Moving daylilies

gardengalrn(5KS)March 25, 2007

Hi folks, this is my first time to the forum. While I'm an intermediate type gardener of veggies, I've not grown daylilies before. A friend's father gave me a wonderful selection last fall, which I planted in my garden. My intent was to plant them to keep them viable and move them when we decided to move this summer. I will be moving in mid-late June. Now my problem is this: Not everyone will appreciate my garden areas when we go to sell so hubby is wanting to till it in and plant grass. Meaning, he would like the daylilies and anything else I plan to keep out of there in the next few weeks. They are sprouting now with this gorgeous weather we've been having. I don't mind if they don't flower this year as long as I don't kill them or maim them for good;) Any suggestions? I have plenty of 5 gal buckets that I thought maybe in a pinch I could plant them in to hold over until they found their permanent home. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks, Lori

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jkunkel(zone 7)

I think that you would be fine planting them in the 5 gallon buckets. If they are large clumps I would not put more than 1 plant in each bucket though. Make sure that they are clean and have drainage holes. Just a cool tip that you may not know since you aren't that familiar with daylilies, and you grow veggies. You can eat daylily flowers, scapes and parts of the roots! I didn't know this untill I read a book from the library about them, I thought that this was an interesting fact. I've never tried it, not sure what it tastes like, but they did have a few recipes. I did not copy them down though. Sorry, but im sure they may have some on the internet somewhere if you are interested.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 9:05AM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

Personally, if they are going to be out of the ground for less than a month, I would dig them, clean off the roots and trim both roots and foliage to about 8". Then, I would allow them to dry thoroughly and store them wrapped in newspaper in a refrigerator drawer.

If you don't have the refrigerator space, you could lay them all on the ground and cover them with a mound of peat moss. They will stay happy and safe either way and you won't have to mess with potting them all up.

I found several the other day that I hadn't gotten around to planting. They are laying on top of the soil where they have been since last fall and are all sporting new green growth. I wouldn't suggest doing that on purpose, but daylilies are tough!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 2:58PM
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Thank you for the advice. I think I'm going to have to stand my ground and pull the lilies a little later to avoid all the repotting issues. I was out there today looking at the sprouts and noted aphids on quite a few. Lots of aphids. My usual main crop is tomatoes so I'm no stranger to those annoying little buggers! Grrrr! Didn't know daylilies attracted them too. Anyway, I assume that if I took Roberta's advice and dug them out about a month before and placed them in the fridge, maybe it would also serve the purpose of killing the aphids?
I'm really excited to see what I have in terms of color and type; I never saw the original flowers. I just admired my friend's garden and since I give her and her family tomato plants each year, her dad decided to gift me with some of his finest. Everything I saw in her garden was just beautiful, I know I won't be disappointed. Lori

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 11:39PM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

That should freeze the aphids, but in a few weeks predators would take care of the problem. A good way to reduce aphid damage is to plant a trap crop (such as nasturtiums) in and around the affected plants. The aphids tend to prefer very light colored green foliage to the dark color of the daylilies.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 2:02PM
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kydaylilylady(z6 KY)

Personally, if it were me and there weren't hundreds of plants I'd just dig them with a good clump of dirt now while the ground is still rather damp and sit them in a plastic grocery bag. As the foliage grows up I'd tie the bag shut around the roots making sure that the folige is outside the bag. I think those daylilies could sit there for quite a while almost thinking that they were in a pot, perhaps even blooming on time.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 2:16PM
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Janet, that sounds to me like a wonderful idea!! Hubby has already tilled my main garden area but thoughtfully (scared, more like) left the area where I have my lilies and perennials untouched;) The tiller will be going back with his next trip so I do want to get the plants I want out of there and let him fix that so I don't have to do it by hand. I definitely like your idea, it seems the grocery bags would be easier to "pack" with other things for a 12 hour trip than the 5 gal buckets. Lori

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 11:44PM
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I just wanted to let everyone know (in case this came up again) that my lilies have faired very well living in plastic grocery bags since I dug them up over a month ago. A few nights into their new home we had several nights of record hard frost that did a lot of damage locally. I had covered them with a tarp and put milk jugs filled with warm water under the tarp. They all survived, some on the edges had a bit of browning but nothing bad. So if this comes up again, the grocery bag works great. I still have a couple of weeks to go but they are sending up scapes (sp?)and keep them watered. Thanks a bunch!! Lori

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:38PM
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