Daylilies forum: Winter losses?

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Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
LA name-Maelstrom
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Scatterbrain
Apr 11, 2018 5:23 AM CST
@bluegrassmom


My reasoning is that if I keep them outside right from seed, by the time they eventually flower (takes around 3-4 years here on average without greenhouse), they have had at least three years outside in our very unpredictable weather!

I've lost about the same proportion as Donald, around 50%, maybe slightly more.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Apr 11, 2018 6:48 AM CST
I lost Tropical Cooler and Lizzie's Legacy which were both planted last June. They were also both in grow bags which plants seem to love. The soil completely freezes and thaw several times in the winter and spring. They were actually doing fine until we had 4 nor'easters in a row. Then they just turned to mush. I've got lots of other daylilies in the same bags and they are just fine though.

I've lost lots of seedlings too from the weather and squirrel damage. I have so little space that it doesn't really bother me. I have no use for a plant that needs to be pampered to grow and bloom. I find it funny though that I have very happy seedlings from crosses where both parents did not perform well in my garden at all. The parents have either died or stopped blooming years ago. The parents were EV and SEV but the kids are all dormant. I guess the hybridizer (who was in the south) lost all their hard dormant seedlings. I'm assuming I lost all the EV and SEV seedlings. I do have one EV seedling that has been hanging on. I want to see it bloom but I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose it sooner or later. It looks pretty pathetic right now.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Apr 11, 2018 7:06 AM CST
I have daylilies registered as evergreen from the "south" and they appear to be deciduous ("dormant") here (and I don't mean the leaves get frozen back). Registered foliage habit only applies in the hybridizer's garden (and that's assuming they guessed right Smiling ). Daylily dormancy behaviour and foliage behaviour are actually a lot more complicated than one would think based on the registration categories. There are other plants that are known to be evergreen in warm climates and which switch to deciduous in colder areas.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Apr 11, 2018 8:45 AM CST
I have a couple of evergreen registered daylilies that do just what you describe. But they are the exception rather than the rule. I also have some dormant daylilies that aren't what I'd call hard dormant. The foliage disappears with cold weather but at the slightest warm up in temperature they start growing. I also have daylilies that are dormant that don't have foliage that appears until late March/early April. That has even held true the last two years when we had some of the warmest Februaries ever recorded. My seedling is a true evergreen in that it has never died completely back over winter. It just seems to stop growing. Each time the temperature spikes it starts growing like crazy only to have the foliage damaged when the temperatures drop again. I'm amazed it has survived at all!
Name: Debra
Nashville, TN (Zone 7a)
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shive1
Apr 11, 2018 8:51 AM CST
I lost three or four in pots, including Truquoise Temple, which I've grown in the pot for about 10 years. Five in-ground plants have not emerged. One I tried to dig up to check yesterday, and it did have some tiny green growth coming from the crown. Those may or may not be dead. I have definitely lost fans on many of the more tender everygreens and semi-evergreens.

I planted a lot of seedlings and new acquisitions in late October, and I was worried about them. But I've only lost two seedlings, and all the new ones have done well, with some of them multiplying quite a bit.
[Last edited by shive1 - Apr 11, 2018 8:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Apr 12, 2018 1:43 PM CST
I lost about 13% of my daylilies. The majority of mine are in pots left outside to over winter. Some were the more southern bred fancy daylilies while others were ones I'd had for years......For instance, I've grown Christmas in Oz in a pot now for 5 years and it's survived just fine outside until this winter. Ironically last fall I gave away a pot full of fans trying to cut down the size of my collection.....Priceless was one my first year fancy ones that didn't make it. The leaves seemed to stay green longer then most of the other daylilies so that when we had a sudden drop in temperature it affected it more then those that were further along in dormancy. I am adding it back again as I will do for Christmas in Oz... I could cut my losses and just keep what I have now - but Nooooooo. ..........Maryl
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Apr 12, 2018 5:09 PM CST
Sorry to hear about your losses, Maryl Sighing!
Touch_of_sky on the LA
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Apr 14, 2018 7:46 AM CST
Did anyone lose Stenciled Infusion or Amanda's Little Red Shoes? Thinking about adding those.
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Name: Nick Barth
Newcastle, Maine (Zone 6a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
mainer35
Apr 14, 2018 2:15 PM CST
Most field grown evergreen daylilies will not survive 0 degrees F temperatures. Some may survive if heavily mulched but will likely struggle and
never reach their full potential. A good general rule of thumb is not to grow evergreen daylilies in zone 6 or below.

Some field grown semi-evergreen daylilies may not survive or never reach their full potential in zone 6 or below if both parents are evergreen.

All potted daylilies grown in zone 6 or below should be covered with an insulated blanket made especially for this purpose.

A good and safe rule of thumb is to purchase only those daylilies which have proven to be hardy in zone 6 or below. And (in zone 6 or below) avoid evergreen daylilies which have been hybridized in zone 8 or above.

NOTE: I have been growing and hybridizing daylilies in zone 6 since 1989. A picture of one of my recent introductions is attached.


