Daylilies forum→A newbie asks: Fancy, hardy, rust resistant, and CHEAP--does it exist?

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Name: Alastair
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Aug 26, 2018 9:29 AM CST
Hello! Is there a holy-grail emoji I could post? Because I think that's what I'm looking for. Crossing Fingers! Whistling
I'm an experienced perennial gardener, but new around these parts, and trying to figure out the world of modern daylilies. I fell in love last year with pictures of hallucinogenically fancy Florida-bred daylilies with complex patterns and textured edges. Who knew boring old daylilies could look like THAT? When I started researching for purchase, though, I came to understand how unlikely they were to perform well in my zone 7a Maryland garden. We've got freeze-thaw cycling winters without snow cover that mean true dormancy is preferable. We have hot humid summers that encourage fungal problems, so rust would definitely be a problem for me.
So I started looking for breeders making tougher fancies...and I've got sticker shock! Holy cow, you daylily folks are SERIOUS about your hobby! My last foray into buying recent introductions from specialty plant breeders was irises, where the really expensive plants are $75 and everything is $6-8 five years later, so I was pretty astonished by daylily prices and how long they stay high. (Side curiosity: I wonder why there's such a difference between the two communities? Both plants take about 2 years to bloom from seed, as I understand it. Is it the better commercialization potential for daylilies?)
And there's just so many! And so much non-representative photography! After months of being overwhelmed while I search and obsess and try to learn, I've decided to ask the experts here for help. I understand that these are all characteristics that justifiably drive up the price of a daylily, but I'm hoping maybe you folks can recommend fancy, hardy, rust-resistant plants I could get for $25 or under. Oh, and long-blooming. Almost forgot. Sticking tongue out
My main reason to hope this is possible is that I'm not looking for a highly specific color profile and I'm not looking to breed. Fertility and genetic possibilities are utterly unimportant to me. I'm just looking for great garden performance and fascinating flowers. I like any color besides saturated bright yellows (I prefer softer yellows), ditch-lily bright oranges, or burgundy reds. I adore diamond dusting and glitter. I'm a SUCKER for picotee edges and complex blending on any type of flower in my garden. I like substance and strength, and tend to prefer wide petals over spider types, but I'm spider-flexible. I can accommodate most heights in my garden.
So, any suggestions for plants I can afford...or how to ask my boss for a raise? Hilarious!
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
Aug 26, 2018 9:57 AM CST

In Zone 7a Maryland I'm not sure that rust would be a big issue for you since as a rough guideline we usually consider zone 7 to be borderline for rust to overwinter, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.

Also if you are looking at deciduous daylilies (registered as "dormant") and don't have any that keep any green tissue, then rust should not persist into the following year because it needs either living tissue to get through the winter or the presence of the alternate host, Patrinia spp. Bear in mind when looking at registration data, though, that foliage type is not necessarily consistent across everywhere a daylily may be grown.
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
Aug 26, 2018 11:18 AM CST
Welcome to the forum. I think our motto is "there's an addict born every minute". Fair warning Hilarious!

So, cheap, easy, long blooming, no bright yellows etc... I posted some off of my plant list. I'm sure we'll all work together to enable, er um, I mean encourage you in your daylily journey...

Addie Branch Smith- smaller bloom, compact plant habit (for me anyhow) easy keeper, bright flowers look great in a clump

Beautiful Edgings, nice tall scapes, pretty fragrant flowers

Coral Majority, tallish scapes, reblooms for me, saturated color and good opener. My youngest's first DL (she's now trading fans this fall).

Dragonfly Dawn, lovely eye, first year plant for me, so I don't have much to note, but others can chime in with what I don't know.

Lavender Stardust, seemed like this one bloomed for quite a while this year. Good flower form, doesn't hang up.

Mister Lucky, smaller flower on 24" scapes, can rebloom

Ocean Spirit- great color, tall scapes, opens well, small fans,

Red Headed Hussy, lovely big flowers, great color, rebloomer

Woman at the Well, reblooms, beautiful color, great edge and eye

I didn't pay more than $20 for any of these DL's. You can also check the thread The thread "Daylily Classifieds.. ****UPDATED**** 7/19/2021" in Daylilies forum
for prices on daylilies that forum members might have for sale.
Bravery is not being unafraid. Bravery is being afraid and living life anyways.
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Aug 26, 2018 11:19 AM CST
rust will not be an issue for you in zone 7. The winter kills it off if it finds a way to your garden-generally coming in on plants you bought from southern gardeners.
If there are public gardens in your area, or daylily farm, set up a visit to see what you like and what does well in your area. Always research a plant before buying it, I like to see several photos from different sources, not just on the site that is selling it.
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Clematis Lilies Birds Garden Art Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Aug 26, 2018 1:36 PM CST
You might consider joining either the NCDC (National Capital Daylily Society) or NVDS (Northern VA Daylily Society.) or at least visit a meeting! NVDS meets in Fairfax at Fairfax Co. Govt Bldg and I've visited NCDC meeting but cant remember the location. I was just up to Judge NCDCs daylily show in July which was held at Brookgreen Botanical Garden In Wheaton, MD. There are lots of great people in both clubs. They have sales and a lot of them grow lots of daylilies and are happy to be "enablers" to anyone interested! Heres the link to the NCDC website . Hope you'll touch base with them and attend a meeting!!
[Last edited by floota - Aug 26, 2018 1:40 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1801065 (5)
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Irises Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Cat Lover
Aug 26, 2018 2:10 PM CST
Here are a few that might fit the bill. I will give it a bit more thought!

Northern Splendor has been gorgeous and it opens really well.

