Daylilies forum: Daylilies for bright shade in hot, humid climate?

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Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 21, 2018 12:49 PM CST
We have mature oaks in our yard, and very little full sun. However, the UV index here is frequently "extreme" in the summer, so my theory is that plants that need full sun in cooler climes won't mind some relief here. Perhaps I'm just projecting. Smiling

At any rate, are there heat-and-humidity tolerant daylily cultivars that won't mind some shade in the semi-tropics? I'd love some recommendations, and this may be useful info for others in similar situations.

This topic may have been discussed before, but there may be newer cultivars, newer members with more expeience of various daylilies...?

Thanks,
Virginia

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
Jun 21, 2018 1:02 PM CST
I have oaks in my yard, I had daylilies planted under some of them...the plants never bloomed but they did live. The Power Company came through and trimmed up the trees severely...one large oak is now dead. That was last year, now the daylilies are blooming like crazy. So I suppose the trees could be limbed up high and maybe provide enough sunlight for them.
I think daylilies love some shade, but not deep shade. Tall pines and trimmed up Oaks seem to provide the amount of sun they like. The problem with the Oaks that concerns me are the roots. My Oaks seem to create a mass of fine roots that just blanket the area around them...the more sun, the more water, the more fertilizer I give the daylilies seems to encourage more Oak "feeder roots" for lack of a better term.
Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 21, 2018 1:36 PM CST
Thanks, Larry.

I wasn't planning to put daylilies directly under the oaks, but these old trees cast enough shade that the yard gets filtered light. I think it's a good thing, and it keeps the yard and the house cooler, but I like daylilies- they remind me of my grandparents- and if there are some varieties that need less light, I'd like to here about them.

I think I saw somewhere that some of the redder varieties do well with some shade, but would like some feedback from anyone who has daylilies blooming in bright- not deep- shade.

Thanks again,
Virginia
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
Jun 21, 2018 1:45 PM CST
I think the deal with the red colored blooms is not so much that they grow all that well in the shade, but that the blooms on the red ones do not tend to fade as bad as they do in the sun, and they do not get that glossy look in the shade like they do in direct sun.
From what I am seeing in my garden, dappled shade with a few hours of direct sunlight will grow most varieties pretty well.
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Jun 21, 2018 2:28 PM CST
Blooming Field Farms has a few they say grow and bloom in shade. These are historic daylilies that may appeal to you. Just google them, they have a website. I have no shade, so can't speak from experience.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 21, 2018 2:47 PM CST
I think daylilies probably will perform differently in different locales. Here, the plants and blooms are better if they can be moved to shade by June. I expect that most of this years buds and blooms have already been set if the rest of the environmental requirements - food and nutrition - are met, then they will work in the shade. However, if they stay under shade or get less sun due to location all the time, they don't have as many scapes and the scapes don't have as many buds. In my area it's the same with a lot of plants. Cannas will bloom with quite a bit of shade, but the number of blooms is greatly reduced. Many plants that are supposed to have full sun look better and stay healthier if they can get a break from a lot the summer sun here. This year is exceptionally bad for plants in the sun. Even a lot of native weeds and plants are struggling. That is not practical on a wide scale. I'm growing my daylilies in containers. That proved a problem for me this year due to a couple of injuries that has hindered my abilities, so some if mine are struggling. I've been slowly trying to work many of mine into the shade, but it's not going to be practical for all of them.

I would suggest trying a couple and see how they do. I know I'm trying 3 different cheap solar lights. The directions say full sun, but I have one in the deepest shade of an oak on the east side of the house and it's getting enough sun to recharge and burn at night. Another gets some hours of low morning sun, but is next to the east side of the house and it charges as well. I think it may be telling me there is more sun in my shady areas than I realized. That may not be true of a more northern location than my location in Texas, which tends to cook things all too often.
Donald
Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 21, 2018 2:53 PM CST
I did wonder if the red-flowered varieties actually bloomed better in shade, or if their color faded less than in full sun. I think that may be true for a lot of flowers with darker blooms.

Most spots in the yard get at least some direct sun, but not more than a few hours. I was just wondering about which varieties or types will likely do best in these conditions.

I don't grow any now, so if I'm going to buy some, I'd rather get some that are willing bloomers.

Thanks,
Virginia
Name: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Davi
Jun 21, 2018 3:01 PM CST
Virginia

I would select daylilies with lots of buds because a lot of shade will reduce the number of buds that you will have. I would also avoid the extra tall daylilies because in "reaching" for the sun, the scapes may get too tall and lean or fall over. Everything that Larry said is spot on. Daylilies can benefit from some shade, but not deep shade. It's the root competition for water that becomes a problem when growing near trees.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
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touchofsky
Jun 21, 2018 3:26 PM CST
I know I garden north of you, but up until last year, everything I had coped with some shade. We cleared an area in the winter of 2017, so summer 2017 was the first time I had a full sun area. If you look at my daylily list, you will see I grew around 200 cultivars in those days, none of which received full sun. They all bloomed, not as heavily as the ones I now have in full sun. Also, the plants did not multiply as quickly as ones in more sun, however, they were quite satisfactory. I still have most of my daylilies in part shade. I live in a pine forest, and we have limbed them up over the years.
Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 21, 2018 4:38 PM CST
Donald, I'm seeing plants struggle here also- including natives that should be well-established by now. The plants that get filtered light all day do better than those getting direct sun for more than an hour or two. Charleston is about the same latitude as Dallas (and San Diego!), so I think we have some of the same challenges...