Thumb of 2018-04-14/mainer35/e16ee1

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Apr 14, 2018 2:46 PM CST
@mainer35,
Would you add that photo to the database here? That one and any others you have of your intro's? It is a beautiful flower, with a nice height and large bloom.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Apr 14, 2018 2:57 PM CST
As Nick intimated at the end of his post, it matters where the daylily was hybridized. Foliage habit per se is not a determinant of hardiness but because evergreens are more likely to have been hybridized in warmer climates and not cold tested then it naturally follows that more might be tender, but not because evergreens can't be hardy. I grow many registered evergreens - including from the "south" - here in zone 4 where it gets to -30s most winters (both temp scales) and snow cover is not guaranteed. I use no winter mulch.

One thing we often tend to assume is that dying foliage implies dormancy, which it does, but a plant can also be dormant without the foliage having died.
[Last edited by sooby - Apr 14, 2018 3:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
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bluegrassmom
Apr 14, 2018 4:03 PM CST
thanks for posting, I for one am not buying many more Evergreens. It is just to much of a gamble. To many cultivars to pick from to be upset by a tender one.
Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
LA name-Maelstrom
Dog Lover Cat Lover Rabbit Keeper Container Gardener
Scatterbrain
Apr 15, 2018 4:10 AM CST
I think I am very lucky here in that we don't get the extremes of temperatures that others get, it is either very cold and wet or slightly less cold/vaguely warm and wet all year round so daylilies here don't get the kind of shocks that they do elsewhere.

Most of mine are small and mini diploids in pots all year round, never mulched over winter. I did bring one inside under the grow lights for a short while this winter simply because I got the final piece of Little Sea Sprite from a grower who was downsizing having lost her land and it was sent out in autumn. If I lost that I have no chance of ever getting it again so I decided to baby it a bit but it is the first time I have ever done that I won't do it again as I don't really have the right facilities to do it.
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Apr 15, 2018 6:18 PM CST
Nikki, I am glad that you have not had the losses. It is painful to lose plants that you enjoy.
Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Apr 16, 2018 12:05 AM CST
As others have said being Evergreen is not an automatic death sentence in colder regions. For example two of my oldest daylilies that made it through even this bad winter (and in pots no less) are evergreens. Also the Sev designation can be rather a catch phrase for many daylilies. I was once told that Frank Smith marked all his daylilies Sev as it covered all the contingencies. Whether that's true of Mr. Smith or not, I don't know, but it makes a point. I try and find dormants to buy, but I keep all of the above in mind and if I really want something I'll give it a whirl regardless of foliage designation.

The two older Evergreen daylilies that I mentioned as examples are:

STROKE OF BRILLANCE:

Thumb of 2018-04-16/Maryl/4b3349

Yesterday Memories:

Thumb of 2018-04-16/Maryl/57ce8d

Maryl

Name: Ginny G
Central Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Legalily
Apr 16, 2018 6:38 AM CST
Funny thing is I didn't know the difference between an evergreen, semi evergreen, dormant and that they even existed until I joined NGA. I've learned so much from all of you. Now I actually check the details on my daylilies here before I order nodding nodding
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Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
LA name-Maelstrom
Dog Lover Cat Lover Rabbit Keeper Container Gardener
Scatterbrain
Apr 16, 2018 10:51 AM CST
The plant that has surprised me most is a tet conversion of 'In the Navy' which I decided to try as an experiment not really expecting it to survive the winter. Was a small plant put into quite a small pot in autumn. Really wanted the dip. version but couldn't get it.

Expected it to turn to mush but has gone through this very difficult winter with no problems. Secretly hoping it will revert to diploid for me though! Hilarious!
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Apr 16, 2018 3:35 PM CST
Some of mine look a bit worse for wear, but there are no obvious holes in my spacing. They are all up. Divertissment displayed what I think was spring sickness last year, first year and received as single fans. All of them. They are doing it again, so as much as I love those flowers, will probably replace them over the spring/summer. It's interesting that it's parent, Kindly Light, has been fine. My Huben's are without a doubt the least affected, with Helicopter and O Positive with no signs of any temp fluctuation damage at all. Antifreeze in those babies! It's snowing right now and the nighttime temp is forecasted to be 32 degrees, so I'm glad I didn't get the seedlings in the ground yet. Whew! My real worry is for the Hummingbirds that showed up at our feeders a few days ago. Hope they make it thru the night. Sad
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
Apr 16, 2018 3:45 PM CST
If you think they have spring sickness, try moving them to somewhere else in the garden. Often that changes whether they get spring sickness (which I assume you know is not related to temperature fluctuations once they've emerged).
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Apr 16, 2018 4:00 PM CST
Thanks Sue. Will give that a try, I do love those flowers! But they are planted in groups in several areas (and all are affected) so not sure if that will work. Might be they don't care for my clay soil, on a hill. We shall see. I've read as much as I can find about spring sickness and am still confused, would love to hear what you know. Please?

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