply but relatively infrequently. It can be hard to estimate water needs when the humidity is high because the plants may be using less than we might think even when it is hot.
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 23, 2017 8:27 AM CST
I think daylilies survive in drought but thrive with lots of water. I know the one inch a week figure is often given, and I am not convinced that is enough for them to perform optimally (just my opinion). However, I do think that most people when they hear that one inch a week guide line think about rainfall and not how much water is actually reaching the roots of the daylily. I know in my garden the beds (not in the bog) even though I have added tons of organic matter over the years seems to form a water barrier on the surface. It has only been four days since it rained here and I decided to water one of my beds (too hot for much else) and the water tended to just run off till it finally penetrated that surface layer. Of course I do have a sloped yard and that makes a big difference, not sure people take that into consideration either.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jul 23, 2017 11:20 AM CST
Just ended a 4 day heatwave where I only watered at the end of it. I have lots of cultivars that look like that. Scapes are still good though. After watering I can see many of them already sprouting new leaves.

I think Paige's PiƱata is heat sensitive. Despite daily watering it always dies back when we have long stretches of hot weather. I always think my one fan is dead but it always shows up in the Spring. Smiling
Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
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Scatterbrain
Jul 23, 2017 11:43 AM CST
floota said:Ummm, just saying that setting so many pods on such a young and small plant might not have been good for it. The plant is probably stressed. Hope it makes it.


How many would be too many? I have been doing one or occasionally two pods per scape, all my daylilies are several years old except for this years newbies which have only just arrived. Is that okay, do you think? I'm just wondering if I should take some off.

[Last edited by Scatterbrain - Jul 23, 2017 11:52 AM (+)]
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Name: Virginia Harmon
Woodside, CA 94062 (Zone 8b)
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VHarmon
Jul 23, 2017 12:26 PM CST
On watering, I water potted hems daily adding water to the rim of the pot and letting it run through twice. For hems planted in the ground in shade I water every other day for 10 minutes on pop up shrub heads (Toro). For those in ground in full sun they get 6-8 minutes daily. I also have seedlings on drip irrigation in raised beds. My drip runs 2 hours every other day with once a week drenching by hand. This ensures even distribution since gravity pulls drip water straight down with limited capillary spread.

As far as how many inches of water a single gallon might provide, this is a tricky application of math that would depend upon your distribution method and area of coverage. One gallon of water might cover 1" in 1 square foot of coverage, however, water moves through the soil disproportionately from the application site. Established clumps of differing sizes would require different quantities of water depending upon upon but not limited to the following factors, number of fans, height of foliage growth, spread of foliage growth, quantity of scapes/Blossoms produced, number of pods set, sun/shade exposure, context of soil, friability of soil, drainage of site, exposure to elemental factors such as wind or breeze, competition from surrounding plants, underground inhabitants of soil (tunnels crated by voles, moles, gophers, mole crickets, and earthworms all affect distribution of moisture), use of mulch, type of nutrients provided.

On nutrition, I do not fertilize my gardens, shrubs, trees, production beds or lawns. I do not purchase fertilizers. I use natural organic nutrient compounds inoculated with beneficial microbes. I feed with these nutrients every 6-8 weeks depending upon growth rate, leaching, and soil quality. I do not worry about heat stress or burn because I feed without fertilizers.

On heat, heat affects each garden bed or site differently depending largely on soil context and air spaces within the soil. Clay soils contain very low oxygen holding capacity and far less water holding capacity than you realize. Stones, gravel, wood chips and other heat conducting particles collect and release heat that soil free of these elements would not experience. Clay particles are flat (silt) and also heat up more than loam. Incorporating loose organic matter of various texture types ensures ample air spaces to radiate heat out and keep the soil cool. Mulch also shades the soil and aides in moisture retention, but can be harmful to hems in clay soil, particularly if heaped too close to the crown. Water is a heat conductor as well so should be applied early with ample time to dissipate into the surrounding soil and leave those air spaces open to regulate soil temperature before the sun reaches the soil. When I hand water, I never do it mid day, in full sun or during peak heat times. Morning is best, earlier is better. If you can't hand water early in the day, wait for the heat of the day to pass. It's best not to water after nightfall. Let your hems dry before night.
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