Daylilies forum: Does Petal Substance Improve with Maturity in Seedlings?

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 28, 2018 5:09 PM CST
Do you observe that your daylily petal substance of seedlings improve with maturity? Does substance improve with fertilizer?
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
Nov 29, 2018 11:12 AM CST
I love questions like this because it makes me realize again how unobservant I actually am.
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Nov 29, 2018 12:28 PM CST
Ain't it Green Grin!
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 29, 2018 1:34 PM CST
Thanks, Larry because you are not alone! I really did not pay much attention to registered daylilies' substance in my garden either unless they performed really really badly to be conspicuous. My seedlings are too young to note these details though I am hoping that there are more experienced growers out there who can share their observations.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Spiders! Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies
Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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bxncbx
Nov 29, 2018 1:57 PM CST
I don't have many seedlings but from the few that I've grown (and kept) I can say that I haven't seen any change at all in their petal substance. I can also say that fertilizer/additional water does not have any effect either. The ones that are fragile stay fragile and the ones that are so thick they are almost brittle remain so. Luckily most of my seedlings are somewhere in the middle so it's not a characteristic I routinely worry about. But I do like the more delicate petals (like crepe paper) so I don't cull them for that trait.
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
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Lyshack
Nov 29, 2018 8:55 PM CST
Seedfork said:I love questions like this because it makes me realize again how unobservant I actually am.
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

I like it when the crowd is stumped and the responses are few and uncertain.

Of all the things I do track, this isn't one of them. I flipped through some seedling pics to see if anything rang a bell. I did have one seedling which, in it's first year, had a tendency to lose a sepal or two on windy days. And last summer, it lost that trait. So maybe it's not hopeless???

I suppose it also matters if you got a really good look at. Some times you get a short scape with 3-5 blooms on it the 1st year, and I don't think you can count on any of those blooms representing what your final bloom will be like in any way. But if you got one or two scapes with 12 or more blooms, then you might have gotten a pretty good look at it.

And one more food for thought. I bought a seedling from Olallie because it bloomed very, very late. It's bloom is pretty thin and breaks in the wind, but I've used it trying to hybridize more very very late ones, and it passes the late trait on without passing on its whimpy petals. So if you really like everything about it but the substance, maybe you can still use it to get where you want to be.

Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Nov 30, 2018 8:21 AM CST
I hope it's possible. Last summer was my first for seeing seedlings bloom. A real eye-opener. Some of them with parents like wax have a long way to go Hilarious!
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 30, 2018 12:30 PM CST
Thanks Elena and Tim for your responses! After given this subject some thought, I think I should rephrase the question to be:

Which following traits of daylillies improve with maturity and fertilizer assuming all other factors are constant?

1. Petals substance
2. Colorfastness
3. Sunfastness
4. Bud count
5. Color
6. Form including but not limited to teeth, edge, pattern.
7. Height
8. Foliage

Based on your observations of your seedlings in your garden, can you rate each trait as Yes, No, Maybe? Thank you!

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
Nov 30, 2018 2:01 PM CST
First let me say that unhealthy plants that do not receive enough water and nutrients may be subpar in performance in all the categories mentioned. Discolored foliage, oddly shaped or very thin blooms etc.
Can't comment on the seedlings yet, they are too young here. But I suspect they will improve in a few things and be very much like the more mature plants and stay pretty much the same in other areas.
As far as water and fertilizer are concerned (I think these work together) how fast the plants multiply definitely seem to be increased by having sufficient amounts of both. I think we all know that the roots and foliage (obvious from some of the pictures posted of plants received from some hybridizers, but also evidenced in my own garden) are very much increased by fertilizers and sufficient water. I think as a result and assuming enough sun is given to the plants, then the branching and the bud count will improve and even the size of the blooms.
I can't say that the height of the scapes actually improves with water and fertilizer, (I have not been able to say for certain that is the case in my garden), some plants might benefit from taller scapes, but for sure some never seem to get taller.
The color of the foliage can definitely change with the addition of some fertilizers and the color of the blooms I think can actually change with the addition of fertilizer.
I personally have not noticed any change in petal substance, colorfastness etc.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Nov 30, 2018 2:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 30, 2018 6:22 PM CST
Thanks Larry! I think this is what you wrote above. I appreciate your response very much! I am going to try to keep a record on these traits with my seedlings next year.

