Ask a Question forum: how do I winter over daylilies that were dug up to transfer

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Nov 4, 2017 3:00 PM CST
These were given to me and I never got garden done because of tractor breaking down and dirt never got spread. Too late and cold weather has hit. Can I cut tops off and put bulbs or whatever they are called in brown bag and keep in refridge til spring???? HELP
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
Nov 4, 2017 3:22 PM CST
Welcome! Is there nowhere you could plant them and then heavily mulch them outdoors? You can also grow them as houseplants if you really can't plant them outdoors. Daylilies don't have bulbs, so if these have bulbs then they're not daylilies. You probably could winter them over in the fridge but in paper bags I would assume they'd be likely to dry out a bit too much. Having said that, daylilies are pretty tough. How have you kept them alive up to this point?
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
Nov 4, 2017 3:25 PM CST
Usually there are many who would post to this wonderful forum right away. I just happened to be here and see that your post had not yet been answered.

First Welcome! to NGA and I hope you have a great experience here!

I'm not familiar with your area of course, and don't know your growing zone. There's a place here to locate that information, but I didn't go there to check for you. If I recall from customer information it varies greatly in New York.

My suggestion is to pot up the daylilies in at least gallon size nursery pots. Me, in growing zone 5, some make it through the winter and some don't according to the winter itself.

Now of course the garden centers are not as stocked with potting mixes as usual. But I think even WalMart maintains a small area to buy bags of potting mix. As for the pots, I don't know where to tell you to get those.

As for cutting back the tops, I don't do that. I feel that the dead foliage (which can be removed in the spring), helps to protect the crown (top growing part of the daylily).

edited to say: oops cross posted, I should have been more patient.
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
[Last edited by TsFlowers - Nov 4, 2017 3:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Nov 4, 2017 4:32 PM CST
I cut all summer- and fall-blooming herbaceous perennials down to ground level before winter, but there can be good reasons to both do this or to not do it. It depends on things like the local growing conditions or the particular style of perennial gardening employed.

I certainly agree that daylilies are tough and tend to out-live many other perennials in gardens here.

I routinely overwinter a variety of different perennials, including daylily divisions, in gallon pots. I always use our garden soil, repotting those which were purchased in a peat-perlite mix or the like. Ours are left over winter outside in a protected location (e.g. between two buildings), frozen solid in their pots and covered in snow. Some other perennial gardeners have said that they leave them frozen in their pots in an unheated garage.

The large majority of our perennials survive this treatment. I suspect that the rotting that does kill a small number of plants is due to me not moving the pots into the sun fast enough in spring.

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