We're near the coast, though, so summers aren't usually droughty, and we have rain barrels for supplemental watering. I'm not likely to dig up daylilies to move them mid-summer, but I start most plants in containers, so would be comfortable with starting them in a sunnier spot for bloom set, then moving the container to a shadier spot when the plants look wilty despite daily watering.

I don't get much bloom from my cannas, but they're seed-grown, not cultivars, and I don't much care about the blooms- or lack thereof- since it's the foliage I like.

Thanks,
Virginia
Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 21, 2018 5:29 PM CST
Tina, thanks for the tip about Blooming Field Farms. I just looked, and only see two DL's that they recommend for very little direct sun:
http://www.bloomingfieldsfarm....

They would probably be fine with my bright shade, if they can handle shade in Connecticut, but I have to admit that they're more bright orange than I'd like. I did check out the heirlooms, and I might like a few of those. And a newer variety, 'Early Isobel' is one I especially like the looks of.

I recall that my grandparents grew some lovely lemon-yellow DL's in their yard, which had dozens of pine trees before Hurricane Hugo knocked a lot of them down.

I would expect fewer blooms, and a leggier plant, but I don't grow plants for show, or to impress anyone. Still, I would like at least some blooms, which is why I was hoping for a few thoughts about which cultivars that might be better than others, since I can't afford to try them all.

Thanks again,
Virginia

PS Gah! The daylily I liked is 'Early Isabel', not 'Early Isobel'. I blame Bjork's song 'Isobel'.
[Last edited by scvirginia - Jun 21, 2018 6:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 21, 2018 5:33 PM CST
Davi, I think that's a good thought about avoiding the taller varieties. I'd rather not have to stake floppy plants if I can avoid that.

Thanks,
Virginia

PS I usually try to plant things somewhat above the tree roots if I can... Sort of like raised beds without the hardware, if that makes sense.
[Last edited by scvirginia - Jun 21, 2018 5:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 21, 2018 5:39 PM CST
Valerie, that's very encouraging to hear of your success with growing daylilies in a more northerly climate without full sun. It makes sense that you'd need to divide them less often if they bloom less- a mixed blessing...

Were there any varieties that seemed less daunted about blooming in shadier conditions that you can recall?

Thanks,
Virginia
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
Jun 21, 2018 5:51 PM CST
I remember looking for daylilies that could do well in the shade. Here is an old post that had a short list of them.
https://garden.org/thread/view...
Here is the thread:
The thread "Daylilies CAN bloom in dark shade!" in Daylilies forum
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
Jun 21, 2018 6:32 PM CST
I have one section of my garden that is quite shaded. I will write down what I have in it. It gets more dappled sun now since we limbed up the pines, but it is still quite shady and does not receive any real direct sun. Most of these daylilies have lived and bloomed here for at least 20 years, so they are older cultivars. Also, they have been very hardy here.

Ah Youth
Catherine Woodbery
Chicago Picotee Queen
Cosmopolitan
Feather Down
Luxury Lace
Little Wine Cup
Mini Stella
Penny's Worth
Prairie Blue Eyes
Precious de Oro
Russian Easter
Siloam Pink Glow
Strawberry Candy
Mini Pearl
Etched Eyes
El Bandito
Cute as Can Be
Bertie Ferris
Welchkins
Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 21, 2018 8:28 PM CST
Larry, thanks for posting that thread; I'll look through those suggestions, but right off the bat, I'd say that 'Happy Returns' looks like a good choice.

Valerie, I've been looking these up, and, yes, some are older and not readily available, but it gives me a good idea of what "families" are likely to do well.

I very much appreciate the lists, and hope they will be useful for others also.

Appreciatively,
Virginia
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 21, 2018 9:05 PM CST
Don't overlook the link that was on the post by Chalyse http://www.hort.net/lists/shad...
It says it was compiled in a daylily robin survey in 1998. At least some on that list are still available. I'm even growing three from that list and in fact have grown all three in filtered shade at one time. Wish they were back under it this year. I also recognize a lot of names from my searches on commercial daylily farms, the lily auction and from threads in this forum as plants other folks grow.

...and thanks Virginia Big Grin
Donald
Name: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Davi
Jun 22, 2018 6:25 AM CST
A yellow would really "pop" in the shade. During this heatwave, I'm amazed by the yellows, They are just as fresh and crisp in the evening when I'm liveheading as they are first thing in the morning. Darker colors get "lost" in the shade when viewed from a distance.
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
Jun 22, 2018 8:46 AM CST
@scvirginia,
I don't know if it is my zone, or my garden but 'Happy Returns' and 'Stella Dd Oro' just don't do well here... maybe I should have planted them in the shade.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jun 22, 2018 1:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
scvirginia
Jun 22, 2018 12:57 PM CST
Davi, I do agree 'Happy Returns' would be more visible in shade, but also in the early morning or late afternoon when it's cool enough to be outside here. I've never had much heat tolerance, and I have less as I get older.

This heat means I only go out for short spells to water whatever I happen to see drooping. Oh, and I've also been moving Swallowtail caterpilars from the not-very-prosperous dill to the better established bronze fennel in hopes that they'd have enough to eat. Crossing Fingers!

Thanks,
Virginia

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