Daylilies forum: Will cutting away excess scape improve proliferations prior to removal?

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Name: Mikelos
North Georgia (Zone 7b)
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Mikelos
Jul 26, 2018 4:56 PM CST
So I've had daylilies for many years (so many that I haven't been able to give them all the proper care they need, in fact, and have lost track of probably half my cultivars' names) and after several years of drought-like conditions, we've finally had a really good blooming and growing season.

I'm just now learning about proliferations after finding a couple on two different plants (same cultivar; below) in one of my new, well-kept beds. From what I've read, you don't want to remove it until the scape has browned down to where the proliferation is attached.

My question is: would cutting some of the scape above the proliferation help the daylily divert more energy to the prolif before the scape finishes browning? Would it harm the prolif potentially? Would it have no effect?

Thumb of 2018-07-26/Mikelos/732d73 Thumb of 2018-07-26/Mikelos/3911a1 Thumb of 2018-07-26/Mikelos/44b942
[Last edited by Mikelos - Jul 26, 2018 4:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 26, 2018 5:12 PM CST
I would leave the scape untrimmed [edited for emphasis] as long as it is green. Green means it can make food and send it to the proliferation and help it grow.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Jul 31, 2018 2:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Mikelos
North Georgia (Zone 7b)
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Mikelos
Jul 29, 2018 4:17 AM CST
admmad said:I would leave the scape as long as it is green. Green means it can make food and send it to the proliferation and help it grow.


I'm definitely planning on leaving them on the scape until it's time. Since I've never done this before, what I'm wondering (since the scapes still have 12-18" worth of green above the proliferation) is if trimming some of that excess now would result in more energy being diverted to the prolif, or if it would have no effect (or even deprive the prolif by causing the scape to die faster). I'm definitely not the most biologically-proficient person, so maybe it's just a dumb idea of mine.

UPDATE: I also found another prolif on my Common Sense yesterday, and caught it just in the nick of time (as the scape had browned all the way down to right below the proliferation)! No real roots on it unfortunately, but we'll see what happens.

Thumb of 2018-07-29/Mikelos/4558b8
[Last edited by Mikelos - Jul 29, 2018 4:18 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 29, 2018 4:33 AM CST
What Maurice meant (I believe, since it would be my answer too) is leave the upper part of the scape above the prolif attached, as long as it is still green. While it is green it is photosynthesizing - remember that the plant's energy food comes from the green parts of the plant so by cutting it off you are potentially reducing its manufacturing capabilities.

I would lower the water level slightly for the prolif in your picture so that there is less of the prolif base submerged.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jul 29, 2018 5:00 AM CST
I agree your water is a tadbit too deep and may cause crown rot. The bottom of the prolif should just touch the water.
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[Last edited by ediblelandscapingsc - Jul 30, 2018 2:22 AM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 29, 2018 4:57 PM CST
Mikelos said: what I'm wondering (since the scapes still have 12-18" worth of green above the proliferation) is if trimming some of that excess now would result in more energy being diverted to the prolif, or if it would have no effect (or even deprive the prolif by causing the scape to die faster).


Trimming any of the 12-18" worth of green above the proliferation would deprive the proliferation of nutrients that the green is making for the proliferation (and itself). Trimming any of the green would have a negative effect on the proliferation.
Maurice
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jul 30, 2018 7:51 AM CST
I've never heard that a prolif needed to be harvested as soon as the scape browned down to where the proliferation is. Weather permitting, I prefer to leave them on the scape as long as they're still being supported by the plant. At the end, there may only be a small strip of green tissue running from the base of the proliferation to the base of the scape.

If a special plant throws a proliferation, I'll air-layer it, and then by the time the scape dries up, good roots have already formed in the air-layer bag, and it's ready to be potted up on its own. A little liquid fertilizer seems to help.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Jul 30, 2018 2:14 PM CST
I have a ton of proliferations on NOID plants, I may play around with them and see if I can detect any difference in cutting the scape off above the proliferation. I would be surprised if the amount of green material above the scape actually provides much nutrition to the proliferation, not saying it does not provide some energy.
I actually would like to find just how early a prolif could be cut and saved . I tend to leave them too long and they often are dead when I find them again.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 30, 2018 7:38 PM CST
Seedfork said:I have a ton of proliferations on NOID plants, I may play around with them and see if I can detect any difference in cutting the scape off above the proliferation. I would be surprised if the amount of green material above the scape actually provides much nutrition to the proliferation, not saying it does not provide some energy.

