Daylily Care

ruthzMarch 3, 2012

Growing daylilies is new for me except for a couple of NOID's and Ming Toy.

I'm wondering if I should be starting any kind of maintenance/fertilizer program for my newer daylilies. Almost all are evergreen and I've started cleaning around them and putting down new native hardwood mulch.

Some were planted in April 2011 and some in the fall 2011.

I did get thrips last summer on some of the new ones. Is there something I should do to prevent getting them?

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Start spraying for thrips when the scpes emerge. I will fertilize mine in the next week or two, and since you are in Texas, you might need to also. I use organics like alfalfa and fish emulsion.

You are in the rust belt, and I. unfortunately had my first rust case late last year. It made me sick, but it is perfect weather for it here...the downside of our climate, and I kind of dread this year because we did not have our usual long period of subfreezinf temps, so nothing to kill it.

Maybe next winter. Good luck and hapopy growing.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Kay, thank you for the info.
What kind of spray do you use for thrips?
How did you handle the rust? I remember reading a post sometime last year about getting rid of all the daylilies affected with rust.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 4:56PM
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'Ming Toy' is very rust resistant, and a very good little daylily. One way to eliminate rust if you have it in your garden, is to get rid of any daylilies highly susceptible to daylily rust. To prevent getting it, be very careful to bring in only plants proven to be free from rust, and even then, I recommend stripping all green foliage, where any undetected rust would reside, off the plant and soaking it in a 5% bleach solution for about an hour before rinsing well and planting.

Lots of people fertilize their daylilies in early spring just as the plants start their high growth period prior to bloom. If the mulch has not aged well, and most aren't, they will draw some nitrogen from the soil and rain, away from the plant. I like to fertilize before applying new mulch. To control thrips, aphids and leaf miners, I apply a product with imidacloprid. Best to do two applications 2 weeks apart in early spring, just as growth starts, and that will control the pests for the season. I use Merit brand. There is history about the effect of this family of insecticides and honey bee decline. I suggest using it only in the early spring to minimize any possible adverse effects. Imidacloprid is not effective against spider mites, but they usually don't bother me unless conditions get very hot and dry. Bayer makes several products that combine fertilizers with this insecticide and they are readily available at your local box store. Good luck, Ed

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 12:55PM
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The rust here in southeast Texas has been so bad this year, that almost every daylily in our garden was affected by it, including seedlings planted last fall. If I were to get rid of those that are susceptible to rust, I'm afraid this year, I'd have an almost bare garden. Out of around 1500 plants, including around 1200 fall seedlings, I think I've only got around 10 daylilies that haven't shown any sign of rust. It just goes with the climate here. Yes, some are "rust buckets" and others are only mildly affected. But if you spray as recommended (see the Rust post), you shouldn't have much of a problem.

We took Ed's advice on the thrip problem and just sprayed last week with Merit. Will do it again this week. We had them really bad last year.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Is there a post somewhere listing the 'rust buckets' and the ones mildly affected?
I may need to get rid of some I already have and rethink my want list.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 3:23PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

If you haven't seen it before, I've attached a link to the online 'rust survey.' With so many cultivars and new ones coming out all the time, it's hard to keep this information up to date.

I haven't seen a thread listing specific cultivars that are either good or bad, but perhaps someone else knows of one. Ed keeps a database with his personal rust observations, and I've started doing that too.


Here is a link that might be useful: Rust Survey

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 9:46PM
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Some daylilies are resistant to daylily rust. Some daylilies are very susceptible to daylily rust. The average plant is somewhere in the middle in terms of susceptibility.

When conditions are ideal for rust growth, most plants will get some rust. If you remove the ideal rust growth conditions or the very susceptible plants, many daylilies will shed any rust on their own. It is the high pressure times when conditions are good and there are millions and millions of rust spores in the air that most plants will eventually succumb to some amount of rust. It seems to affect the older (outer) leaves more than the newer, central foliage growth.

Those plants that are the first to get rust and are then just covered in it are the ones to consider removing. And I think you should observe the plant through a rust cycle before deciding to eliminate it. If it has continuous rust problems, then eliminate it.

If you are in hardiness zones 7 and smaller, then I wouldn't worry much about rust, unless you have lots of plants and bring in new southern grown plants on a regular basis. Or you are a commercial concern selling to the public. Otherwise, the winters are usually cold enough to kill the rust. Just keep in mind that the rust resides in the green foliage only. Spores are the flowers of rust and are only present when the rust is trying to reproduce. The body of the rust is inside the leaf. Make sure any plant that tries to stay green through the winter is exposed to the cold.

There are plants that are very susceptible to rust, and their offspring tend to be very rusty. Look into the background of the plant you are considering. If you find one or more of the susceptible plants from the rust survey in the background, it might be wise to pass on it if you are in areas that rust lives year round. Susceptible diploid plants that are converted to tetraploid are especially ones to avoid. Ed

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 1:07PM
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