Dragon Dreams has a gorgeous eye, and it does well here. It is grown by 15 members of the forum, so it seems to grow well in various locations. I didn't pay very much for it, so it could be worth a try. It is one of my favourites.

Truly Angelic is very pretty and it has been dependable here. Depending on the weather, it can be lighter or darker pink, but always lovely.

Arnold's Daughter is another favourite and it has done well in a hot, dry location, near a south-facing wall. the snow tends to melt there throughout the winter, and it copes with being exposed in our harsh winters.

Here is a miniature daylily that I love. Baby Blues is a small plant only 20" tall with a bloom under 3". I have it bordering a pathway.
Touch_of_sky on the LA
Name: Jill
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Hellebores Cat Lover Region: Maryland Garden Photography Butterflies
Bee Lover
Aug 26, 2018 2:33 PM CST
May I suggest the Free State Daylily Society. FSDS is great. Tree mail me fellow Marylander.
Name: Alastair
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Aug 26, 2018 7:06 PM CST
Thank you for recommendations so far, everyone! Lovely plants I will definitely look into!
Glad to hear daylily rust will die in the winter here. But still suspicious. My garden is very prone to fungal infections of various types, and I would not be surprised if it managed to wander in here every spring SOMEHOW to start afresh. I love my garden, but after years of discarding the things that fail to thrive, I have a "if it can go wrong, it will" mentality about my patch here.
As for joining a society, I'm afraid I'm chronically ill, and it's very hard for me to get out to meetings or events of any kind. I get to social events, movies, etc, only about once a month. It's another reason my garden plants have to be tough--they get neglected when I have flare-ups. It's survival of the fittest out there. Or at least the best mulched!
Name: Charley
Arroyo Seco New Mexico (Zone 4b)
Live your Dreams!
Aug 26, 2018 7:16 PM CST
About a half century ago I was working in the Ballet. I was surrounded by all these dancers; beautiful, lithe, tall, graceful, athletic. I thought 'I'm going to marry a dancer.'

I married a short, very slightly overweight but still attractive, bright stage manager instead.

Best move I ever made.

We are still together 49 years later.

She is gentle, talented, gracious, compassionate, warm, still attractive (and very very slightly overweight) and has a great sense of humor. None of those dancers are anywhere near as lithe, graceful, athletic, or beautiful as they once were (though they may still be tall.)

Don't feel as though you have to get the frilieest, fluffiest, fanciest daylily out there. Check out your regions pop poll and the Stout winners and ask folk on the forum, they will all share with you.

May your coffee kick in before reality does.
[Last edited by Charlemagne - Aug 26, 2018 7:22 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1801273 (9)
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
"Have no patience for bare ground"
Aug 27, 2018 9:13 AM CST
Boundless Beauty is my suggestion.
"Life as short as it is, is amazing, isn't it. MichaelBurton
"Be your best you". "Mikedon" on the LA.
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
Aug 27, 2018 2:27 PM CST
Charley, how sweet! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
I are sooooo smart!
Name: David McCausland
Horseheads, NY (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: New York Enjoys or suffers cold winters Plant and/or Seed Trader Hybridizer Hostas
Aug 27, 2018 3:47 PM CST

I would suggest you contact the FREE STATE DAYLILY SOCIETY, the Maryland daylily club. It is a very active bunch and they would be able to help you figure out what you are looking for. Just google the club.

Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Aug 27, 2018 5:17 PM CST

My favorite place to buy inexpensive daylilies is gh wild & sons
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
Sep 2, 2018 1:05 PM CST
Fancy is in the eye of the beholder. But, I've been buying yearly from Northern Lights Daylilies and getting some that would be pretty unaffordable to me otherwise. Relatively new CV's, prices low, and even with the 4 dollar per plant shipping many are still well within my means. Usually $10 or less, including shipping. Another thing I love, you do not have to put in a big order all at once. I like to research, mull it over, and buy one at a time throughout the winter. I've never been disappointed in the plants. They generally bloom the first year for me and rarely do I get anything less than a double fan. Even though they state single fans. It's a good way to get "fancy" without breaking the bank. They sell thru their website and I believe start selling in Nov? Just a thought. I know I'm looking forward to seeing what they list this winter. Welcome to the world of Daylilies. You will love it here!
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
"Have no patience for bare ground"
Sep 2, 2018 2:38 PM CST
Tina, I second that motion on Mike Grossmann's, northern lights nursery Thumbs up
"Life as short as it is, is amazing, isn't it. MichaelBurton
"Be your best you". "Mikedon" on the LA.
Name: Tara
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Bookworm Hybridizer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Sep 2, 2018 3:23 PM CST
Welcome! I began my decent into my daylily addiction 5 years ago Rolling on the floor laughing

I too am on a budget. The sales here have been awesome. I also have purchased from Ashwood Gardens and the Daylily Auction with great success. Blue Ridge Daylilies sends great fans.

Here are some that do well in my zone 5a that shouldn't cost a ton:

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Puccini')

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Scottish Fantasy')

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Substantial Evidence')

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas')

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Lilting Belle')


Name: Alastair
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Sep 5, 2018 4:41 PM CST
Thank you all for more advice and tips!
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
"Have no patience for bare ground"
Sep 5, 2018 5:59 PM CST
You are welcome. We are here to enable, I mean help. Hurray!
"Life as short as it is, is amazing, isn't it. MichaelBurton
"Be your best you". "Mikedon" on the LA.
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
Sep 10, 2018 5:26 PM CST
In the interest of further enabling, I mean helping. You might consider buying some "Fancy X Fancy" seeds of your choice on the LA. It's a website, The Daylily Auction. This would eliminate the risk of bringing rust to your garden, and it's a lot of fun to grow your own. I loved having green, growing things in my house last winter. Smiling

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