1. Petals substance No
2. Colorfastness No
3. Sunfastness No
4. Bud count Yes
5. Color Yes
6. Form including but not limited to teeth, edge, pattern Maybe in some cases
7. Height Maybe in some cases
8. Foliage Yes
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
kousa
Nov 30, 2018 6:28 PM CST
Lyshack said:

Of all the things I do track, this isn't one of them. I flipped through some seedling pics to see if anything rang a bell. I did have one seedling which, in it's first year, had a tendency to lose a sepal or two on windy days. And last summer, it lost that trait. So maybe it's not hopeless???

And one more food for thought. I bought a seedling from Olallie because it bloomed very, very late. It's bloom is pretty thin and breaks in the wind, but I've used it trying to hybridize more very very late ones, and it passes the late trait on without passing on its whimpy petals. So if you really like everything about it but the substance, maybe you can still use it to get where you want to be.

I

Thank you very much for the above observation, Tim. I am glad to know that wimpy traits don't get passed down to the offsprings. I do have many imperfect seedlings that exhibit both positive and negative traits. It is very hard to decide which ones to keep and which ones to cull.

Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Nov 30, 2018 9:41 PM CST
You might want to track temperatures during bud/bloom in re colors and patterns - and possibly even in substance. I think those might effect the presentation of the blooms and it could well vary from year to year. It's all to easy to see a trait and attribute to the wrong set of circumstances because of the timing. There are so many variables at any given time. The cause and effect may look apparent when it actually is not at all apparent. Growing a plant in a garden is very different than in a lab where conditions can be replicated exactly for observation. Always the possibility of some sneaky effect making what is observed fallacious. That's how old wives tales originate.

Donald
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Spiders! Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies
Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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bxncbx
Dec 1, 2018 7:38 AM CST
My two cents:

Petal substance-no
Colofastness-no
Sunfastness-no
Bud Count-yes
Color-definite yes!
Form-yes (noticed this for toothiness. It can get better!)
Height-yes
Foliage-??? Not sure what you are asking for. All looks the same green to me but I don't have rust or extreme heat or many pests.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Dec 1, 2018 8:25 AM CST
Thanks very much, Elena! I was hoping that the sunfastness trait would get better with age. I guess some traits are determined by genetics and not much can be done about them except through breeding. With regards to foliage, I mean the general appearance of the foliage - does the foliage look healthier and nicer with maturity or fertilizer? I guess the foliage is probably more affected by fertilizer than maturity.
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
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Lyshack
Dec 1, 2018 1:48 PM CST
OK. I'll play. As Larry and Donald have pointed out, there are outside factors that impact daylilies, too. Even established ones. So my answers are going to be based on the assumption that things are pretty much the same from year one to year two.

1. Petals substance. I'll say maybe, if your first year blooms were on an underdeveloped scape. Actually, if you are looking at blooms on an underdeveloped scape, it's probably "yes" to all of these.
2. Colorfastness . I haven't noticed a difference.
3. Sunfastness. I haven't noticed a difference.
4. Bud count. Definitely. My scapes increase an average of one branch per scape from year 1 to year 2, and 3.5 blooms per scape (+14%). (Stats nerd alert! *Blush* )
5. Color. Yes, although, not always an improvement!
6. Form including but not limited to teeth, edge, pattern. Definitely based on your definition, particularly changes to eyes, edges and watermarks. Also not necessarily an improvement. I've had eyes blend into the bloom and lose their pop, and watermarks fade or narrow from one year to the next. But I've also had watermarks become more prominant, and I've had plants that had blooms that struggled to open right year one, that correct the issue in year two.
7. Height. Definitely. My scapes increase in height around 20% from year one to year two.
8. Foliage. I'm going to say maybe, but it seems like my beefy fans tend to be beefy consistently compared to the other seedlings.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
kousa
Dec 2, 2018 2:53 PM CST
Thank you, Tim! I appreciate everyone's input and sharing your experience. I will report back after next bloom season with observations of my seedlings. Hopefully by that time, I will have a better basis for determining which seedlings to keep, bridge, or toss. So far, No improvement on 2,3; No/Maybe improvement on 1,8; Observable improvement on 4,5,6,7
[Last edited by kousa - Dec 2, 2018 2:59 PM (+)]
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