The catch is that each cultivar will be different. There will be differences in the thicknesses of the scape; in the height of the scape; in where the prolif forms; in when the prolif forms; in the number of buds on the scape and how long they continue to open; in how many of the flowers are pollinated (none should be allowed), etc. And then there are the differences in the environment (weather). The end result is a great deal of variability that will obscure any effect (as the effect will be a growth rate and all those factors may affect growth rates). That means "replication" that is, several prolifs on each cultivar under as similar conditions as much as possible.
There are several possible sources of nutrition for a proliferation:
1) the green leafy material of the proliferation
2) the green scape
3) leaves on the fan from which the scape rose
4) other fans in the clump

The interesting thing is that the green areas of the scape presumably produce more nutrient than they need and they send that nutrient somewhere. While buds, flowers, pods and seeds form those can all use extra nutrients. When they are no longer present (or are not allowed to form (ie pods/seeds) then where does the extra nutrient go if not to a prolif?

It would not be surprising if the prolif made the majority of the nutrients it requires. The situation in many sprouting plants is that for a short time while the sprout is small it requires nutrients from storage but it quickly becomes large enough to no longer need any stored nutrients and starts to send surplus nutrients to storage. I have never checked the research on this but to kill perennial weeds one is advised to remove all green material above ground before it becomes a week old. That supposedly depletes storage without allowing the sprout to replenish what it has used.

Maurice
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Jul 31, 2018 8:20 AM CST
It never occurred to me that the proliferations I've been watching on two of my daylilies won't make it because of the seed pods that are growing on them.

Ken, it's been years since I did any air layering. Where do you make your slit?
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 31, 2018 10:36 AM CST
Went out to look at some proliferations but it started raining before I got very far. I did discover that there was almost no green above my proliferations on my Pathway NOID. The clump was still blooming, had one pod left on it, it had rebloom scapes (probably the third series) coming up and all these proliferations. So I cut off all the proliferations along with the pod (already harvested quite a few).
Thumb of 2018-07-31/Seedfork/fe4c60

Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Aug 1, 2018 5:48 AM CST
I have had deer problem overnight Angry I had some pods I was waiting on to harvest. Not my best ones, but I was excited about a cross with BEAUTIFUL EDGES x ISABELLE ROSE!

Can we pick them when they are still pretty green?
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 1, 2018 7:26 AM CST
bluegrassmom said:Can we pick them when they are still pretty green?


Do you know how many days old they are?

Maurice
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
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bluegrassmom
Aug 1, 2018 8:04 AM CST
At least 3 weeks.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 1, 2018 12:28 PM CST
Sorry, Arisumi, a geneticist who did some work with pods that were picked earlier than the normal 50-60 days, wrote that the pods needed to be 35 days old to have almost fully developed embryos and be capable of germinating in soil.
Maurice
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
Aug 1, 2018 12:37 PM CST
I am wondering if Arisumi, just harvested the seeds and planted them. If the scapes and pods were put in a vase of water would they be able to still mature after just three weeks of natural growth?
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 1, 2018 3:01 PM CST
Seedfork said:I am wondering if Arisumi, just harvested the seeds and planted them. If the scapes and pods were put in a vase of water would they be able to still mature after just three weeks of natural growth?

Arisumi planted them in soil and also embryo "rescued" (removed the embryos from the seeds and gave them nutrients).
It might be worth starting a separate thread to see how long cut scapes and pods last in water. The scape would need to make a substantial amount of nutrients for the pods to survive and mature.

Maurice
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Daylilies
Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Photography Herbs Region: United States of America Seller of Garden Stuff
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ediblelandscapingsc
Aug 2, 2018 8:55 PM CST
A few weeks back I stepped on a scape and heard that awful snap when you know you just broke a scape Grumbling it had 2 pods that where roughly 4 weeks old on it so I put the scape in some water. I changed the water about twice a week for nearly 3 weeks and the pods ripened up for me. The pods never split open but turned brown and the seeds came out firm and still plump. The bottom of the scape was already looking a little slimy so I'm not sure how long this can be done for but in a 2.5 -3 week pinch it worked for me.
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐
Name: Mikelos
North Georgia (Zone 7b)
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Mikelos
Aug 3, 2018 2:56 AM CST
Thanks so much for the helpful info everybody! My Common Sense prolif is still hanging on (I adjusted the water level), but considering that it had no real roots, I'm not extremely optimistic. However, my other 2 plants' prolifs are going crazy: they're even sprouting prolifs at the very top of the scapes now!

Thumb of 2018-08-03/Mikelos/0fb9ed

Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Aug 3, 2018 6:25 AM CST
ediblelandscapingsc said:A few weeks back I stepped on a scape and heard that awful snap when you know you just broke a scape Grumbling it had 2 pods that where roughly 4 weeks old on it so I put the scape in some water. I changed the water about twice a week for nearly 3 weeks and the pods ripened up for me. The pods never split open but turned brown and the seeds came out firm and still plump. The bottom of the scape was already looking a little slimy so I'm not sure how long this can be done for but in a 2.5 -3 week pinch it worked for me.


I did the same thing a few years ago when I broke a scape while weeding. The pod ripened successfully in water. It was in water for about a month. The seeds were viable and I have seedlings growing from them now. Good luck with yours, Daniel! Crossing Fingers!

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